You have a great idea for a new product and want to create the invention and send to market as soon as possible. You also don’t want your plans to be copied or stolen by competitors however so you need to protect yourself as early in the planning stage as possible.
A patent attorney will work with you from the initial stages of advice as to whether you actually require a patent and, if you do need one, they can handle every twist and turn of the application process. There’s nothing to stop you applying for a patent yourself obviously, but if you don’t have knowledge of the law and the documentation and evidence needed, you could end up in a lengthy maze of paperwork and perhaps not even be granted that all important protection.
Here then are the reasons you need a patent attorney by your side as you develop your world-changing invention.
Preparation and filing of an application
Patent attorneys have the experience and knowledge to ensure you apply for the patents which best fit your business. They will look after the application for you so everything required is included and nothing is overlooked. As well as undertaking this part of the process, they will also file applications which are commercially effective.
If you make the application yourself, you won’t know if your invention has the likelihood of being awarded one and you won’t have the legal knowledge to know what to include to stop competitors taking advantage of any loopholes you have inadvertently created. Patent attorneys can tell you if your invention application is so narrow it hasn’t been developed sufficiently or that it’s so broad that it could be disputed by other companies with similar goods already in existence.
Protection in other parts of the world
Having a patent granted doesn’t mean it protects the invention from being copied by those in other parts of the world. There are different patents required for different geographical regions and your patent attorney will ensure you have all applications in place to cover you and your idea wherever required. The best attorneys in the industry will also have legal knowledge which stretches beyond UK and Europe; vital for global product inventions.
Questions which must be considered and advice taken include:
- Is the patent only required in the country of manufacture?
- Should patents be applied for in all the countries where sales will take place?
- Should a European patent cover all member states or just a few select nations?
Should the worst happen and after you have been granted a patent your idea is copied, your patent attorney will be there to act as enforcement and defence. Having an attorney means that matters can often be cleared up quickly and in the most cost-effective manner. They regularly deal with these issues and have the knowledge of the law at their fingertips. Action taken could involve cease and desist letters or agreeable settlement figures.
Nobody wants to see their months or years of carefully organised ideas, plans, research and development work wasted because a competitor hears about your idea and runs with it first. Protect yourself with the help of the professionals rather than thinking you’ll save money by applying for a patent yourself; in the long run attorneys always have the extra knowledge needed and that kind of experience is priceless.