Patents are by no means a straightforward topic. Consequently, there is often confusion about what exactly a patent is, and what it can do for you.
Having a better understanding of patents is in the best interests of inventors and could help to protect creations. Outlined below are three of the most common misconceptions about patents.
Having a U.S. patent offers protection worldwide
Often, inventors believe that because they have obtained a patent in the U.S., then they have global protection. However, a U.S. patent only offers protection in the U.S. Typically, this means that competitors may not be able to import mirrored products into the U.S. However, to gain protection in other countries a patent for the relevant country must be sought.
Ideas can be patented
Sometimes, people think that their ideas are so novel and unique that they are worthy of legal protection. However, ideas are no more than ideas, and they cannot be patented. Instead, inventors are required to show that their idea has already been constructed or could readily be constructed by someone with the technological acumen.
No competitors means that no patent is required
Inventors frequently believe that their creation could never be replicated. However, they are frequently shocked upon entering the marketplace and soon encountering competition. Obtaining a patent negates the risk of your ideas being mimicked and lining the pockets of competitors.
Separating facts from myths with regards to patent law could be in your best interests. Furthermore, understanding the law could help to protect the creations that you have worked so hard to produce. If you feel like your rights have been infringed, then there are legal options open to you.