Patent Strategy – Should a Patent be filed?

Many companies and inventors are often focussed on “if” they can obtain a patent for an invention (i.e. is the invention patentable – at least novel etc.). However, perhaps are more pertinent question to ask is “should” a patent be filed (even if the patent is likely to be granted).

Below we have put together a “rule of thumb” list of factors to assist companies and inventors decide if they “should” file a patent. It is noted the list below assumes that the invention would likely be patentable.

[highlight dark=”no”]Factors that Indicate a Patent Should be Filed[/highlight]

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  • You are seeking investment or R&D Grants and wish to use the patent application to leverage investment or Grants
  • Your invention improves or replaces an existing technology that already sells well
  • The invention may be easily copied by reverse engineering
  • The invention has the potential to generate revenue of greater than $25,000 to $100,000 over the first 5 to 10 years in the market;
  • The invention is an improvement on a competitors product and the patent may disrupt your competitor
  • The invention is an improvement on your own product and will assist to “ever-green” your product
  • The invention will be of interest to an already active company in the market and that company would likely be interested in licensing or buying your patent and/or invention
  • You are thinking of selling your company and a patent will add value to the company

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[highlight dark=”no”]Factors that Indicate a Patent Should Not be Filed[/highlight]

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  • The invention has a very short market life span (for example 1 to 2 years or less)
  • The invention is expected to only sell in small quantities and, for example, generate less that $10,000 over the first 5 years in the market place
  • The invention can be protected as a “trade secret” (treat this with caution)
  • Your invention does not really offer any advantage over existing products in the market place
  • You have insufficient funds for a professionally prepared patent (we recommend to not disclose your invention until you have the funds for a professional patent attorney to prepare and file your patent application)

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[highlight dark=”no”]Patent Strategy[/highlight]

We hope the factors above are of assistance and, of course, if you would like to help you decide whether or not you “should” or “can” file a patent – then please get in touch to arrange a patent strategy session.


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