When an entrepreneur or inventor develops a new product or invention, generally their first thoughts turn to patent protection. They want to know what it will take to secure a patent that will protect their invention and ultimately prevent others from stealing or misappropriating their work.
When we talk to clients on their initial kick-off call, the first thing we try to determine is whether the product or invention in question is in fact patentable. Obviously, every inventor and entrepreneur creates something hoping and thinking that their idea is original, but often it has already been disclosed or patented by someone else.
The first step when a client decides to proceed with the patent process, in order to attempt to avoid any surprises, we generally start with a Prior Art Search and Assessment. This helps us determine if the product is truly unique, novel, or even eligible for patent protection. Assuming we don’t find any prior art or evidence that someone else has already come up with the proposed idea, we then help our clients honestly evaluate whether their specific situations warrants a patent, or if they would be better served launching their product and moving forward with their business.
Just Because You Can Get a Patent, Doesn’t Mean You Should
Consider this: after going through the mechanics of your invention with your patent attorney and looking at similar inventions and prior art, your attorney discovers that there’s a fairly simple way for the layperson, general consumer, or competitive manufacturer to work around your invention or product, and as such, any patent that you get on the product would be weak and ineffective at best. This doesn’t mean that the product itself is useless or wouldn’t have a demand in the marketplace; it just means that spending thousands of dollars and 2-5 years of time to go through the patent approval process wouldn’t make much sense. In this situation the smarter decision may be for the entrepreneur or business owner to bring the product to market and get a jump on sales while the opportunity is there.
The Bottom Line: Not All Patents are of Equal Value
Any qualified intellectual property attorney will tell you that not all patents are the same. Yes, you can spend your hard-earned money on patent attorney fees and official costs working to secure a patent on your invention. And sometimes we do encounter people who want a patent simply to say that they are the creator of a patent-protected product. But, if you’re not concerned about that and you truly want to know whether it’s a wise business decision to seek out a patent for the invention you’ve come up with, be sure to work with an attorney who will provide you with an honest assessment of your chances for success.
Here at the Law Office of Jason R. Rosenblum, PLLC we care about your business and your hard-earned resources as if they were our own. We want you to help you make wise intellectual property decisions that you can feel good about and that are truly beneficial to your bottom line. If you have questions about a product or invention that you are thinking about patenting, we invite you to contact us at 888-666-0062 to schedule a consultation so that we can assist you in evaluating your options.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.