Three Reasons Your Product Needs to be Protected by a Patent

Legally defined, a patent is a ‘negative right’. When the U.S. government grants a patent, it endows the holder with the exclusive right to prevent others from reproducing, using, or selling their invention. It’s a type of protection that allows inventors to place their product or idea in the market with a certain degree of assurance that someone else won’t try to steal it or pass it off as their own.

There are three basic patent types:

  • Utility: granted to those who invent or discover any new and useful process, machine, manufactured article, or composition of matter
  • Design: granted to those who invent a new and ornamental design for a manufactured article
  • Plant: available to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any new plant variety

Although patents can be expensive – the average utility patent costs between $5,000 and $10,000 to prepare- and the process can take a lot of time and resources to execute properly, patenting your product may be the best investment you ever make. Here are three specific reasons for obtaining one to protect your product.

  1. Protection against intellectual property theft: It’s nearly impossible to take an idea to market without dealing with parties outside of your company. Concepts need to be shared with investors and manufacturing partners in order to commercialize them. Filing for a provisional patent can give you legal protection against the unauthorized use of your idea.
  2. Improved market position: Developing a patent portfolio for your intellectual property limits the ability of other companies to compete with you, improving your market position and potentially increasing your company’s return on investment (ROI).
  3. Your company’s ability to do business is protected: If you don’t patent your product, someone else eventually will, and that means increased competition and, very likely, loss of your own right to compete. All of the time and money you invested in your business could be lost without proper legal protection.

If your product or idea is new and original, patent it if at all possible. Even if you never fully commercialize your concept, others may supply the resources to do so, and you can make money licensing the patent. If you’d like to discuss this subject further, please contact me today!

Integrated General Counsel