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What is the use of patents for the society, business and individuals?

22 Nov 2019 (updated at 04 Jun 2021)
Head of Department / Patent Attorney / Mechanics Engineer

The patented inventions have penetrated, in fact, in all spheres of the human life – from electric lighting (the patents hold by Edison and Swan) and plastics (the patents hold by Baekeland) to ballpoint pens (the patents hold by Biro) and microprocessors (the patents hold, for example, by Intel company).

The inventors and even the companies that use their own inventions in their work often do not think about the fact that they can and should be patented. This is because the inventors do not see any use in obtaining a patent. However, there is the use, and it is very significant. It manifests itself in the following:

After receiving a decision on granting a patent, the payment of the relevant fees for the grant of the patent and its registration with the State Register of the Inventions of the Russian Federation, the right holder, which can be both a legal entity, an individual, and a group of legal entities and individuals jointly, obtains an exclusive right to this technical solution. That means that at the end of the registration procedure, the inventor becomes a holder, and his invention becomes property.

Thus, after the end of the registration of the patent and its entry into the State Register, the utility model or the invention can act as a commodity.

The registered invention can be sold, donated, transferred for a temporary use for a certain number of years (at your discretion and according to your wishes).

If the state body represented by the patent office issues the patent and registers the invention, which is hold by the enterprise, it increases its intangible assets, what can attract additional investments.

In addition, the property right and the right of the use for the utility model or the invention is a type of contribution to the charter capital of the enterprise.

The availability of the patented technical solutions in the asset of the enterprise increases its business reputation.

The business partners, investors, clients perceive the availability of a multiple of the patents hold by you as the proof of a high level of the competence, specialization and technical capabilities of the company. This can be useful for involving the funds, searching partners, enhancing the image and the market value of your company. Some enterprises mention or specify their patents in advertising in order to create and bring to the attention of the most general public the image of your company as an innovative enterprise.

Thus, patenting the invention makes it possible to gain profit legally. In the case of the use of the invention by third parties without permission, the sanctions stipulated by the law will be applied to them.

It is possible to prevent other persons from patenting the same invention by obtaining the patent protection, as well as to reduce the likelihood of violating other persons’ rights, while using your products for the commercial purposes.

While the patent itself does not give “a freedom of the use,” it prevents other persons from patenting the same or similar inventions and it confirms that the patented invention is new and that it differs significantly from the technical solutions known in the world.

It should also be noted that as soon as the knowledge becomes available to the general public, the very nature of the knowledge implies that it can be used by an unlimited number of people simultaneously. Though this is undoubtedly perfectly acceptable with regard to the general knowledge, however, it creates a dilemma in terms of the commercial use of the technical knowledge. If this kind of the knowledge is not protected, “lazybones” can use easily the technical knowledge inherent in the invention, without any recognition of the creative merits of the inventor or the contribution to the investments made by the inventor. As a consequence, the inventors understandably lose a desire to bring new inventions to the market, and they prefer to keep in secret their inventions having a commercial value. The patent system is designed to correct this lack of ensuring the innovation activities by granting the inventors the limited exclusive rights, thereby enabling the inventors to get the relevant income from their innovation activities.

In a broader sense, the public disclosure of the technical knowledge contained in the patent, along with the exclusive right granted by the patent, encourage the competitors to seek for the alternative solutions and to the further inventive activities based on the first invention. These incentives and disseminating the knowledge about the new inventions contribute to the further innovation activities, which ensure a continuous improvement in the human life quality and the society welfare.

Head of Department / Patent Attorney / Mechanics Engineer