When an idea or a product is invented, it is important to protect it. Patents are rights obtained from a government that help an inventor get exclusive rights to their invention for a specific period. These rights prevent others from selling, making, and using the inventor’s idea without their permission. To get help with patenting an idea, one can approach a patent advocate. While the protection of one’s intellectual property rights is the main reason to seek a patent, there are multiple ways in which a patent can help an inventor:
- By creating a public record of the invention: When patenting an idea, a record is created and is made publicly available. So, anyone who wishes to check for the existence of the invention or idea or wants to verify who the inventor of a specific idea is can do so through the publicly available records. So, a patent becomes a public record of the invention and the inventor’s undisputable claim on it.
- By bringing in investors: Patenting an idea can ease the process of bringing in investors. Before investing, they need to know what they are putting their money into. When a patent application or a granted patent is provided to the investor, they can cross-examine the intellectual property rights of the inventor and their company. This helps build trust and expands the scope of the investment they are willing to make.
- By capitalizing on the idea: In most cases, patenting an idea helps gain monetary benefits with the invention. After a patent is granted, the inventor can have a monopoly over the idea, invention, or technology for almost 20 years. So, if others want to build on the patented invention, they will have to use the license of the original investor, which can imply monetary payment to the original investor for the use of the license.
- By licensing the patent to a larger company: In some cases, inventors want to approach a larger company to market or sell their invention or idea. In such cases, companies ask them to file at least a provisional patent application if they don’t have a granted patent. This allows larger companies to get a clear definition of what is being licensed before signing a non-disclosure agreement with the inventor. Also, a patent helps avoid conflicts in case the company’s R&D program has already filed a similar idea or invention.