If you're an engineer with a fantastic new invention or design then it's a pretty exciting time, however it's important not to let all of the adrenaline that comes from perfecting your new product allow you to forget to protect your intellectually property.
With a unique design that you want to take to market, it's important to look into getting a patent so that you don't run the risk of bigger companies copying your design – here are a few tips to get you started.
Make Sure that Your Product is Actually Patentable
You'll have to forgive us if this point sounds a little too obvious, but it's very important to look into the likelihood of actually having your patent approved before you start what can often be quite an expensive process. The government's guidelines state that in order to be patented something must be both new and inventive, and it's this second point which can often seem a little bit mystifying – how inventive is inventive enough?
If you're not sure, it may pay to get the advice of an expert before going any further!
Decide if a Patent is Actually Right for You
Although we certainly think that a patent can be highly beneficial for many, you should only go for it if you're certain that you need it – otherwise, you are getting involved in an incredibly lengthy, difficult and expensive process when it isn't necessary.
Before making a firm decision, don't forget to pay attention to the other options that are available to you, such as a trade mark or exclusive design rights.
Hire a Professional
Generally, you will want to get somebody who knows the patenting process inside and out on your side to ensure that everything is a success; the government have stated that only around 1 in 20 get a patent without enlisting the help of a professional, so if you don't like those odds then we recommend finding somebody to assist you through the process.
Do remember, however, that this will increase the costs even further – and you also have to budget for the cost of renewing a patent every year and, potentially, defending it against legal challenges. Before you start, you can get free advice and guidance from many patent attorneys, or attend a free intellectual property clinic.
Those are our top tips for getting the whole process started; it's a lot of hard work but the rewards can certainly be worth it. If you're still in the design stage, we can help you make your idea a reality with important parts such as springs and bespoke stampings . Call us today on 0208 663 1800 orcontact us online if you'd like to know more.