Think of the world’s most established companies from consumer goods manufacturers and distributors to tech firms. They all have one thing in common; they all keep a secret; a secret so powerful that if it got out it would lead to their downfall. Think about a company like Coca-Cola, how is it that the drinks taste the same all over the world? The recipe, right? They all have to be following the same recipe. But what if their competitors got a hold of that recipe? They’d simply duplicate the drinks, which would eat into Coca-Cola’s market share, and maybe eventually put them out of business.
Now closer home; look at your phone. As much as most phones offer similar services; you know, dialer, internet, camera etc, there are some small differences that make one phone more popular than the other in different circumstances. These differences are what the tech companies use to market the phones. But what if the competitors bought the phone, duplicated their innovation, and mass produced it? The original owner will be at a loss.
So, to avoid instances where competitors ride on other’s innovations and ideas, the patent law comes in handy. Patenting simply means that once you have your innovation registered, you are the exclusive owner and no one is allowed to duplicate and make an income off that innovation without your consent. But how do you patent your innovation?
Patent lawyers are trained in laws that relate to intellectual property: trademarks, patents, designs, copyrights, circuit layouts, trade practices, and pretty much any other confidential business information.
What Exactly Can A Patent Lawyer Do For You?
Once you hire the services of a qualified and experienced lawyer, they’ll do a lot more than just register your innovation. Here are a few services you can expect from your patent lawyer. You can also check out uutech.co.uk for more information.
Advice on how to register and maintain intellectual property
Help in transferring technology to other parties e.g. through licensing
Conduct litigation procedures
Conduct intellectual property audits of products and organizations
Determine if an idea is new and innovative enough to patent
Determine the nature of the innovations so as to prepare patent specifications
Register the innovation with the Patents Office
Advice clients on IP portfolio management and whether your innovation infringes on other innovators rights
In most cases, big firms usually have in-house lawyers to deal with everyday legal issues. However, not all lawyers are conversant with patent law. When it comes to patenting innovations, the firms go for the most qualified and experienced patent lawyer. This assures them that they’ll get the best advice on how to patent their innovation and their applications will be presented error free and on time.
Global firms usually license other firms in different countries to carry out local production. Only experienced patent lawyers can help clients negotiate through the murky waters of international patent laws while protecting the intellectual property.
There are various reasons why innovators patent their ideas. There are endless opportunities that come with patents, and it is important to protect your idea such that no one can steal it and make a fortune off your sweat. Here are a few reasons why big companies patent innovations.
Once a patent have been registered, the innovator has exclusive rights to it (and any income that may come of it). The registration helps limit the risk of someone obtaining and using it.
One of the ways that innovators make money off their idea is patenting it. Sometimes you can give permission to other companies outside your own to use the patent and generate revenue for your company. Sometimes these patents may include business processes that the main companies are not exploiting at the moment. Sometimes firms sell these innovations to other companies, especially if they wish to re-invent themselves and the patents do not represent the image and brand they want to portray.
Corporate valuations are heavily dependent on a company’s intellectual assets, among them the patents and trademarks. Today, a typical successful company’s capital assets account for around 15% of the firm’s total value, and the other 85% is accounted for by intellectual assets.
Patent Infringement Suits
Well documented company innovations can save a global firm from hefty patent infringement suits. This is because when applying for patent registration, the process involves a background check of all ideas. If there is an idea that is too similar to yours, the application is turned down. Now, if you already have a patent, it is important to keep the records safe as it may save you from a suit or restrict another company from freely practicing essential technology and business processes.
Every business, regardless of its size, should patent its innovations. If you are not certain of the procedure to follow, it is advisable to look for a patent attorney to help you through the process. 10 years down the line, when your company is a global sensation, you’ll be glad you protected your ideas.
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