Patents help inventors and start-up firms to safeguard their ideas from being copied or stolen by competitors. They also help small start-up firms to find credibility in the market and attract potential investors. Patent grants exclusive legal monopoly for the inventors of products to financially benefit from manufacturing, selling, marketing and exporting the idea. However, the process of obtaining a patent is extremely long drawn and cumbersome. It involves a lot of investment and takes years to complete the process.
Inventors must weigh the pros and cons of obtaining a patent and decide whether to apply for a patent or not. They should take expert help on How to patent an idea, what type of patent is suitable for the invention and how to benefit from the patent.
Advantages of getting a patent
Cuts off competition
Patent provides exclusive rights over the manufacture, use and sale of the invention to the inventor. This helps the inventor to protect his idea from being copied or stolen. The patented products will not have competitors for a fixed period of time. The inventor can garner majority of the market share for the product during the patent period.
Patent holders can charge premium prices for their products because of the absence of competitors. Since there is no other competitor selling similar products, customers will be willing to pay premium prices. The patent holder can also license his idea to other companies under a licensing agreement or sell the patent outright in return for money.
Disadvantages of patenting
Small businesses find it very expensive to apply for a patent. The inventor has to pay many fees such as the patent filing fee, patent issue fees, maintenance fee to the patent office. Add to this, the cost of hiring an attorney and the cost of a patent search professional, the total cost becomes burdensome. Inventors have to decide whether their idea or product is financially viable before making such huge investment.
Lot of paperwork
The process of filing a patent application involves a lot of paperwork. There are many rules, laws and statutes to follow. New entrepreneurs and inventors have no idea about How to patent an idea and often end up wasting a lot of time and resources on getting their idea patented instead of concentrating on the other important tasks of the business.