Applying for a patent for an innovation
You are or have been working on a technical innovation. This could be an innovative product, the operation of a product, or a process to make something or make something happen. That process can also be contained in innovative software. If the development solves a technical problem, a patent generally tends to be the best way to obtain an exclusive right.
In addition to wanting to protect an invention, there are all kinds of other good reasons to apply for a patent. You add knowledge to your business and, by doing so, increase its value. It gives investors certainty, makes it possible for you to sell your invention or licence it. From a tax points of view it will help you gain access to the Innovation Box.
Start with an initial meeting
We sit down and talk to you with the aim of ensuring that an application effectively leads to a commercially relevant patent. We will obviously discuss the actual invention itself and the underlying technology, but we also want to find out more about your ambitions. Who are or are going to be your partners, customers and competitors? Who are you hoping will invest in your technological development? What is your revenue model going to be and what is a realistic budget for now and the coming years?
We will give you our honest opinion. If we have doubts about the feasibility of an application or the contribution a patent can make to your business, we will share this with you. Our knowledge extends beyond patents. If a different form of protection is more suitable, we will offer you alternative solutions.
With an eye to the future
When we are sure that we have the same goal in mind as you, we will get started. We only get one chance to formulate a good application for your innovation, so we are very thorough. We aim for an application that is future-proof and effective.
That is why we often also carry out an exploratory review of relevant patent literature. This ensures that we have a clearer picture of the invention and contributes to the quality and effectiveness of the application.
A patent application is both a legal and technical document. We compile it in the knowledge that patent granting authorities, courts, but also investors might use it. This does not always make the text easy to understand, which is why we take a close look at the patent application with you and discuss whether it includes your options.
Once we have finished the patent application, we file it with a patent granting authority. This is generally the Netherlands Patent Office (NPO) or the European Patent Office (EPO). After about nine months we will receive a Search Report from this authority, which tells us how the application was assessed. They mainly look at whether your invention is novel and involves an inventive step. You can only obtain a valid patent right if both these conditions have been met.
It is crucial to note that you have exactly one year from the moment the application is filed, the priority year, to decide whether you want to have protection in other countries as well. Partly based on the Search Report we will discuss if this is advisable for your business. We often opt for a so-called PCT application at this stage. This will give you a further eighteen months to decide in exactly which countries you want to protect your innovation.
In the Netherlands patents are granted roughly 18 months after the application was filed. The Search Report will be added as an annex and no substantive discussion takes place with the granting authority. That is different in other countries, where they often have a granting procedure.
Keep in touch
We stay in touch once a patent has been granted. After all the world and your competitors do not sit still. That calls for a patent strategy that anticipates developments in the market and your business. By regularly checking to see if your patent still sufficiently contributes to your organisation and the position in the market, we ensure that your patent strategy continues to work for you.
Costs of patent application
The costs of applying for a patent depend on various factors. The complexity of the innovation, how hard it is to distinguish from existing patents and the number of variants in which your invention can appear, all play a role. That is why we want to have a free introductory meeting with you first. After that we can make a proper estimate of the costs and agree on a budget, if you wish.