There's more than one way to protect innovations. If it's a sufficiently new technical solution, a patent can be a powerful defensive weapon. When the looks of the product are the key distinguishing feature, next to a design patent a design registration can also be the way to go.
Every situation deserves a critical view to explore what the best solution could be. A design registration may be too limited to offer protection. A patent might be too expensive, and patenting also means: publishing. Possibly, speed offers the best protection. When you're first in the market, your market share can grow more easily. And while competitors are trying to catch up, you're already working on the next generation. Or, it may be that the complexities in materials, technology and supply chain are very hard to understand and even harder to copy.
Together with our clients we will determine a suitable IP protection strategy.
Perseverance, the name of the game
At times, you may find yourself on the other side of the table. Your competitor has a great product - and a patent to support it. By studying the patent, you can discover strengths and weaknesses. And, with a good amount of creativity and ingenuity, you can try to find solutions that do not infringe on the existing patent. If you're smart and persistent, you'll often find that there's more than one viable solution to a problem.
When your filing for you own patent it is good to approach it as if you are the competitor of you own invention.
We’re pretty secretive about our work. Discretion is always a good idea and a prerequisite when we're planning to file for a patent. It also means that what we are doing right now, you will not find on this website… Come back later to find out!
“For breakthrough technology, filing for a patent may be a great solution. For a smart product solution, keeping the development under wraps and a fast track to the market may be more cost effective. " Robert Barnhoorn, director at Spark design & innovation
Patents are not just weapons of protection, or obstacles to be overcome. They are publicly available and at some point in time: expired. It makes them a great source for information, ideas and inspiration.
Get a first glance on Espacenet by the European Patent Office and the US Patent Office. Here you can take a look at patents … after they have been publicized, usually a year after they’ve been filed. If you're in for a laugh, take a look at www.funnypatentsandinventions.com or www.patentlysilly.com.