Patents are a form of intellectual property that gives the owners legal right to exclude others from making, using, selling and importing an invention for a limited period of years in exchange for publishing an enabling public disclosure of the invention.
Patents must be novels, useful and not obvious, the description is a detailed description of the invention and the related other products, concepts or inventions. The drawings should show the main components of the invention.
Pros of Patents
- It can prove as a valuable asset
When a small business is looking for investors or business partners, it can prove to be a valuable asset. It may even increase the value of the company and its bargaining power.
- Not easy to copy
A business person can invest by putting more funds in the production of a certain product as it is not easy for any other person to copy it without infringing on the rights of the owner.
- The rights can be sold or licensed to a third party
This may allow the company to expand to other regions or markets. The creator also can charge more because he is the creator of the product.
- Easy to promote discovery
The patent can easily promote a discovery as it allows investors hence improving on the production of the product.
- It cannot be manufactured, reproduced or sold without permission of its creator
This makes it be secure in that the other companies may not produce similar goods hence reducing competition in the market.
- The inventor has control over the property
Once a patent has been invented, it is considered the inventor’s intellectual ability hence has the authority to control it as personal property.
- The inventor gets protection
The inventor is protected in that others cannot copy the idea hence reduction of competition in the market.
Cons of Patents
- One can use the invention once it has expired
The patent normally has a period of between fourteen to twenty years hence another person may use the invention after that period is over.
- Some countries make the inventor put the patent on commercial use
Some countries have it as a rule that the investor has to put the invention for commercial use hence making others benefit from the invention freely.
- Easy to replicate the product
If a company has resources that can easily replicate the product and make more competitive in the market than the one that invented the product hence lagging as the other company benefits yet the original idea was copied.
- Costly to defend your patent once infringed
When someone copies your patent it becomes very difficult for the owner to defend it and also time-consuming for justice to be done.
- Expensive to get a patent
Some costs need to be met for the patent to be recognized and it generates little revenue hence it is costly to get a patent.
- The inventor has to disclose the information
The inventor has to disclose the information in the letter of application. This information is free for anyone to view it hence it can easily be copied by other people.
- It is only exclusive in the region filed
The patent only operates in the region where it is filled and this may limit it to move to other areas hence restricting the business in one area.
- It takes longer to receive a patent
The application of a patent takes a long time for the applicant to receive permission to operate hence this discourages many people to invest in it.
- High maintenance cost
The patent has a high cost to maintain it hence this discourages many people as it is not easy to get profit from the patent.
Patents are useful tools for inventors who wish to control how their invention is made and how it is progressing. However, it is only good for those with limited resources.