In return for disclosing an invention to the general public, a patent owner will be given the exclusive right to make, use, sell, import, and export the invention. Furthermore, a patent owner will have the right to collect damages from others who are infringing on their patent rights.
Obtaining a monopoly over their invention is the primary reason for obtaining a patent. However, being able to make and sell their invention is only one benefit companies receive from obtaining a patent. Other benefits and reasons to get a patent include generating interest and investments, developing licensing opportunities, and the creation of a public record of your innovation.
A first time inventor or start-up company may desire patent protection in order to secure patent rights for their newly developed technology. To protect their innovations, it is important for businesses to hire a patent attorney to draft their patent applications. Without these rights and patents being properly drafted, the start-up company may be pushed out of the market by larger companies that are able to undercut their pricing and have superior commercial contacts.
Patents may also be licensed to other parties, which allow these parties to exploit their invention, or other innovations that build upon an inventor’s invention, in exchange for royalty payments.
By securing patent rights, an inventor will have the choice whether or not to give up these rights, and will know exactly what they are getting in return. In some situations, if an inventor/company has infringed on a patent, the inventor/company may use their patent rights to cross-license their rights, thereby avoiding costly patent litigation.
Patents also serve as an accessible public record of the innovations made and owned by the inventor. This public record may be used as a warning to others that a technology is protected, and will thereby preclude others from attempting to claim or patent that technology.