If you invented it, protect it!
What is an invention? Maybe the first thing that comes to your mind is Thomas Edison and his light bulb. Indeed, he was a prolific inventor, holding over 1,000 patents in the US alone – so thousands of inventions must be everywhere around us. But what makes an invention? How can you tell something is inventive? And how can you PROTECT what you have invented or created?
And did you know that the European Patent Office (EPO) can help you to protect your invention in the region of over 700 million inhabitants? Let us take a look at the EPO and what it does for inventors, investors and researchers.
But: what are patents and how do they protect inventions? Let us see how YOUR intellectual property (IP) can be protected and when patents are the right choice. We will also briefly discuss other IP protection possibilities.
Then, we will take a look at what is not patentable in Europe.
Stand on the shoulders of giants
Patents serve to protect inventions – but that is only one of the services they render to inventors and manufacturers. Patent databases, collecting a vast amount of technical knowledge, sorted by technical areas, are a great inspiration source when you develop your product.
Do not re-invent the wheel – use the existing knowledge to progress!
What is more, FREE and OPEN patent databases are available to everyone online. We will take a look at the Espacenet database and its essential functions.
If they invented it, make sure you know about it
Imagine you want to invest in the development of an invention – and then someone claims they have already patented it and demands that you stop selling your product.
The cost of litigation can be substantial, not to mention the waste of your time, resources and reputation. But is this person right? How can you tell? What can you do to minimise the risk of a legal dispute?
Ignoring other people's patents brings substantial risks – let us see how to avoid them. Let us see how to check in Espacenet whether a patent is still in force, where and for how long.