I am in research and development is patent relevant for me?
As a research and development person, you need to be very careful that you are not putting all of your efforts in something which is already invented and patented. If that becomes the case, you would be re-inventing wheel and probably all your research efforts are not going to be worth whole a lot.
Having said that, we have also seen many people working on particular invention getting discouraged up on finding hundreds and thousands of patent from their domain and similar to their technology. This could also be a mistake.
We have a section for when to get encouraged and when to get discouraged base on the results of the preliminary search conducted in “Idea incubation phase”
Getting patent for an invention does not always requires and invention to be something earth breaking solution, but many patents are awarded for incremental inventions, that means most of the part of the invention would already be known to public but a small (but significant) part which is called as ‘inventive step’ is the novel and non obvious part that could win patent for your invention.
As we have seen earlier in the chapter a “inventive step means” inventions that are either technically advance or economically significant to the existing patents (or prior art)
So, a prior art documents or patents that are already existing can be 95% similar to your invention Yet, if your invention has either technical advance or economic significance or both... and you can prove it that your invention is better than existing ones then there is a strong possibility that you may get patent for your invention.
The best way to take this judgment is get help from patent professional, The novelty search (also called as patentability search) is performed for the same reason, this patentability search, done right, can yield pretty fantastic results for your invention;
- It can tell you what part of your invention is already covered and what could be novelty feature…
- it can tell you where you can focus you research work to get maximum level of protection with you patent
- and it gives a review about whether it is appropriate to proceed with patent filing process