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’s 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.