State of the art patent applications drafted by our skilled patent attorneys
Have you developed a technical solution that you want to protect from your competitors? Then a patent may be a valuable innovation asset to protect your invention. Drafting and filing a patent application is a significant milestone on your way to patenting an idea or product. If granted, it will give you the sole right to your invention, and may prevent others from making, selling or using it without your permission. Our patent attorneys, many of whom are authorised European Patent Attorneys, can provide a comprehensive understanding of the legal requirements as well as the underlying technical expertise, and can help you to avoid costly pitfalls deriving from flawed claims or insufficient description.
Three basic criteria of patentability
In order for your invention to be patentable, it must:
- Be novel. It must not be known to the public anywhere in the world before the date of filing your patent application.
- Involve an inventive step. It must not be obvious to a person skilled in the art at the date of filing your patent application.
- Be capable of industrial utilisation. It must be susceptible of industrial application.
How to apply for a patent
To get a patent, you have to file a patent application at a national or regional patent office. The patent application should include one or several claims that define your invention. These claims determine the scope of your patent protection, and build the grounds to defend against any potential litigation activities.
Upon filing your patent application, the patent office will perform a novelty search and examine your invention in order to assess the above criteria. Based on this examination, and on substantive arguments in response to any office actions, your patent may be granted. Our skilled patent attorneys’ have extensive experience with addressing all forms of possible objections and will correspond with the patent authorities in a way that achieves the best possible outcome and scope of protection for your invention. The patent application process, as well as the following phase of patent prosecution, differs depending on the jurisdiction(s) in which you seek protection. Zacco has established a large network of vetted foreign agents who will be able to act on your behalf in countries where we do not have direct local representation.
For Europe, you can choose to file your application with the European Patent Office (EPO) and validate it for the EPC (European Patent Convention) member countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the UK, among others. Please be aware that changes to the European system are on their way and the potential transition to a Unitary Patent and a Unified Patent Court has already begun. The idea behind this is to create a standard protection for patents across participatory EU Member States via the submission of a single application to the EPO. It is a development closely followed by our European Patent Attorneys to ensure that we are able to provide clients with accurate and up to date advice.
Reasons to apply for a patent
A patent is an investment and, beyond from the initial cost of filing, further costs will arise over time e.g. from further prosecution, validating and/or from annuities.
The potential benefits of a patent to its owner
- You can stop others from copying your invention
- You can also profit from your patent by establishing a license agreement
- You can cross-licence your patent rights and get access to other patent rights
- You can demonstrate to the market that you are an innovative company
- You can secure your R&D activities and investments, and add value for your investors
- You can use patents in negotiations e.g. within partnerships and other collaborations
- You can create ‘goodwill’ for example by allowing others to use your technology
For start-ups, even a pending patent application can represent a valuable potential asset when fundraising or trying to attract investment. In many countries, for example in Denmark and Sweden, start-up enterprises can obtain financial innovation assistance from their government in order to finance an intellectual property rights strategy and to support innovative thinking and development. This underlines the importance of protecting innovation as the core of any business.
Larger enterprises are more likely to see patents as value building assets, which can be bought, sold or monetised in multiple ways. For a multinational enterprise, single patents will often contribute to the overall value of a portfolio.
What to think of prior to drafting a patent application
- Consult your trusted patent attorney if there are other ways to protect your invention. Maybe you should complement it with a design, a trademark or another intellectual property right? Does the patent fit into your overall IPR strategy?
- Be cautious about any disclosure of your invention to third parties prior to application, and have necessary legal agreements in place if you need to show it to others. Once disclosed to the public, your idea is no longer patentable.
- Consider which markets you plan to be active in and investigate your Freedom-to-Operate within them for the invented product/service.
Reach out to one of the following colleagues, and we will assist you with drafting your patent application and guiding you through the application process!
Talk to us
Other services within Innovation Assets
- IP Due Diligence
- IP Strategy Development
- IP Strategy Implementation
- IP Portfolio Management
- IP Audit
- IP Risk Management
- IP Strategy Workshops and Coaching
- Validity Search
- IP Portfolio Outsourcing
- Patent Annuities
- Portfolio Handling and Paralegal Services
- Novelty Search
- Patent Prosecution Outsourcing
- Patent Oppositions and Appeals
- Patent Litigation
- Freedom to Operate
- Patent Landscaping
- Competitor Watch
- Technology Watch
- Patent Monitoring
- Utility Models
- Forward Patenting™
- Patent Prosecution