Purpose of a patent
A patent is not necessary to be allowed to market a product yourself, but its purpose is to be able to prohibit a competitor from doing something. When preparing a patent application, the answer to the question “What do you want to be able to prohibit your competitor from doing?” central to us.
Content of a patent application
The goal is one, the question of what is possible is two. What can be protected is determined by what is already known in the field of the invention. In patent terms, this is called the state of the art.
Compared to that prior art, an invention must be new and inventive. By examining beforehand what is known in the field of the invention, we can determine whether that invention is new and inventive.
We can then prepare an application. There are all kinds of considerations involved. The more broadly we draft the application, the broader the protection that may be offered. However, broader protection also increases the chance that the patent granting authority is of the opinion that the claimed invention is not new or inventive. A very specific formulation makes the granting procedure easier. However, this may give a competitor the opportunity to circumvent the patent, which must of course also be prevented. Sometimes a quick grant is a goal, in order to be able to address infringers directly. Sometimes postponing choices and/or costs is important. Even creating ambiguity in the market by keeping the possibilities open for the ultimate precise scope of protection of the patent for as long as possible can be beneficial to the applicant. We take all these considerations into account.
Foreign patent applications
Patents must be applied for per country. In many cases it is desirable to postpone that choice and the associated costs for as long as possible. We can take this into account when determining a submission strategy. We then make a choice between submitting national applications in different countries directly, or for a European or international application.
When competitors are already active, a rapid grant process is desirable, because conducting an infringement case often requires a granted patent. There are also options for this. We can request to speed up the pending procedures and sometimes even enforce an grant in one country based on a patent granted in another country.
Patent application process
For those who are not involved in it on a daily basis, patent procedures can be complex matter. We are at home in it and arrange it for you. By contacting the examiners of the patent granting authorities if grants are not granted, we also ensure that they are completed as efficiently as possible. This can be done in writing or through an informal interview or with a formal hearing.
We will not bore you with all the details, but we will keep you informed. For example, we present all procedures in clear flowcharts, so that you can see where we are in the procedure and which steps still need to be taken. You will receive an estimate in advance in terms of time and costs, so that you always know where you stand.