To Patent Or Not To Patent

Inventors Digest:

Every inventor must realize that once an invention is used publicly or an attempt is made to sell it, a patent for said invention must be filed within one year or the rights will be lost.

This is good news because it gives inventors a year to test market an invention before spending money on a patent.

However, it also opens the door to disputing with regard to who was the first to invent.

Having a successful invention most definitely means that you will have to deal with imitators.

In this case you will have to spend time and money proving you invented first, and without excellent records, proving this may be impossible.

The one year limitation also shows how patents are perishable. There is a point in a patent’s lifetime when it is the most valuable, and a point where it becomes worthless.

Those knowledgeable in business take advantage of the patent’s lifetime.

One must consider whether it makes better business sense to fund a patent or spend money building market share.

After all, branding provides a much stronger competitive advantage than a patent does.

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Photo by USPTO.

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