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Patents Protect Ownership of Your Invention

If you've wondered why you need a patent, this section will help you understand that.

The purpose of a patent is to protect the intellectual property of the inventor. Patents prohibit anyone other than the patent holder from making or selling the patented item (or using the business method, or planting the new plant, in the case of those patent types) without the permission of the patent holder. Some patent seekers intend to manufacture and sell the patented item themselves, while others intend to license the patent to others – in effect, selling the right to produce the invention while retaining ownership of the idea for a period of time.

Protecting Yourself

Protecting your ownership of an invention is the main reason why you should consider getting a patent. When you want to hold the ownership rights for an invention, it is imperative that you file for a patent as soon as possible. As the owner of the item it is very important to establish your rights.

Preventing Other People

The second main reason for obtaining a patent would be to prevent others from stealing from you. Without a patent, anyone can make, market and sell your product without you receiving any compensation. This is especially important in situations where your invention will end up becoming popular, possibly making a lot of money.

By preventing others from distributing, selling, or manufacturing your invention, you preserve your right to earn profits from the invention. This is usually the reason why large companies quickly seek patents for a new product ideas, especially in the pharmaceutical industry.

What You Can Patent

The USPTO have established a broad area of things on which it will consider granting patents. It is possible to patent anything that you have invented or designed, a new plant you have found, a business method, or an improvement of a previous invention.

Items that have historically been granted patents are usually:

• Items which are new to the general public.
• Items which are considerably different than any other item which has received a patent.
• Items which are practical.

These are the types of inventions that the USPTO will generally look favorably on.

Think of all the items used on a daily basis - from the linen on your bed, to the shampoo you wash your hair with, the nondairy creamer in your coffee, to the parts on your car, and the desk you sit behind at work – all these have, or used to have, patents which their manufacturers used to protect their rights.

What You Cannot Patent

There are certain things that you cannot patent, including ideas. There have been cases in the past of people suing others for stealing their idea, creating the product and patenting it. Believe it or not, this is perfectly legal.

Another thing that cannot be patented is nuclear energy, or anything that is associated with constructing nuclear bombs. Inventing machinery or tools for nuclear warfare are destructive and not useful items, and therefore will not be granted a patent.

The Patent Office will refuse to patent any item that has already been sold commercially. Therefore, before distributing or selling your invention, obtain a patent.
 
If in question about needing a patent, read this article again.

- Leon Edward

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