Robertson IP

Understanding Patents: What They Are and How They Work

A patent grants you exclusive rights to your invention, allowing you to prevent others from making, using, or selling it without permission. Whether an invention is something completely new or an improvement on an existing product or process, this legal protection is crucial. Consequently, you can stop others from making, using, selling, or distributing your patented invention without your consent. While the patent system is intricate and typically requires extensive legal and technical knowledge, it’s designed to protect your intellectual property effectively.

A notable example of the importance of patent protection is the case between Polaroid and Kodak. In the late 1970s, Polaroid sued Kodak, claiming that Kodak’s instant cameras and film infringed on Polaroid’s patents. This legal battle, which lasted over a decade, ended in 1991 with Kodak agreeing to pay Polaroid $925 million in damages. This case underscores the necessity of securing and defending patents to maintain a competitive edge in the market​ (TT CONSULTANTS)​​ (Bold IP)​.

For more detailed information, you can read about the Polaroid vs. Kodak case here and here.

The Complexity and Duration of the Patent Process

Navigating the patent system can be complex, often taking between three to five years to secure a patent. However, with the right expert guidance, this timeline can sometimes be shortened. Additionally, the costs associated with obtaining a patent can be significant, including fees from patent offices and potential translation costs for international filings. Hiring a patent attorney can also be costly, with fees ranging from £300 to £500 per hour. Moreover, total costs for preparing and filing an application typically range from £3,500 to £12,000, depending on the invention’s complexity. By working with Robertson IP, the costs will be significantly less. We are transparent about costs and what to expect in the process, helping you in understanding patents thoroughly.

Why Conduct a Patent Novelty Search?

Before starting the patent application process, it is advisable to conduct a thorough patent search. Although not legally required, a novelty search can help you reduce the risk of making an unsuccessful patent application. This search involves reviewing existing patent specifications, technical literature, and other publications to ensure your idea is unique. By identifying similar inventions early, you can refine your concept and enhance its originality. Consequently, this increases your chances of securing a patent.

Key Benefits of a Patent Novelty Search:

  • Avoiding Redundant Efforts: Ensure your invention is unique, saving you from investing in a non-patentable concept.
  • Enhancing Your Application: Gain insights from existing patents to refine and strengthen your application, which could improve its chances of approval.
  • Cost Savings: Identify potential obstacles early to avoid the expenses associated with filing, revising, and resubmitting patent applications.

Patent Drafting: Crafting a Strong Application

Patent drafting is the process of creating clear, detailed specifications that thoroughly describe your invention. This involves writing various sections, including a summary of the invention and a background of the technical field. Additionally, it includes detailed descriptions of any accompanying drawings.

At Robertson IP, our experienced team, led by founder Christopher Robertson—a former patent office examiner—specialises in crafting precise and comprehensive patent specifications. We ensure that every aspect of your innovation is meticulously documented and protected. Our expertise simplifies the patent drafting process, providing transparent costs and clear expectations. Consequently, this increases the likelihood of your application being approved.

Conclusion of Understanding Patents 

Conducting a thorough patent novelty search and having a well-drafted application are critical steps in the patent process. By partnering with experienced professionals, you can navigate the patent system with confidence, allowing you to focus on growing your business and bringing your innovations to market.

If you have any questions or need assistance with the patent process, contact us at Robertson IP for expert guidance and support.

We always offer a free consultation.

We love writing about interesting patent stories and to understand the importance of patents this may be an interesting read.

Success and Failure Stories of Patent Strategies.

Understanding Patents: What They Are and How They Work

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