Find out everything you need to know about Patent and protect your inventions – WAU
The patent is essential to protect inventions that can be successful in the market. Thus, those who create products or production methods have their idea protected and can profit accordingly. This method generates competitiveness in the market and encourages companies to innovate.
In competitive markets, protecting inventions is essential to lead segments with innovative, creative proposals and exclusive products. The patent is the only legal remedy that allows this, thanks to governmental protection offered to those who give life to a product.
In the history of the corporate world, there are many examples of great brands that have revolutionized their markets thanks to incredible inventions, both functional and aesthetic.
The point is that, without proper judicial protection, other companies can take ownership of these ideas. Without the patent, it becomes difficult be unique and innovative – attributes that put any company in a prominent position.
In this post, we will bring you more in-depth content on patents. Here’s what you’ll find:
What is a patent?
The patent is a document by which the right of ownership and exclusive use of an invention of the applicant (the one who submits the application) is conferred and recognized, which can be an individual or a legal entity.
This document is issued by the INPI (federal agency linked to the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade). In other words, the government grants a privilege to inventors, who have the right to invent a certain product, its manufacturing process or to improve something that already exists.
For the invention to be patented, it is necessary to observe some requirements and the bureaucratic process, which we will talk about later.
What is a patent for?
In short, the patent serves to protect an invention or creation from competitors. Through the patent, the inventors reserve the the right to commercially exploit their intellectual production, protecting it from possible copies.
Thus, the person who does not hold the patent can only exploit it with the permission of the owner. An example that illustrates the need for the patent is the fight that occurred between Apple and Samsung in 2012.
In the fight, the American company accused the Korean company of violating 6 patents related to handsets, and the court in San José (USA) ordered Samsung to pay more than US $ 1 billion for patent infringement.
The Seoul (South Korea) court, on the previous day, banned Apple from selling iPhones and iPads in the country for the same reason.
For companies, ensuring the exclusivity of their designs, features and production models is much more than maintaining sales. These characteristics help to strengthen Marketing strategies and the expansion and stabilization of brands.
Currently, the biggest battles in the courts related to patents revolve around the market digital. Therefore, in the area of Marketing, it is especially important to be aware of this, since a simple idea can become an invention that will spread around.
What is its importance?
The patent is an important tool even for the survival of a company in the market. Working on operational and design innovation demands millions of investments, which also requires as much protection as possible.
Many businesses were able to dominate markets precisely because they invented revolutionary products. Without the patent, it would be impossible to guarantee exclusivity over these inventions. These companies would be pioneers, but only the first – and not the only ones – to explore these creations.
Next, understand in some key points how the patent can be strategically important for a company.
Ensuring the practice of innovation
Innovating is important for companies to have an impact on their audience. Putting differentiated products on the market makes all the difference to generate a commotion, arouse the desire to buy and keep the business solid.
However, innovating without the assurance that your idea will be exclusive is risky work and may simply not pay off. The patent serves precisely to protect punctual innovation, but also to make it a practice.
Once the company understands how beneficial it is to propose new products, naturally this will be its mindset and part of its market strategy, guaranteeing the continuity of innovation.
Ensuring market exclusivity
The development of a new technology is always aimed at achieving a unique position in the market. Regardless of the product, if it brings something new and never seen, the idea of the company is precisely to occupy that position alone.
Exclusivity is complex and difficult to achieve, but the patent allows a good idea to be properly protected. Competitors may even work on similar ideas, but the main invention remains protected.
This scenario offers practically an exclusive condition, since the technology and the original construction are properly protected. Similar products may appear, but not the same.
Putting the company on a leadership level
In increasingly competitive markets, especially in technology, any detail makes a difference. It is not just products that can be patented, but also designs, features, processors and more. These small factors can be decisive for one company to outperform another.
When a brand knows how to protect its inventions, regardless of the level of complexity, guarantees more chances to lead the market. The public that consumes also seeks exclusivity, that is, the patent helps to reinforce this idea and, consequently, generates more sales.
Leadership is fundamental to a company’s results and also to the stability of its brand. That is why patenting is a market strategy that goes beyond sales results; it is also about expanding brand and concept.
Encourage continuous work
Companies that are aggressive in the market and in competition with competitors never want to stop building a reference empire. Part of the efforts to achieve this level is precisely to continue the work of innovation, with more products, resources and unique features.
Without the patent, it would be difficult to remain stimulated to continue investing in novelties to apply them in what is offered for sale. The protection of property and use rights is a guarantee that this development work does not stop.
For brands, this incentive is fundamental to their results. This position of a company that brings news to the market is something that conquers the public and generates loyalty.
The patent is much more than protection for companies. This right also stimulates competitiveness, which can be seen in two ways: in the search for the delivery of something unique and also in the need to surpass competitors.
If it’s not possible to take advantage of already developed technologies, the company will need to work to come up with its own ideas.
In this case, the patent generates more work and effort for companies, something that is beneficial for them and for the consumer, since it benefits when brands seek to surpass their main competitors. In this movement, there is also growth!
What is the difference between brand and patent?
Reason for a lot of confusion, you may have come across the expression “patent a brand”. It is meaningless now that you know what a patent is and what can be patented. So, what is a brand?
Brand is a sign applied to services and products with the aim of identifying its origin and distinguish them from other identical, similar or similar products or services from another owner.
All fast-food chains, for example, offer similar services, but have different brands, such as McDonald’s, Bob’s, Burger King, etc.
The trademark is registered, while the invention or utility model is patented. She is made so that that product or service is identified by the consumer, while the patent exists to protect a creation that solves an existing problem.
Suppose a laboratory creates a drug to combat erectile dysfunction and applies for a patent for that invention. Subsequently, when produced on a large scale, this drug is called Viagra, with its own visual identity. That’s the brand!
What is the difference between invention and utility model?
Terms commonly seen when the subject is patent, these two classifications have different meanings. When we talk about invention, we are reporting a human creation that gives rise to an unprecedented solution, never before proposed in a situation. Generally, this invention is applied to the solution of an existing problem.
Objects, devices, devices and compounds are within this category, as well as manufacturing and development methods and processes are also contemplated. From that first product, if there is any improvement, there is a record called invention addition certificate, which records this change.
The utility model, by legal definition, is the creation of an “object of practical use, or part of it, susceptible of industrial application, which presents a new form or disposition, involving an inventive act, which results in a functional improvement in its use or in its manufacture”.
They are instruments, tools, utensils, etc. If this creation has a new functional technical effect on the object, it will be an invention.
INPI gives the example of the creation of the telephone, which explains the differences between the invention and the utility model. Other practical examples of invention are the creation of the electric razor (from the razor) and the cordless phone (from the phone).
Examples of utility models are the creation of the nose pliers and cutting with an anatomical handle (from the nose pliers) and the water jug with attached lid (from the water jug without a lid).
What can be patented?
In a very direct way, all creations that solve problems or technological advances and that have industrial application can be patented.
Considering the requirements presented, invention that presents novelty is patentable, inventive step and industrial application, and the utility model susceptible to industrial application that presents an inventive act and results in functional improvement in use or manufacture is patentable.
Conversely, the law makes clear what it does not consider patentable:
- whatever is contrary to morals, good customs and security, order and public health;
- substances, materials, mixtures, elements or products of any kind, as well as the modification of their physical-chemical properties and the respective processes of obtaining or modifying them, when resulting from the transformation of the atomic nucleus;
- the whole or part of living beings, except transgenic microorganisms that meet the three requirements of patentability – novelty, inventive step and industrial application – and that are not mere discovery.
What are the types of patents?
Law 9,279 / 96 deals with patents in London and divides the registration into different types: Invention Patent (PI) and Utility Model Patent (MU). Better understand each of these possibilities to know how they apply to each case.
Invention Patent (PI)
This patent includes any products or processes that are actually invented, that is, without any precedent, and that have industrial application. In this type of patent, the validity is for 20 years from the registration request. Electric iron, for example, falls into this category!
Utility Model Patent (MU)
MU is a patent aimed at inventions that reconceptualize the way of using an existing object. The proposal is the suitability for a specific group or even the improvement in the use or form of manufacture. Therefore, the proposal for improvement is patented. Examples include left-handed scissors and new sealing models.
How to get a patent?
To register a patent it is necessary, first, to search for it, that is, research to check if there is already something like that duly protected by law. Because it is quite broad in relation to the definitions of what is included in this patent, the search needs to be careful and done with attention.
To facilitate this search, the INPI offers material that helps in understanding how the research should be carried out. Thus, the patent in question can be filed in the national and international database. If available, the patenting process can be started.
How much does a patent cost?
There is no way to define the fixed price of a patent, as it varies according to what you want to register. Whoever registers – individual or legal entity, for example – is a factor that impacts the values. To find out how much it costs, just access the table provided by INPI.
How to apply for a patent?
Want to apply for a patent? Now that you understand more about the subject, you are certainly ready to start the process. Just follow the step by step:
- first, access the patent legislation and the User Manual for electronic petition. Thus, all the necessary information will be clearer at the beginning of the request;
- then, do the search, as we have already informed, to understand if your idea has already been or can still be patented;
- if available, pay the Union Collection Guide (GRU) and insert the code 200. Save your process number to accompany it;
- to start the order, gather the technical content, the descriptive report, the claim table, the sequence listing (only in biotechnology), drawings, summary, the FQ001 form and the GRU payment receipt;
- access e-Patents and fill out the forms;
- follow the steps of the process in the patent search system to keep up to date with the approval steps and possible requests for documents;
- follow the process in the publication of the Industrial Property Magazine to know when the patent is published.
The patent is a document to protect the creation that, in addition to being an indispensable resource to its owner, is also a mechanism that strengthens the market and its competitiveness. From big companies to entrepreneurs, patenting is fundamental to the success of an idea.
Now, enjoy and learn more about what innovation management is!