Benefits of Having a Patent
With patent protection, you have the right to prevent others from copying, manufacturing, selling or importing you original creation without your permission. You are not only protected from the financial cost and the cost of time in researching and developing it, but also allows you to reap the fullest benefits of that invention or that innovation. You are then given a pre-determined period to allow you to have enough time to establish your trade and keep others who are financially capable from entering that pursuit.
The simple fact is, a patent is a very valuable tool – but it is hardly your number one docket to success. So before you invest thousands of dollars in securing a patent, there are steps you should take to ensure that it is a smart business move. For after all, rarely do patent products ever make it to market.
One thing to do before you decide to have your invention patented, is to determine is commercial value if it is viable or not. To help you do that, you have to understand your product, your target market and what other products are available that is serving the same market. Somehow the information you get here goes far beyond your gut feeling and the encouraging words given by your family and friends. You have to gain this understanding from a solid market research and a substantial attention to product development.
Make sure that you idea does not infringe on somebody else’s patent. What you can do is conduct a preliminary patent search on government records. The primary goal of the search starts with a pry-at search also known as keyword search where you pry on every possible pivotal concepts of the invention. The other search after the pry-at or keywords search is the freedom to operate search where in look at the protection period of the patent. This step will help ensure that your idea has not already been patented.
You can also hire an expert to help you in this task.
Next is to develop a basic prototype or a model to determine your product’s functionality. Here your invention is tested and reworked so that an acceptable model will come out from it.
If you now have a perfect model, you can start to define you market and determine how much large the market is. If it is too small, your product may not be commercially viable.
Next comes determining the cost of manufacturing the product. Whether the cost to make is less than the market is willing to pay for it.
So when everything is considered there are no more roadblocks to commercial success, now it is time to consider if you need a patent for it or not.
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