The Patent Process and Its Challenges

“A Good Patent is the ‘Family Silver’”

.We speak with Petr Holy, who expands on the process of patenting your invention, the challenges which may come your way and how patenting is the most important process for a business, often referring to the process as the ‘family silver’.

Can you expand on the procedure of applying for a patent?

Intellectual property is always the most valuable asset for each technology-based company. Other assets are replaceable, resp. renewable, but intellectual property is usually the unique “family silver” of any market changing entrepreneur. The investment in the IP protection is usually not directly measurable in black numbers, but from a long term perspective, it’s the best spent money, even better than appropriate marketing.

The very first thing you shall do is to obtain patent protection if possible and as soon as possible, even before you would tell anyone else.

Have you discovered something new and potentially interesting in the field of technics? The very first thing you shall do is to obtain patent protection if possible and as soon as possible, even before you would tell anyone else. Failure to do so usually means that you will get no reward for your eventual unique discovery.

It is utmost important to get qualified assistance of a professional in the patent field, because no mistakes are tolerated by the procedure and in 99% of the cases, they cannot be corrected later at all.

A mistake in the formulation of the patent claims always means narrower scope of protection, therefore part of the invention is wasted.

What common challenges can arise during the procedure?

Seeing in a brand new invention is always a big challenge. It does not matter whether it is a groundbreaking remedy for cancer or a tiny part of small toy, it could be a potential game changer. To exploit the opportunity, the most important thing is the formulation of patent claims, because it predetermines the future scope of protection for those onwards, forever.

A mistake in the formulation of the patent claims always means narrower scope of protection, therefore part of the invention is wasted; in the worst case scenario, it could result in failure of whole the registration procedure and such invention is given up to all competitors for free. You lose your competitive advantage and all the money invested in the research is completely wasted.

The well-designed patent claims structure should also be giving the owner best possible defensive position against expected invalidation attacks of the competitors, because, especially in the high tech field, you can be sure that your patent application will be promptly attacked by your competitors, in order to get rid of the registration and gain free access to the invention.

Do any issues arise if the patent you have filed at home [local jurisdiction], has been applied elsewhere internationally?

Choosing where the patent shall be applied for wisely, is the second most important decision, because later, after expiration of the so-called union priority, it cannot be territorially expanded at all. Each new territory means an additional procedure and namely additional registration and maintenance costs, therefore sometimes it is a question of finding the right kind of balance.

How different is the procedure if you are applying for the patent internationally?

International applicationa are not a big difference thank to Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) resp. Paris convention. Subsequently, entering into national phases always require international cooperation and a having network of reliable and experienced attorneys all over the world is crucial to be able to render complete service the clients usually expects.

What should be the first things to consider once a client’s wishes to sell their patent?

Every asset has its price, but sometimes finding a fair price for a unique patent can prove difficult.

Petr Holy
Attorney at Law
www.rrg.cz

About Petr and the Law Firm

Petr Holy is an Associate in Rott, Ruzicka & Guttmann, a leading legal boutique focused on the registration and enforcement of the intellectual property rights of domestic and foreign clients in the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic. Besides registration of all kinds of IP rights, the main focus is on court proceedings in IP, unfair competition and copyright matters, with special focus also on full service in anticounterfeiting to the top brands.

Petr Holy is the leading attorney of the court prosecution and anticounterfeiting department, supervising all the court, customs, criminal and administrative and investigative services on the field of IP infringement and anticounterfeiting.

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