Three Reasons to Apply for a Patent

Patents, which are described as a government license that protects an invention from being made, used, or sold by companies or individuals other than the inventor, are used throughout numerous industries that desire and seek innovation.

While some industries may seem obvious (tech and pharmaceutical research and development come to mind), others are not (paper, printing and support activities, as well as wood).

According to the “Intellectual Property and U.S. Economy: 2016 Update” report by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, intellectual property intensive industries accounted for 27.9 million jobs in 2014, for a total of $6.6 trillion towards the gross domestic product.

The companies leading the charge are leaders in their industries: IBM (International Business Machines), Samsung, LG Electronics, Intel, and Alphabet (the parent company of Google).

So why is a patent so important that 320,000 were granted last year by the United States Patent and Trademark Office? Here are three reasons.

Exclusive Rights

Many inventors (and artists and musicians) fear their work being duplicated and resold, before the original inventor has a chance recoup their investment. It’s happened in companies. It’s happened in the music industry. It’s happened in the tech world.

A patent is good for 20 years. In that time, the invention can be purchased by an entity, duplicated and sold to investors or customers directly, or simply saved for a business plan later.

A patent offers protection.

Licensing Opportunities

Inventors have many opportunities for profiting off their invention. One of these opportunities is licensing.

Licensing works like this. A person, persons, or company has created something: They are the inventors. Now, other people want to use that invention, and they can: for a price. That price comes with the licensing.

Licensing allows customers to use the invention while paying a certain amount to the inventor. The most obvious example of this is a song. A song is invented (written, constructed) by a musician or band, and they have intellectual property of that song.

When the song is used in a commercial or movie, they receive a payment.

Corporate Value

Today, companies on the Fortune 500 generally are valued by only 15% with their capital value. The rest of their value comes from intellectual value.

The number of patents a company has, how much they influence the market, add intellectual value to a company, for market analysts and for stock brokers.

Companies like IBM and Alphabet thrive off new patents. More inventions equal more opportunities for these companies, including innovations in products and technology.

Patents help inventors protect their property, license it for commercial use, and build their company’s value. There is a patent process, as well as patent protection. These come with patent law, which has been around for nearly 230 years. Today, inventors often hire a patent lawyer to work the system in their favor.

Intellectual property litigation, which is the process of taking legal action over intellectual property, occurs when a patent, copyright, or trademark protection has been broken.

An intellectual property issue might result in intellectual property litigation. There are certain patent attorneys that might help someone with intellectual property litigation, such as filing a suit against a company or person breaking the patent, copyright, or trademark law.

From small inventors to large companies, patents protect against theft of intellectual property. They are a small price for safety and can lead an inventor towards business dealings in the future.