The Business Method Versus Traditional Patents
When a business conducts a certain practice or methodology that is unique, there could be a chance that this process could be patented. Everything from the way a product is manufactured to the way it is prepared could be patented in an effort to dissuade other businesses from emulating these practices. Given the huge amount of both time and money that are invested into the way a business develops any number of different processes, it is beneficial to consider filing a patent on any unique practices. The added benefit of filing these patents will be that other businesses will have a hard time keeping up with the progress being made by a business with superior practices. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney regarding ¬†the proper creation of a patent for this sort of is absolutely necessary for protecting the profitability of many different types of businesses.
Being the First to Patent an Idea
If a business comes up with an idea first, it is still possible for another business to patent that idea and sue the inventor for copyright infringement. Filing a patent on a new method of doing business is just as much about being on the defensive as it is about being profitable. One of the best ways to ensure that another business does not apply for a patent first is to have a patent attorney on retainer. Taking more secure options with regard to sharing ideas within the company (encrypted emails, NDA agreements for both employees and consultants, etc…) will also help to keep things safe until a patent is filed. Determining what type of compensation might be available is ultimately up to the court, but in some instances a company might be ordered to ‘cease and desist’ infringing upon the patent that was filed.
What Can be Patented
Understanding what types of processes and business methodology can be patented will save a ton of time for both the business and their attorney. Also, doing a quick search of what patents have already been filed regarding a given process can be beneficial in the avoidance of filing for a patent that already exists. If there is no patent that exists on the process being applied for, the next step is to make sure that it is actually unique enough to qualify for a patent. Putting a door on the side of an automobile is not something that can be patented, but if the process to attach that door is streamlined in a way that involves a unique process, it may qualify. The degree to which a unique process might have to stretch beyond something that is already in existence will often depend on the ability of the attorney who is arguing for the patent.
Seeking out a consultation to go over thoughts from Intellectual Property Lawyers such as those at ShapiroLegal.com could yield some incredible insight.