Why a Patent?

There are number of reasons that justify patent protection, the most common reasons are as follow:

  • Patents give incentives for economically effective Research and Development by giving a monopoly on the patented invention. This encourages businesses to put millions of pounds into R & D which is ultimately of benefit society as a whole.
  • Patents encourage the disclosure of inventions to the public, without the protection of a patent many inventors would prefer to keep their inventions secret.
  • In some industries the cost of actually implementing an invention is higher than that of the R & D, if there was no way of protecting the invention then competitors would simply copy the invention and manufacture it for a fraction of the cost.
  • Due to the exclusive nature of patents competitors are encouraged to think up so called ‘work around’ ideas i.e. they know they cannot use the original invention due to the patent but how else could they come about with the same end result? This brings about the creation of alternative technologies which but for the patent would not have been worked upon.
  • Finally the registration of a patent will make the owner of the patent rather wealthy, in 2013 the Intellectual Property Organisation published a list of the Top 300 patent owners worldwide, the top ten included names such as Samsung electronics, Canon K.K, Sony Corp, LG, Microsoft, Toshiba, Panasonic and Google, no surprises!

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