Patents - A Temporary Monopoly
A patent is a temporary monopoly granted by the government to an inventor in return for disclosing the invention to the public in a patent specification. The monopoly provides the patent owner with the exclusive right to exploit the invention. Once the monopoly ends, the invention described in the specification becomes public property and may be freely used by anyone.
It is essential that an invention is not disclosed to anyone before a patent application is filed. Early disclosure of an invention may reduce the scope of any patent eventually granted, or may lead to that patent being invalid. Disclosure may take place by the spoken word, drawings, a written description, exhibition, use or sale. Some limited confidential disclosure may not be damaging.
What to do before making an appointment
Before making an appointment to see a patent attorney you should consider the following questions. This will enable us to assist you more effectively.
What technical field does the invention fall into?
The answer to this will determine which patent attorney sees you.
Describe the precursor to the invention. What problems did it have which the invention addresses? If possible attach a description of the closest known precursor, for instance scientific papers or product descriptions.
How exactly does the invention work, and what advantages does it have? If possible prepare a detailed description with sketches.
Who are the inventors? That is, who made an inventive contribution to the invention?
Who will own the patent, and why?
Are there any publication or product launch deadlines?
This will determine the urgency (and cost) of your work.
Are there any trade marks associated with the invention?
The cost for preparing and filing a provisional patent application depends upon a number of factors, such as, complexity, urgency, size etc. The cost of most applications varies and we require payment in advance of filing for new clients.