Does your business have a website, a brochure, a video? Or do you advertise in newspapers or on TV? Almost all small businesses are involved in creation, circulation, retailing or distribution of some kind of creative work. This creative work becomes your intellectual property and it is important to understand it and the ways you can handle it.
What Is Your Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property right is the general term for the assignment of property rights through patents, copyrights and trademarks. These property rights allow holding a monopoly of the use of the item for a specific period of time. The reason for intellectual property is to encourage innovation without fear that a competitor will steal the idea or take credit for it.
Ways To Protect Your Intellectual Property
The main intellectual property rights are trademarks and brands, copyright, design rights, confidential information and patents.
- A trademark is a badge of origin of goods or services and is usually a name or a logo.
- Copyright is a particularly broad right and covers graphical elements of a brand, copy in websites and materials, layouts and user interfaces as well as software code and some databases.
- Design rights protect aesthetic and visual qualities for shapes and 3D designs which are not covered by copyright.
- A patent protects an invention with a practical application, which is new.
- A lot of businesses are often seeking to protect is not covered by any of the rights above, but is instead a concept, idea or knowhow. The only way to protect such information is through the law of confidentiality, often by using a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
What Is A Patent?
A patent is a form of intellectual property. A patent gives its owner the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, and importing an invention for a limited period of time, usually twenty years. The patent rights are granted in exchange for an enabling public disclosure of the invention. When patent protection is granted the invention becomes the property of the inventor, which like any other form of property or business asset can be bought, sold, rented or hired.
How To Decide Whether Your Product Or Idea Is Patentable?
The first step in getting your patent is to decide if it’s patentable. While deciding whether your product or idea is patentable, you must check the NIU factor (the novelty, inventiveness, utility factor). That is:
- Novelty: The idea/product is new and never been done before.
- Inventiveness: There is actual creativity involved and the idea/product is solving something.
- Utility: The idea/product is useful for the industry.
Apart from the non-patentable inventions, the invention has to satisfy the patentability requirements such as novelty, non-obvious and industrial application. Patentability opinions can be obtained from a person those who specialize in obtaining and enforcing patents for inventors. Get signed in a non-disclosure agreement with that person, before disclosing the invention for performing the Patent search to know the patent ability of invention. The patentability report and opinion helps you decide whether to go ahead with the patent or not, chances are what you thought as novel, might already be patented or know to the public in some form of information. Hence this reports saves lots of time, efforts and cost of the inventor by helping him decide whether to go ahead with the patent filing process or not. If your idea fits within these parameters then you can proceed to get the patent.
How To Perform A Patent Search?
Filing a patent is an expensive process. Besides the official fees, the fees of the patent attorney or agent also need to be considered. Imagine spending money on trying to get a patent, only to find out that your invention was never patentable! A patent search avoids this situation.he a number of patents being filed are increasing every year. For instance, in 2014-2015, around 42,723 patent applications were filed in India. Whereas, in 2004-2005, 17,446 applications were filed. This means that there was a leap of 250% in the past ten years. Conducting a patent search is indispensable before filing a patent application. A patent search is done through carefully checking the components of the patent and checking if the invention is already patented. There is a Google patent portal that can help.
How To File For Patent Registration?
Write down the invention (idea or concept) with as many details as possible. Ideally, if you have worked on the invention during the research and development phase you should have something call lab record duly signed with a date by you and respective authority. After filing the provisional application, you secure the filing date which is very crucial in the patent world. You get 12 months of time to come up with the complete specification, upon expiry of 12 months your patent application will be abandoned.When you complete the required documents and your research work is at the level where you can have prototype and experimental results to prove your inventive step you can file complete specification with a patent application. Upon filing the complete specification along with the application for patent, the application is published after 18 months of first filing. The Indian patent search database allows you to check the legal status of the granted patent.
A patent is important because it can help safeguard your invention. It can protect any product, design or process that meets certain specifications according to its originality, practicality, suitability, and utility. In most cases, a patent can protect an invention for up to 20 years. If you are still unsure of any of the steps for patent registration, then contact deAsra.