A patent is a government document that gives the holder the license and authority to use or distribute an invention. For a certain period of time, as mentioned in the document, the invention cannot be commercially distributed by any other body without the patent holder’s consent.
Before applying for a patent application, it is better to have basic knowledge about patents and their benefits.
Different types of patents
Different inventions have different patent applications. Knowing these different kinds of patents will help secure the appropriate rights and the required protection for the invention.
- Design: This is filed when one wants to protect the shape or design of their invention. The document is filled with images and pictures that clearly explain the design of the useful invention.
- Utility: This is what comes to mind when one describes a patent. It is a document that contains the functionality and process of the new machine or invention. It contains the detail that teaches the crowd how to use the invention.
- Plant: It protects any new plant produced using any nonsexual method such as cutting method, etc. The focus of this patent is mostly confined to plain horticulture. Genetically modified organisms do not fall under this patent.
- Provisional: It helps get an extra year to decide if one wants to file for the utility patent and how to file for it. It is a document that proves that the holder has made an invention and is halfway through figuring out how it works. This patent sets a timer, and the holder will need to file for the utility patent within this one year or lose the filing date.
Advantage and disadvantages of filing a patent
If one is doubtful of whether they want to apply for a patent, then these advantages and disadvantages will help make the decision.
- The most beneficial part is that the document legally ceases the invention’s use by any other person. Without the patent holder’s consent, no one can commercially manufacture, use or sell the invention.
- Have the liberty to use the invention for personal use.
- Helps with creating a market without the fear of having competitors.
- Can act as a source of revenue, if the holder decides to sell the patent to another party. The holder can also get the patent licensed, allowing others to use it. Many companies use this as their mainstream revenue generator.
- Getting a patent is a long process, it is possible that within that time, the use of the invention falls or some other technology may get introduced, which overtakes the invention.
- An annual fees need to be paid timely to keep the patent active and avoid lapsing it.
- The overall cost of getting a patent can turn out to be quite high. Thus, one will need to make sure that the later profits outweigh the initial patent cost.
- When applying for a patent, certain information about the invention gets public, creating a possibility that competitors may increase.