How Patenting Can Bring Success? The earliest origins of patents are ancient and uncertain, but some countries have a long history of patenting in which we see the development of modern principles. Britain has a significant trait of patenting right back since the 15th century. Back in America, the Patent Act of 1836 created US Patent Office (now the USPTO). Let us have a look at the development of the India Patent System which is described in a tabular form below.
|1856||ACT VI OF 1856 on protection of inventions based on the British Patent Law of 1852|
|1872||Patents and Design Protection Act|
|1883||Protection of Inventions Act|
|1888||Inventions & Designs Act|
|1911||The Indian Patents & Designs Act|
|1972||The Patents Act (Act 39 Of 1970) came into force on 20th April 1972|
|1999||Patents (Amendment) Act, (1999) came into force from 01-01-1995|
|2002||Patents (Amendment) Act 2002 Came Into Force From 20th May 2003|
|2005||Patents (Amendment) Act 2005 effective from Ist January 2005|
Patenting system and method has changed considerably over time but the primary usage of patent remains the same that is serving as a weapon of defense. A novel patent can effectively help a company in securing their IP assets and portfolio.
Rights Granted to a Patentee or Company
The patent rules and rights are different for various countries and accordingly, the validity period of a patent is also different. For a company, the employee who invents the product is the Inventor and the Inventor assigns the rights to the company. Generally, a time frame of 20 years is given to the patentee to make exclusive usage of the patent. The 20 years time period enables a patentee with the following rights:
- Enjoy monopoly rights on invention
- Stop others from making, using, selling, importing, offering for sale or distributing the patented invention without the patentee’s permission
- Monetize the patent by selling or licensing
In scenarios, where a third company tries to infringe a patent the patentee or the company having the patent rights can sue them. The patentee company can also grant license to willing competitors who wish to use the patented product or process. In return they need to pay a royalty amount to the patentee or issuing company. It must be kept in mind that during this period of 20 years (or the time till which the patent is valid) the R&D team of the patentee can further modify the patent.
Things to keep in mind while Patenting
Not all inventions can be patented as some are not patent worthy. Also, patenting is an expensive procedure. It is to be understood that patent protection is not international. Patent protection depends on countries and jurisdictions for countries differ. Accordingly, the risk factors also change and the applicant should be aware of the risks that are involved. Before applying for patent, the applicant should have a clear knowledge that they are not infringing into other’s IP rights. Infringement, though unintentional can cause serious damages and legal hazards. So each and every company opting for a patent protection should have a patenting strategy in hand.
How to tackle the high-priced procedure?
The very first thought of cost to bear for patenting dissuades an inventor or companies from patenting an idea or invention. In the western countries like US or in many other countries rates of IP firms are quite high for these processes. Indian IP firms provide an easy, cost effective yet high quality and full proof IP solutions.
Before applying for patent, the company should find out the accurate country where patent protection if sorted will be helpful in future. It will be wise to seek patent protection for products or services in those jurisdictions.
When should one patent his Invention or product?
It will be worth patenting if and only if a product generates quite significant amount of profit. It should be enough to earn royalty and generate revenues for a company by licensing it to others. Only then spending penny for patenting a product would be cost worthy. Not all inventions are strong enough to be patented thus a careful investigation must be executed prior to applying for patent protection. Post Patent protection grant the patentee can license it, mortgage it or market the patent by their own.
In which countries should a patent be obtained?
Patent protection is territory bound. Hence if someone thinks that by applying for patent in a single country would gain them protection worldwide, it would be a misconception. There is no such thing called World Patent. The only way of protecting patents on an international basis is to file a patent in each country separately. While applying for patent on a global basis only those countries should be selected where the company would be performing their business. Applicants willing to opt for global patent protection can file the application through the PCT (Patent Co-operation Treaty) route. The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international patent law treaty, concluded in 1970. It provides a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect inventions in each of its contracting states. A patent application filed under the PCT is called an international application, or PCT application (Wikipedia). It gives extra time to the applicant in deciding in which countries he wants to file a national patent application.
Not to infringe into other’s IP rights-not even unintentional
Well! We are humans and may make mistakes. But making a mistake by infringing into other’s IP assets would cost you the earth. Thus it is highly recommended to conduct an extensive patent search before filing for patent application in order to make sure that no similar product using the same technology exists.
However, there are companies that make money on patent-infringement lawsuits and are referred to as Patent Trolls. These are companies who develop patent inventions but keep them unutilized. If another company makes similar product and starts making profit from them then these companies would sue them for patent infringement and would demand royalties in return. So its better to be aware.
How Can Patenting and Success go hand in hand?
Patenting and gaining success is almost directly proportional. The following points give a detailed insight into it.
- IP Valuation
IP valuation is a process to determine the monetary value of subject IP. The corporate strategy includes the management and protection of IP assets. The first and foremost step in the strategy is the correct valuation of a company’s IP. Companies perform IP valuation of their assets and segregate the IP assets into three categories such as:
- extremely valuable patents means patents that re worth defending
- moderately valuable patents or patents that are not used or planned to be used but can be valuable to others
- Patents that are not likely to be used and not are of no or less value
- Patents and Investments
Patents would eventually draw investment to a company. Any investor before investing in a company would genuinely make sure whether he would gain some returns from the investment done. Patents are an assurance to those investors. It increases the credibility of a company in the economy. All the questions that can arise in the mind of an investor can be answered with the help of a patent portfolio. The patent portfolio would contain an extensive patent search report of similar products to prove the hold against the currently available or patented products.
- Patents and Licenses
A patentee can license his patent to third parties in order to earn lucrative revenues. Licenses can be exclusive- where there is a sole licensee who can make use of the patent- or non-exclusive- where there are several licensees who can exploit the patent. Licenses can also be used a defense method to obtain royalties in cases where there is an infringement of a patent.
To make patenting a boon, a proper patent filing strategy and IP management strategy should be tailored to meet the needs of the company. With proper execution of these strategies any company can reach their pinnacle of success.
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