Should I Get a Patent for My Product?


When an inventor creates something revolutionary, they may be tempted to rush out and file for patent protection right away. Before doing so, however, it is wiser to carefully assess whether their invention warrants protecting and will actually generate sales.

TMLT explores patenting as an option and why it may not always be necessary.


Patents are property rights that allow you to exclude others from using your invention, granted by a sovereign government agency in exchange for full disclosure. There can be numerous costs associated with applying for and receiving a patent; including attorney and filing fees. It’s wise to be prepared for these expenses before beginning; additionally, maintenance fees may apply once your patent has been issued.

The cost of patenting can depend on the complexity and price point of your product or service. Utility patents typically cost more than design patents, while costs also depend on industry in which protection is sought; for instance, medical device patents will usually cost more than software-related ones.

Though patent applications can be expensive, the return can often justify their costs. Before filing, however, you should first ensure your idea is marketable by conducting a market feasibility study – this includes start-up costs, demand levels, safety considerations, production feasibility issues and any associated benefits; ultimately helping you decide whether it makes financial sense to pursue or file for one.

Patent applications often receive rejections from the patent office. According to Yale research, over 86% of utility patent applications receive at least one rejection during review process – often multiple rejections at once! Responding to one rejection could cost over a thousand dollars, as is often required when responding to multiple rejections in an application review process.

As well as application fees, additional prosecution and issue fees must also be paid to the patent office; these could total over $7,500 for high quality applications. Furthermore, professional drawings to represent your invention will incur extra expenses.

Are You Thinking About Filing for a Patent for Your Software? Depending on its potential for market expansion, whether or not obtaining a patent may be worthwhile depends on how well it can be promoted and sold. If your software stands out as being unique and has an expansive customer base, investing in its protection might be well worth your while.


Patents are essential tools for anyone with an idea for a new product, and they offer several advantages over patent applications alone. First and foremost, patenting your invention gives you exclusive ownership over it and ensures no one else can use or sell it without your permission; this helps safeguard intellectual property as well as competition entering the market. Having patents also gives companies more chances at raising funding as investors tend to favour those with multiple patents in an industry.

Patents also create an entry barrier for competitors, preventing other companies from offering similar versions of your product and undercutting your prices. Furthermore, should any competitors attempt to enter the market with competing offerings you can sue them for patent infringement and force them to pay damages and surrender any profits they may have earned through using it.

If you are uncertain whether your product is ready to be patented, investing in a market feasibility study can be worthwhile. This study can help to establish whether there is enough demand for your invention and it can be manufactured cost effectively – Wisconsin Innovation Service Center provides this service at a small fee.

As well as showing that your invention is novel, you must also demonstrate its utility and avoid being obvious. A useful invention should address an important problem and improve people’s lives; manufacturing should be simple; it shouldn’t resemble anything done previously;

If you don’t plan on selling your patented invention yourself, licensing it to another company could be an excellent way to make money and expand your business. Licensing will allow you to enter new markets where your product may not otherwise be sold; for instance, licensing an energy bar invention to an Indian manufacturer might provide another source of profit.


Before filing for a patent, your invention must meet certain criteria: 1. Novel. Your invention must be novel – that means it has not been published anywhere prior to applying for your application – including offers for sale, sales presentations or any other publication that could be used against you in court proceedings. It must also not substantially resemble existing patents – you can test this by conducting a patent search to see whether your idea meets these criteria.

2. Functional. Your creation must be useful, which should be an easy test to pass. Your invention must serve some practical function – whether that be creating a new process or safeguarding an existing one from copycats. A patent that simply protects its appearance or name does not qualify as being useful because anyone could make something similar themselves.

3. Patentable Claim. Your patent claim should be written clearly and concisely to accurately describe your invention, while including all essential elements that define it – what it is, how it works and what it does. Furthermore, claims must fulfill definiteness and best mode requirements which stipulate how your invention may be practiced by others in such a manner that allows others to reproduce, use or sell it.

4. Non-obvious. Your invention must not be evident to those skilled in its field. For instance, this requires your invention to represent an improvement on an existing product rather than simply minor tweaks; for example a blender with more speeds wouldn’t qualify for patenting as adding more speed is not considered an inventive enhancement.

While it may be counterintuitive, waiting to file a patent application may often be the best strategy for entrepreneurs. Rushing or filing too soon can create significant legal issues – for example if you file a provisional patent application and then publish details before its examination occurs you could lose out on 12 month window for filing full utility patent. Also keep in mind that patents rarely generate revenue for inventors (according to Forbes article less than 20% of research university patents make any money at all!).


Patents provide intellectual property protection that prevents others from copying your invention without your permission. Unfortunately, getting one takes both time and money; so if you’re running a startup company it is wise to carefully consider whether obtaining a patent would be suitable to protecting its product.

For an invention to qualify for patent protection, it must be original, useful and non-obvious. Industrial application should also be possible and it cannot have been published prior to filing your patent application. Furthermore, no similar invention must be available – which makes conducting a comprehensive search important when filing your application.

Find out if your invention qualifies for a patent by searching existing patents online and consulting competitors about any similarities. If they do not respond, sue them for patent infringement.

Patent, copyrights and trademark laws differ depending on your country of residence. In the US for instance, copyright protects original works of art and literature while patents cover new inventions; trademarks cover names or short slogans; whereas patents grant you an exclusive 20 year monopoly over them all.

Patents are forms of intellectual property protection that ensure only you can produce or sell the creation you made, providing essential security against others producing or selling the same thing. They’re especially helpful for startups with limited resources who struggle to market their product – or looking for investors! A patent can also serve as an attractive asset when recruiting potential partners.

Patents come in different forms, from design patents and utility patents to plant patents. Design patents cover inventions with unique aesthetic or morphological qualities such as beverage bottles or furniture pieces, while utility patents apply to inventions with measurable value and function, like medical treatments or machinery. Finally, plant patents cover inventors who produce hybrid varieties or improved varieties.

Processes associated with patent acquisition can be lengthy and expensive, so it’s essential that applicants understand all of their obligations prior to filing an application with the USPTO. On average, this takes an estimated 29 months, including time required for Requests for Continued Examination or Continuation Applications.