Why Is a Patent Necessary?

By Thomas King

Patent protection can be expensive. Moreover, the process takes time. Thus, it may not be feasible or in your interest to patent an invention. This is particularly true in quickly changing fields, where an invention may be outdated by the time patent protection is granted. There are, however, some situations where a patent may be necessary.

Patent protection can be expensive. Moreover, the process takes time. Thus, it may not be feasible or in your interest to patent an invention. This is particularly true in quickly changing fields, where an invention may be outdated by the time patent protection is granted. There are, however, some situations where a patent may be necessary.

Exclusivity

A patent grants the patent holder exclusive rights to make, use and offer for sale the patented invention within the United States. Moreover, a patent grants the patent holder exclusive rights to import the invention into the United States. Thus, if you want to bring a suit and collect damages for infringement of these rights, you will need to patent your invention.

File a provisional application for patent online. Get Started Now

Generating Interest

A patent may be necessary to generate interest in a new business. Patents show potential investors and employees that a business is serious. Moreover, obtaining a patent or portfolio of patents can help show viability and a certain degree of expertise.

Cross-Licensing

Cross-licensing refers to an agreement where one party grants its license(s) to another party in exchange for that party's license(s). Many companies build up their patent portfolio for the sole purpose of being able to settle infringement claims by cross-licensing. For example, if company A sues company B for patent infringement, company B can offer company A use of several inventions which it owns the rights to in exchange for company A's dropping the suit and allowing company B to use the invention that company B originally infringed upon.

Public Benefit

Patent protection is temporary. Utility and plant patents are granted for 20 years from the date you apply for the patent. Design patents expire14 years from the date you are granted the patent. Thus, the public is made aware of patents, which may include important technological advancements, which they will someday be able to use freely, in advance. This allows the general public to prepare accordingly. Moreover, innovation can be costly and time-consuming. Patents encourage innovation by allowing innovators to obtain the rights to their invention and potentially recoup their development expenses.

Additional Consideration

Provisional patents can be filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A provisional patent provides temporary protection (one year) while you gather the funds necessary to file for a regular patent or while you conduct research to determine whether your invention is worth patenting.

File a provisional application for patent online. Get Started Now
Reasons for a Patent

References

Resources

Related articles

What Are Patents?

Article I of the U.S. Constitution empowers the federal government to grant patents to “promote the progress of science and the useful arts.” A patent is a property right that enables an inventor to prevent others from using his invention for a limited time. In essence, it gives the inventor a monopoly and the exclusive rights to sell, use, or license the invention. To receive a patent, the inventor must publicly disclose how the invention works. By providing legal protection to new inventions, patents help encourage investments in research and development without fear that another will steal their hard work.

Is a Provisional Patent Made Public on Issuance of a Final Patent?

A provisional patent application is a simple, inexpensive way for an inventor to preserve her rights to an invention. It gives the inventor a one-year period to decide whether to proceed with filing a more complex and costly non-provisional application that can mature into an issued utility patent. In some instances, provisional patent applications are made public.

Appraising a Patent

The question of the appraisal or valuation of patents has excited a good deal of discussion in the business and financial worlds, for obvious practical reasons. Patent owners have to make a number of decisions and these decisions often turn on the value of the assets involved.

Start here. LegalZoom. Legal help is here. LLCs. Corporations. Patents. Attorney help.

Related articles

How Long Is a Patent Valid?

A patent is a governmental grant of a short-term monopoly to inventors. U.S. patent laws enable a patent holder to ...

What Happens When You Violate a Patent?

Patent rights are so important the founding fathers mentioned them in the U.S. Constitution. This respect for patent ...

What Is a Patent Used For?

If you have reinvented the wheel, built a better mousetrap or created some other innovative or useful object, you may ...

Principles of Patent Law

U.S. patent law is ultimately based on the federal constitution. In addition, many federal statutes and regulations ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED