Why is it important to patent an invention?
A patent is a valuable business asset and an important commercial tool, and can be used in many different ways. You may choose to file a patent application for a variety of reasons, including:
- Gaining exclusive rights — a patent provides you with a monopoly to the invention for up to 20 years.
- A defensive move — filing a patent for an invention that may not be commercialised to prevent a competitor from protecting the same concept.
- To increase market position — through exclusive rights, you’re able to prevent others from commercially using your patented invention, establishing yourself in the market as the pre-eminent player.
- To attract investment — a patent portfolio can provide security and reassurance for potential investors or shareholders, as well as demonstrate that the invention in which they are investing is unique.
- Licensing or selling — a patent can provide a revenue stream or a means of raising funds if you do not want to exploit the invention yourself.
- Marketing and status — patents are commonly used as a marketing tool and a way of creating a positive image for a product and demonstrating cutting-edge technology.
- The Patent Box — in the UK, a lower rate of corporation tax can be applied to profits generated from patented products or products that include a patented component.
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