Reasons Why Your Business Might Need Patent Protection

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It’s possible to be in a grocery store, and observe that rival products are often called similar names and are packaged almost identically to the originals. When a business startup occurs it can be in a vulnerable place to other companies. Precious new innovations can be stolen or mimicked by them. They could make a fortune at your expense, while your company never takes off. 


Fortunately, there are steps that businesses can take to protect themselves in the marketplace. If they are involved in research and development, for example, they can take out patent protection. We will now discuss what that actually is, and what are the benefits for businesses. 

It Provides Exclusive Rights

Patent requests are made to the government. If the application is successful, a company’s invention can become protected from others for a specific number of years. In many cases, twenty years is the maximum amount of time. A patent can be secured for exclusive use in one or more countries. 


Other parties will be legally forbidden to copy the product or manufacture it. They will not be able to sell or import it. No one else will be able to use it without permission, and such permission is normally granted by license only. 


Due to the complexity of the legal side, patent attorneys are frequently involved in the legal process. The professionals at say people frequently search online for global protection for their intellectual property and may desire an initial legal opinion. They may want their patents monitored, and any violators to be prosecuted. Businesses also seek an understanding of the legal side of such infringements. 


Rivals Are Held At Bay

Unscrupulous business people would love to ride the wave of your bright idea. If they enter your slipstream they may be able to cash in on it. Fortunately, patents can stop larger rivals from muscling in and stealing your products. They will find it hard to ‘chase you out of town’ with their own similar brands. 


Once someone has obtained a patent they won’t be able to rest on their laurels, however – they will need to police their product. Any company that plans to infringe your patent will need to be aware of the legal consequences. They could be taken to court. It would be expensive for you to protect your product in this way, but hopefully, the patent would serve as a deterrent in the first place. 


Patents Can Help Attract Investment

Small businesses may be put off seeking a patent because of the expenses incurred. It’s not a cheap process because the product will be thoroughly researched before any patent is agreed upon. Checks will be made to ensure that what this business is producing is totally unique. 


Any product that receives a patent will be deemed a quality item that is worth investing in by others. If the government has backed the patent, other interested parties will be likely to trust in its unique value. A study in 2008 confirmed that 67% of startup businesses said they believed that obtaining a patent was essential for attracting financial investment. 


You Can Gain The Competitive Edge

Once a company has registered a domestic or international patent, it will have the freedom to operate on the market. It will be in a good place to increase its market share. 


It is a confirmed fact that startup companies with patents have greater long term business success than those that don’t. Historically, some startups have become massive this way. Example companies would include Zynga, Square, GoPro, and Dropbox. 


Money Can Be Gained Through Licensing

Both products and processes can be patented. Once they are protected it is possible to gain an income through licensing your technology to others. If large companies become interested, financial gains could be very exciting. 


It would also be possible for companies to sell their patented products. 


Miscellaneous Points

Patents have additional benefits. They sometimes aid joint ventures and partnerships. They also make the acquisition of start-up companies by bigger businesses more likely. 


It’s important to understand that the patent process removes the privacy of some products and processes. This is because the details get entered in some public-access documents. People have to pay for the patent application whether they are successful or not, and if one is granted they will have to pay an annual fee to keep it in force. 


The application process can take from three to four years to be completed. The markets and technology itself move at an amazing rate, but if this product or process stands the test of time it will be a wise choice for a business to protect its valuable intellectual property in this way.


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Mike Miller

Mike Miller is a partner in B2BNN.