Whether during or outside the course of your normal business activities you have invented or are on the brink of inventing something – a process, machine, technology, method or system that may have commercial potential.
- The many and varied competitive advantages of filing for patent protection, ranging from neutralising threats from competitors, through to controlling suppliers and raising capital, to increasing the credibility, and therefore saleability, of your business, particularly if you are going to play offshore.
- Freedom to operate – should you be having some patent searching of your own done to check that you are not actually unwittingly treading on someone else’s toes?
- Securing your ownership of the invention and any enhancements to it – if necessary contractually from your employees and contractors.
- The importance of confidentiality – revealing the invention to potential partners, investors and others may destroy its novelty and therefore its potential patentability, so it is important to ensure you have an NDA with you for them to sign before you discuss your invention in any detail with them.
- The other types of intellectual property that may also be relevant to your invention, for example, copyright, industrial designs, trade secrets, and trade marks, and what steps you can take to secure and protect them.