Basic tactics to protect your own inventions and ideas

Once you devise any methodology, concept or invention for the business, there might be chances that anyone else in the same industry or another is using that technique formulated by you. But, now you can get your idea protected with the help of patents. Patent is basically an exclusive right granted for doing something new. Also, you get the right to stop others from using it without your permission. However, you can give permission to other parties for using the invention on the mutually agreed terms and conditions. You can also transfer your rights to someone else who would then become the new owner.

If you are not alone in this invention then as per the law you need to apply for patents as joint inventors. And, if you are not involved in any invention directly and apply for the patent then criminal penalty may be filed on you and the patent would also get invalidated. If you have participated only on financial terms, you cannot be termed as joint inventor.

Types of patents

Basically, there are three types of patents you can go for:

  • Utility patents
  • Design patents
  • Plant patents

Having an abstract business idea with you makes you eligible to get your invention patented but having an idea is not sufficient to get the invention patented rather it should be novel and useful process, machine or composition of matter.

Design patent offers the protection on the design of your invention. This is quite simpler to file and cheaper as well but very less effective as the design may get changed many times. There are certain conditions which your design must fulfill i.e. it must be new and original and the features of your design must not be obvious.

A utility patent is meant to protect the method of your invention. This one is more complicated because here you are required to explain the complete process. It is generally more expensive to obtain it and also it needs specific inputs from the attorney.

THE QUEST TO QUENCH

  • Are the patents valid internationally?

Patents are the rights given for a particular territory in which it has been filed and granted as per the laws of that country.

  • What is ‘license to patent’?

It means that the owner of the patent can grant permission to another organization or individual to use his patented invention on the mutually agreed terms, in the defined territory and for a specific tenure.

  • Who grants patent?

Patents are granted by the National or regional patent office.

  • How much it costs to get an invention patented?

This cost varies significantly from one country to another and even it is changed with the same country. So, it is recommended to contact respective National or regional patent office for getting complete details on fee structure.

  • How to obtain the patents?

For obtaining a patent, one has to file an application involving the technicalities of the invention. It must meet all the legal requirements; then it is examined for the novelty and creativity. The whole process may take 2 or more years.

  • Is it required to hire or consult patent attorney?

In general, the application can be filed by the applicant without any kind of assistance from the patent agent or attorney. However, based on the complexity of the documents and the required legal skills sometimes it becomes necessary to seek guidance from the agent. Further, if your principal business place is outside the country then it necessitates you to apply for the patents by an attorney.

  • What is the patents’ life cycle?

Patents’ life is generally 20 years and once it gets expired the protection terminates. This way, anyone in the public can use it and there would be no infringement of patent.

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