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Patents

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).

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