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Apply for a patent or not?

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When choosing whether or not to apply for a patent, there are many matters that you have to take into account.

The choice whether or not to apply for a patent is a strategic one, as it determines the way in which your invention will develop further. It is not always easy to decide whether to apply for a patent or not. A list of factors that will help you to make the right decision.

Do apply for a patent if:

  • the benefits outweigh the costs;
  • your product has a long life cycle;
  • there is a large market with a lot of potential licensees;
  • you want to protect your market share;
  • an infringement of the patent can be easily demonstrated;
  • you can use a patent as part of negotiations;
  • your patent enhances your or your company‚Äôs image;
  • it is impossible to keep your invention secret;
  • it involves a key technology;
  • you require funding or wish to enhance the value of your company.

Do not apply for a patent if:

  • the costs outweigh the benefits;
  • your product has a short life cycle;
  • there is a small market with low margins;
  • there are numerous available alternatives;
  • it is not possible to prove that the patent has been infringed;
  • time is of the essence;
  • competitors have insufficient capital;
  • reverse engineering is difficult and it is possible to keep your invention secret;
  • there is a limited market and it is more costly and time-consuming to maintain the patent.