Before you file for an international patent, you should decide which geographical region you want the patent to cover. Different areas like the European Union have their own process for applying for an international patent.
When deciding which countries you want the patent to cover, you should think about where your invention will be most marketable. Doing the research of potential markets in different countries is essential, and you can do this yourself or get the help of a market research firm.
You should then research the process steps, timing and fees required by each of these countries. This research can be done in online law libraries where you can find a lot of information on the patent regulations of other countries.
The first step in the process for inventors in the United States is to apply with the US Patent Office for a foreign license, which is required by federal law. You should be sure to keep your invention under wraps until your application has been accepted by the international community, or you may be denied the patent request.
There are two alternatives available to file for an international patent. You can choose to file separate applications in the countries you are seeking coverage, or you can file a single application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) or the European Patent Convention. When you file under the European Patent Convention, you can designate the specific member countries you are targeting.
When the application is accepted, you will receive a national patent from each of the countries listed on the application. This option makes sense for those inventors who are filing in at least 3 or 4 different countries.
The PCT process begins with an international application filing and an International Search Report, and ends with a number of national/regional patents being granted. The international application and search report can be published as soon as 18 months from the priority date.
There are many good reasons to patent an idea, and doing so will make your idea more valuable in the market. For example, if you want to license your product to a manufacturing company a patent will likely be required.
The patent protects your idea, and prevents the manufacturing company from producing the product on their own, and therefore they are induced to pay you ongoing licensing fees.
In the US, the government issues patents that allow individuals to stop other people from selling, producing or utilizing the idea which is covered by the patent within the borders of the United States. It also prevents anyone from importing a product into the US which violates the patent.
Patents for other countries and regions of the world must be applied for and granted by the respective patent granting body within the particular area.
There are several requirements that must be met in order for an idea to be eligible for a patent.
The main standard is that an invention must have unique characteristics that distinguish it from other products on the market and it must not be of an obvious nature. Specifically, you can’t obtain a patent on a supposition, a law of nature, or on printed material.
In order to successfully patent an idea, there are several steps that must be followed. The first step is to conduct a patent search on the idea. This search can be conducted via the US PTO and via other online patent databases.
You are searching for prior art, but if you find that your idea has already been patented you shouldn’t be immediately discouraged. This can indicate that there is already a market for your product which you could capitalize on by making an improved version that is significantly different from the prior art.
Following a preliminary search, it is wise to hire professional searchers to conduct a more in depth search as well.
One of the primary goals of most inventors is to make money from their idea. The process of developing profitable invention ideas can begin with a simple and informal survey.
You can ask everyone you know about what problems they have that need solutions and what type of invention would be useful in solving these problems.
Using this list of problems and possible solutions, you can then decide which of the problems are reasonable for you to work on. To figure this out, you can try listing the pros and cons of each choice, and try to predict the best solutions to each problem.
You can then make a choice of one or two problems to work on which would give the best chance of developing an innovative solution. The next step in the process is to develop what’s known as an inventor’s journal or log, which is a place to record your work and ideas.
There are many options for inventors who want to monetize an invention idea they have developed. Those who can sell their product with the help of an invention marketing company are likely to make lots of money. Each year, these type of companies spotlight new products which often end up being big hits.
You can submit your idea to an invention marketer online, and if they think it’s good enough you can get invited to meet with them at one of their local offices.
At the meeting, inventors are able to give a pitch for their product, encouraging the invention marketing company to help them sell their product idea. Royalties earned differ based on the type of patents on the invention and other factors.
While under the agreement with an invention marketing company, inventors largely keep the rights to the idea, while the marketer may either receive a flat fee or a percentage of the royalties.
I have an invention, now what? This is the question that is regularly voiced by new inventors. Well, the answer is undoubtedly to file a patent application at the appropriate governmental offices so that the invention may be protected by the umbrella of the patent laws in the nation.
In United States of America, the US patent office is a one-stop-shop for all queries and procedures pertaining to the acquiring of a patent. Intellectual property rights and patent protection are commercial ways of encouraging inventions and promoting research in various vital fields.
With laws in place that acknowledge the work of an inventor and reward him for his efforts, development is kept from stagnating. Patents are issued to inventions that are irrefutable unique and possess the potential to have an impact on the market. As organizations issuing patents strive to ensure that the products that patents are being sought for are not creatively revamped versions of existing products, patented products attract high bidding prices, thereby benefitting the inventor.
Caution must be exercised to ensure that a product seeking patent protection does not infringe the laws protecting an existing patented product. Also, the inventor or the legal representative of the inventor, must ensure that the product is no longer vulnerable to trade sharks seeking to rip off the invention to derive the benefits of its market value.
Once some form of legal protection is obtained, an inventor can then proceed to market their invention to manufacturers. If an inventor finds a manufacturer who expresses interest in their idea, a licensing or purchase agreement must be negotiated in order to actually begin selling the invention.
If you enter into a licensing agreement with a manufacturer, you will receive royalties, or a portion of each sale when a retail outlet sells your product to a consumer.
The phenomenon of “patent trolls” has frustrated several large technology companies in recent years, particularly Apple and Google. Patent trolls can use invalid patents and bargaining chips, because once the US Patents and Trademark Office grants a patent, it takes a high standard of evidence to overturn its validity. That often results in a long and involved legal case, and some defendants end up deciding it’s easier to settle the case for a payment than to fight it in court. Considering the statistics that 97% of all patent infringement suits get settled pre-trial, it’s easy to see why patent trolls are willing to take their chances with reckless suits.
Surprisingly, this is not a new practice that’s limited to the modern tech world. Patent trolling dates back to 1895, when George Selden was granted a US patent for using a gas engine on a chassis to construct a car. It can be argued that this idea was obvious and so the patent should have been denied, but instead Selden threatened the early carmakers with suits and collected huge sums in royalties.
It’s amazing how little things have changed since this earliest patent trolling case. As was the case with Selden, patent trolls today contribute nothing meaningful to the development of a given technology and in fact stifle its growth by raising the costs to legitimate developers. When Selden threatened to sue the early auto manufacturers, almost all of them signed up for licensing agreements except for one significant holdout, Henry Ford, who decided to fight the case in court.
That lawsuit was not resolved for the next eight years, as an industry group who bought the Selden patent did their best to turn public opinion against Ford as the suit dragged on. The initial trial decision went against Ford, but he appealed it and the Selden patent was finally invalidated just one year before its expiration.
Google’s Android OS has been the target of numerous patent infringement lawsuits from other big names like Apple that see it as a threat. These lawsuits have often targeted Google partners like HTC who chose to go with Android for their devices.
Google continues to argue that these cases stifle competition, but it is doing more than just vocally protesting the attacks. Google is assembling an all star defense team of legal experts in an attempt to ensure that Android’s distribution is not harmed by the many cases lined up against them. The ultimate threat is that some of these cases, if decided against Google, could put an end to Android licensing. With the stakes being so high, it’s no surprise that Google’s website is currently listing openings for six patent related legal positions.
Google is currently hiring a patent agent, counsel, docketing clerk, paralegal, litigation counsel, and strategic patent licensing and acquisitions manager. The principal job of this last position is to evaluate potential opportunities for patent purchase or licensing, and also to negotiate deals that will add more patents to the Google portfolio. This is an important job when you consider that Google recently lost its bid for the 6,000 patents on wireless and mobile technologies in Nortel’s portfolio.
Google has less than 1,000 patents to its name, which sounds like a lot but is much less than the 3,000 plus patents granted to rival Microsoft in the last year alone. Google’s lack of a large patent portfolio is part of what makes it so vulnerable to lawsuits from other firms like Oracle, which sued Google last fall targeting its Android OS. Oracle is seeking a monetary award that amounts to billions of dollars, which could be highly damaging for Google particularly if Oracle wins the patent suit.
We try to help individual inventors realize their dreams by staying informed and educated on the invention development field. As such we have written several posts and articles on how get a patent on your idea and how to sell an invention.
You can find this free information and other related topics listed on our invention and patent articles page. We are always adding new content, so check back often for new articles! If there is a particular issue you would like more information on, feel free to leave a comment or let us know on the forums and we will get our writers on it!
A patent reform bill designed to fix the “broken” federal patent review system was sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith of Texas. The bill, known as the America Invents Act, passed the US House last week.
One key aspect of the bill will help to reduce a huge patent backlog of 1.2 million pending applications, and shorten the average wait time for patent approval to less than the current three years. It would also set up a post-approval system to review recent patent awards and help to weed out poor quality patents that may have slipped through the process. Importantly, it will also create a “first inventor to file” standard for patent approval which may help to reduce patent disputes in the future. Smith calls his bill a “job creation bill” that will spur innovation and economic growth.
Chairman Smith praised the passage of the patent reform bill, claiming that the victory will update the patent system for the 21st century and reduce frivolous litigation while speeding up the approval process. He noted that unwarranted lawsuits cost on average $5 million to defend, and this risk can discourage or prevent legitimate inventors and companies from going into business with a good idea.
According to a recent report, China will pass the US for the first time as the world’s largest patent publisher. This provided even more incentive for US lawmakers to remove barriers to innovation that exist in the current system. Smith said that the bill represents a fair compromise between existing patent law and new incentives to spur creativity, which is why the balanced approach gained support from both sides of the aisle.
If you have patent protection on your new invention idea, then it is time to start marketing! The key to any good marketing campaign is to get as much exposure as you can for your new product.
A great way to expose your product to the masses is a press release. A press release is a short, objective overview of your product and what it does. The objective of a press release is to give an unbiased informative description without any marketing hype. This information can then be discussed and publicized by news sources and publications (including blogs) which can add their opinions while spreading the word of your invention.
This exposure makes people aware of your invention and gets attention of manufacturers and distributors looking for new products to sell.
There are many great, free outlets for releasing press releases including Invents.com! You can publish your release at multiple sites and even send them to print publications for circulation. Sending the release to many quality publishers will make sure everyone hears about your new product and how it can help them. To post a press release on Invents.com Just visit our Press Release page to start writing new releases today.
In addition to press releases, you should also have promotional material for your patented invention. This includes brochures, videos, and webpages. These materials will create “hype” for your new product and are meant to entice others to invest in or buy your product.
It is important to highlight the major features of your product and focus attention on what makes your idea unique. Too much information can be overwhelming and can sometimes turn a client off. Give just enough information to draw excitement (and a phone call!).
Their are many websites that offer free hosting for personal use, however most assign you a long url that is not personalized and is difficult to remember. Invents.com recognized that their were no good solutions for the inventor community, and has thus create the invention listings page.
With a free registration from Invents.com, inventors can create and edit their own product pages. Each product is given a short and simple web address – easily shared with clients and investors. Read more at Post Your Invention Online.
David Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a statement commending our nation’s leaders on their work on the pending America Invents legislation.
The America Invents Act has passed the senate and is now under House review.
The bill’s purpose is to stimulate innovation among independent inventors and small businesses.
Although the bill has many critics, it is believed that the new changes will help smaller entities compete in a global marketplace. Highlights of the bill include faster issuance, stronger patents, and increased administrative and legislative power for the USPTO.
“I want to congratulate Judiciary Chairman Smith, Subcommittee Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Watt as well as the House Leadership for their stewardship in ushering the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act onto the floor for consideration before the full House. Enactment of bi-partisan patent reform legislation would be a major step forward in transforming our patent system and improving the Nation’s competitiveness and promoting economic growth. As the Statement of Administration Policy issued today indicates, the USPTO will need full access to all of its fees in order to carry out the mandates of this legislation effectively and perform its core mission to support America’s inventors. I look forward to continuing to work with Congress on this important matter as the bill moves toward final passage.” – David Kappos