Patents are one of the hardest types of intellectual property a startup can be approved for. However, for many startups a patent is also crucial for long-term profitability, and therefore, survival in the marketplace.
So how can you patent your technology and what will ensure that your patent application will be approved?
That’s exactly what we’re going to explore in this blog post.
1. Solve A Problem
If your technology or invention doesn’t solve a problem then there is little chance that you’ll get your patent approved. The caveat here is that it can’t be a ‘non-obvious’ problem. It needs to be something that people have a real need for and isn’t as obvious as something like changing the colour of a table chair. It needs to be something that isn’t obvious knowledge to the general population.
The big problem with this is that obviously, this is subjective and is always determined by the authority you file the patent with. If this is Europe, then that will be the European Patent Office and if it’s the UK, it will be the Intellectual Property Office.
2. Make Sure What You Want To Patent Hasn’t Already Been Invented And Patented
Doing your homework is crucial and it’s often easiest to use a lawyer qualified in patent law to do this for you. Your patent won’t be approved if you’re looking to patent something that is too similar to something else that has already been patented or it’s an invention that isn’t new. The thing to remember is that what you invented needs to be unique and something that is original in order to have a chance for approval.
Alternatively, you can do some research in advance by using the local patent library search.
3. It Needs To Be A Certain Type Of Product
Your idea for a product needs to fall into one of the categories below to be eligible for a patent:
- A process (such as a new technique or method for doing something)
- A machine
- A manufactured good (like a smartphone)
- A composition of matter (such as synthetically produced pharmaceuticals)
- A distinct, asexually produced plant species
- An original design for an existing product
- An advance or update for an existing product
If what you want to patent doesn’t fit into one of those categories then you have no chance of getting your patent approved.
4. Look To Improve Your Product
If you’re always looking to improve upon your product, whether that be its existing design or application, then you will increase your odds of having a patent approved. First and foremost, focus on developing your original idea until it’s developed into a fully developed product.
Then look for ways to improve and refine it. Not only does this increase the odds of you getting a patent approved, but it also puts you ahead of the competitors in your industry.
5. Get Expert Help
Resist the urge to file your patent application on your own because patent protection is difficult to get. In the United States for example, only 54% of patent applications are accepted. In the UK in 2015, 23,000 patent applications were filed but only 5,500 were granted.
What becomes painfully clear from these statistics is that the odds of your patent application being approved are already low. Doing it by yourself makes it even harder. Get a lawyer and your chances of being approved go up a bit.
Final Words: Patent Your Technology And Get It Approved In The UK
Getting a patent approved isn’t easy but for many startups, a patent is vital to their operation and long-term profitability. Use this blog post as a mini checklist before filing your patent application and make sure you seek legal advice first.
Get in touch with us today to book a free Startup Legal Session and find out what you must do to get a patent and whether or not your startup will be eligible for one.