Why should I get a patent on my invention?
Patenting an invention can be important because:
- It provides a competitive advantage. Indeed, third parties wanting to do the same need to
- obtain a license from you, which costs money; or
- have to design around the patented technology, which can be difficult, time-consuming and often commercially uninteresting.
- A patent or a portfolio of patents provides a better negotiating position with regard to the competition. For example, when a competitor has been very active in your area of research and also has a patent portfolio, you may agree to exchange patent rights (e.g. take out a cross-licence agreement).
- If a patent is not filed on the invention, but your competitor does file on the same invention, you may be restricted in your use of the invention.
- A proactive patenting policy can build a reputation for your company, such that competitors take you more seriously
- In some situations the filing of a patent application may be of interest to attract investment or to obtain funding (many IWT grants require a patenting strategy)
The Belgian tax law now allows tax reductions for income on patented products (see below).