Intellectual Property

Patent or Not Who Needs Them Anyway!

Patent examples

A patent gives the inventor the right to stop others from making, using or selling the invention without their permission.

The government grant the patents, making them territorial. Also this means patents registered in the UK will only give rights in the UK. However, it will give rights to stop others importing the product into the UK.

Mainly, Patents are granted for an invention that gives a solution to a specific problem and is a product or process. Noteworthy, patents can last for many years.Patent example

  • Patents in the UK - IPO is the official government body responsible for granting Intellectual Property rights in the United Kingdom. They can be contacted by phone - 0300 300 2000 or you  can take a look at their website. 
  • In the US patents are issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. They can be contacted by phone – 1-800-786-9199 or you can take a look at their website.

Before you can secure a patent for your product or service. You need to make sure it complies with all three points listed below.

  1. New – products or services must be new and have never been made public. Also they must not be anywhere else in the world. Prior to the date on which the initial application for the patent is made.
  2. Inventive process – the product or service must have a brand-new process, when compared with the norm.
  3. Industrial – for a patent to be successful the invention must be capable of being made or used in industry. This means the invention must take the form of an apparatus or device. For example, a new material, a new process or method of operation.

If you have all these three areas covered, potentially you have a product or service that is patentable.Patent examples

I just want to make sure you understand the difference between a patent and a trademark.

Patents protect others from making and selling your product or service.

While, Trademarks protect words, phrases, symbols and logos from being used.

One way you can use a Patent is to stop others using your invention.

However, another way is to let others use it under an agreed licence.

There are many benefits to licensing your Patent

Such as:

  • Cost sharing- where a company will license from the inventor the right to manufacture and sell products. The inventor will receive monies from the licensing agreement. However, they do not take the risk of manufacturing and selling products.
  • Markets – licensing can increase and expand the reach. Thus, increasing market penetration.
  • Time – a business that uses the license maybe able to get its products or services to market more quickly. Rather than trying to re-invent the wheel itself.
  • Expertise – taking a license may allow a business to tap into expertise that it does not have internally.
  • Competitive advantage – by obtaining a license the business may obtain an advantage over its competitors.

If you do decide to go down this route of licensing your Patent. You may want to consider the licence of right endorsement.

The main advantages of having your patent endorsed with a licence of right is that it lets other people know you are happy to licence your intellectual property.

It could also result in reduced renewal fees (make sure you check with your local office).

The Intellectual Property Office have put together a checklist for everything that needs to be in place before IP can be agreed. You can download a copy here for free.


Infographic Patent Example

To see  a copy of the patent

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Further Reading
  1. Attorney Richard Sim author of Patent, Copyright & Trademark: An Intellectual Property Desk Reference delivers a clear overview of patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret law. - Houston Chronicle Provides an overview of patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret law, as well as hundreds of definitions of related terminology. - Orange County Register This book provides clear, plain-English definitions of intellectual property terminology, including [those] spawned by the Internet
  2. Patent It Yourself: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Filing at the U.S. Patent Office For 30 years, Patent It Yourself has guided hundreds of thousands of inventors through the process of getting a patent, from start to finish. Patent attorneys David Pressman and Thomas J. Tuytschaevers provide the latest information, forms, and clear instructions to help you

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