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Do I Need a Patent?

Inventors and businesses need to evaluate if they need patent protection for their core products and services.  The costs of patent protection and the time required are significant and not to be entered into lightly.  The analysis is based on two factors: patentability and business profitability.

Patentability a term for describing if the invention is patentable.  The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will evaluate certain factors to determine if a patent will be issued based on the subject matter and what prior art exists. 

You may want to first seek a “Patentability Opinion” to see if your proposed invention has a good chance of being granted a patent.  If the odds of success are low, the cost and time required may not be worth the investment.  If there is a high chance of success, the investment and advantage may be worth it. 

Business profitability is a measurement of how commercially viable the invention is. In simple terms, this is probably more important than patentability. If you can’t make money, the cost of the patent may not be worth it. A patent is not a guarantee of business success, so an evaluation of profitability is key to determine whether the level of investment needed to obtain the patent is viable. 

If you have an idea or process for which you want to pursue a patent, seek out a patent attorney. If you have general IP questions or questions about an existing patent, contact us today at (605) 275-5665.