The importance of protecting innovation and gaining competitive advantage through Patents has come into sharper focus in the last decade. Patent filings by both US and European companies continue to grow at a steady rate and those from Asian countries, particularly China and Korea have increased exponentially.Determine as quickly as possible what type of application to File. Should it be a Provisional Application, A Utility Model Patent, or an Innovation Patent?
Regardless of where the applicant comes from, or whether the applicant is an individual inventor, an SME or a large International company there are some useful filing strategies that might be followed. For Example, various IP systems around the world offer an early Full International Search and Examination which can then be used to strengthen later filed equivalent applications and reduce prosecution costs without losing priority and, it is comparatively very cheap.
These systems can be used to maximise the advantage that an early independent report provides by uncovering prior art or substantive faults in an application. The faults can be rectified so that later filings into possibly more important jurisdictions will benefit by progressing more smoothly through their Examination journey. In all respects receipt of an early Official Examination will improve an applicant's understanding of their chances of successfully gaining their IP Rights. In some cases, if the report is mortally damaging no further filings will be made - saving money and even the possibility of an infringement.
Some things to consider are:
File a Full application into an Early Examination Authority such as New Zealand. Understand the technology involved and its point of difference with the prior artIdentify and understand the Marketplace - both domestic and exportIdentify likely infringers, competitors, licensing possibilitiesPrepare a budget to include likely Patents Costs, present & future.
If you wish to learn more about a possible Filing Strategy with case studies please click "Patents" in the Articles section of the Virtual IP Library or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
For a printable version of all information relating to the introduction to Intellectual Property for Small Businesses click printable version