Do I need a patent?

You may be surprised to find out that the answer is not always yes. In some cases, while you may have a patentable invention, you may find that the scope of protection that a patent would give you is so limited that it may not be worth it to pay the costs of obtaining a patent. We can help you get an idea of how broad a patent you may be entitled to, which may help you with your decision. Also, some inventions, by their very nature, may not be easily detected, for example, if your invention relates to a novel method of making a product that you can’t figure out from examining the product. This means that on the one hand, it may be very difficult to prove that a competitor selling the product is copying your invention. If so, there may not be any reason to get a patent, because you will never be able to enforce it. On the other hand, you may not want to file for a patent because in doing so, you will disclose the invention, and it is unlikely that if you did not file for a patent, that the competitor would have figured it out. So why teach your competitor how to practise the invention and at the same time, limit your monopoly to a term of twenty years? If you keep it as a trade secret, you can have it forever.

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