Our guest blog post comes from Dana Fuhrman , COO of TRG Floors. She speaks from experience about the importance of understanding your patent options and staying on top of the process.
To Patent Or Not to Patent. Domestic only or International. The first one should be an easy decision, right? We’re so excited about the invention and believe in it and want to protect it… but can’t help it to take a step back when you consider the costs. Then, once you get your wind back, within one year of publication, you have to decide if you want to extend your protection internationally. I have to file separately in EACH country? Well, which countries do I choose? How much will that cost?
Patent protection is a critical component to ensuring the value of your product. If you are the only company that has the right to sell your product in the USA, Canada, China and Italy (for example) the value of that potential market share increases the value of your company. If you decide to only patent your product in the USA, someone else can sell your product in another country and earn revenues that should have been yours.
Get back to the basics, “who and where are my many types of customers and vendors.” This should lead to plenty of discussion and resolution on which countries you should move forward with for your international patent. Try to make decisions today based on your long term vision, unclouded from the patent process and costs. If you can’t sleep, you could calculate the break even point identifying when you have recuperated all the patent related costs. That should wipe you out.
My advice to my fellow inventors and entrepreneurs is… don’t be overwhelmed by the process, or the costs, just take it step by step, find a patent attorney you enjoy working with, and go for it.