Are you an inventor? Have you invented something, maybe a service or a product that you’re trying to bring to market? Do you perhaps have an idea for a revolutionary product or service?
If the answers to those questions is a resounding yes, you most definitely need a patent. Each year, the United Sates Patent and Trademark Office gets half a million patent applications a year and about 50% of those filed meet the necessary criteria to be successful patented.
If you’re wondering why it’s important to file a patent, know that there are many benefits to doing so:
- Protecting Your Work: If you’re an inventor, one of the worst things you can deal with is patent disputes, where others may try to take credit for all your hard work. A patent insures there are no patent disputes because you will properly receive credit for it. With no patent, anyone is free to file one and the last thing you want is for someone to swoop in with a patent for your idea. Be advised that patents typically have a 20-year term from the date the patent is filed. Within that 20-year term, maintenance fees are required to ensure that you keep your patent. Typically, a provisional patent application costs $65 through the USPTO and a non-provisional patent application runs about $400.
- More Money: If you’re absolutely certain that you’ve got a can’t-miss product that’s going to go like hotcakes when it’s brought to market, a patent will eliminate all potential patent disputes. Not only that, but it ensures nobody will be able to create, market or sell your can’t-miss product in the United States. By having the patent, you control the entire creation process of your product or service and therefore can set an appropriate price for it when it comes to market.
- Less Competition: Filing a patent or at the very least having a patent pending helps any investor to reduce competition among folks who may have a similar idea and are thinking about bringing it to market. Such a process is known as barrier to entry, which discourages competition from copyright infringement.
- Expansion: Simply put, when you have a patent you not only have proof of an idea, the blueprint for that idea and also the ability to expand the market for your product. As the holder of the patent, you can sell your wares in the region of the country to start and then gradually expand your outreach to other areas. Along with that, you can also license your product to franchisees and then receive royalties.
As you can see, there are many benefits to filing for a patent. But to gain all those benefits, it can require some careful planning and making sure everything is in order. This is where a patent lawyer can be of great use. You may have heard of lawyers assisting in bankruptcy filings, divorces and even as mediators, but they also deal with patents.
Patent lawyers can resolve patent disputes, but they can also help filers get all the required paperwork in order and can also help those who wish to expand their ideas and products. If there are litigation disputes, patent lawyers can help mediate them and help the parties in conflict reach an agreement.
By filing a patent, you’re securing your ideas for products and services and all that they encompass. By hiring a patent lawyer, you can take further steps to secure your hard work. Conduct codes require patent attorneys to keep information confidential and they can help you do all that is necessary to make sure your patent is yours and yours alone. Judge Ward, for example, conducted over 150 jury trials, presided over hundreds of patent cases, including Hatch-Waxman cases, and held in excess of 150 claim construction hearings.