Companies often have to compare the patent advantages with the costs involved in filing patent applications in South Africa and abroad, consider the development costs, and assess the commercial potential of the patents.
Although the ideas generally develop in the technical divisions the decision to file for an application is often based more on economical value than patent advantages such as prestige or company image.
Although the financial benefits are surely a priority, the benefits for staff morale and advantages of taking a leading role in a specific field should not be overlooked.
When comparing the patent advantages with the risks involved, alternatives should also be considered. It is imperative that the competitive edge provided by the invention should also be considered. If it will not give a specific advantage in the market, then it may be wise not to file a patent rights application.
Such an assessment should also include the combined financial gain as well the lifetime of the invention. With this we mean how long the invention will be of value before it becomes obsolete. Although a 20 year period of monopoly is granted, it should be considered whether the patent will provide value and will be useful over the whole 20 year period.
Companies should focus on maximizing the patent advantages and thus ensure maximum financial gain, competitiveness in the market, moral building, technical skills development, and contribution to industry.
Contact us at Smit & Van Wyk to help you assess the novelty, usefulness, and obviousness of you inventions and ensure that the provisional application is filed at the earliest possible date.