To patent or not to patent is a question many inventors ask. There are pros and cons to each approach.
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The reasons not to patent are:
Patents are expensive, $5,000 to $15,000 bills are common;
You don’t need a patent to introduce a new product;
A broad patent is hard to obtain, you might end up with a narrow patent that provides limited protection;
Companies can reverse engineer around your patent, which means they can figure out another way to make it that doesn’t infringe;
Enforcing a patent can be expensive and difficult.
The Reasons to Patent are:
You have exclusive rights to your product, which means you have the right to take action against people who are stealing your idea or infringing on your idea. The exclusive rights also means you can license or sell the concept or product.
You will look serious to manufacturers, marketers and sales people. Many people with just a vague idea approach professionals all the time, and mot professionals feel these contacts are a waste of time. Having a patent shows you are serious and have spent money on your idea.
You will increase your negotiating power, your percentage of any deal you make with a manufacturer or marketer will usually increase if you have a patent.
Positive image for your enterprise. If you already have a company or ongoing business, having a patent will make your company look more professional to potential partners.