How can a patent help my business?

California entrepreneurs should learn the many ways that their businesses can benefit from obtaining patents.

California entrepreneurs are naturally always on the lookout for new ventures or for ways to further their existing ventures. Among the many tools that they might be able to use is the patent. Just what is a patent and how can it help a business get ahead?

An overview of patent basics

According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, there are three types of patents that the agency issues. One of these is related to the development of a new plant that can be asexually reproduced. Another is related to new designs for different items. The third is for an actual item or a process or machine. This patent may also be issued for a new type of matter that is discovered or invented.

The typical length of time that a patent is granted for is 20 years but this may vary depending upon the circumstances. In most cases, the patent takes effect from the date that the application for the patent was initially filed.

Patent owners are responsible for defending the rights granted by the patent.

Rights bestowed by a patent

Some people may think that a patent gives a person or a company the right to produce or sell something. This is not actually correct. A patent simply gives a person or a company the right to prevent someone else from producing or selling something. A patent may also be used to prevent the use, offering or importing of an item by another party.

Benefits to startups in need of funding

Businesses that are just getting off the ground often need to seek sources of funding to help them get established. Whether looking to solicit venture capital funding or bank loans, Forbes indicates that a patent may make this process easier. By owning a patent, the potential investor or lender can see potential in the company that may not otherwise be as visible or tangible without the patent. In short, it may make the transaction feel like a smarter and safer investment than if no patent existed.

Providing a competitive advantage

Today's competitive economy means that every company must be constantly on the lookout for how to get and stay ahead of its competitors. Holding a patent gives a company the ability to establish itself in a way that others in the market space would not be able to do while the patent is in effect.

Simply put, patents can be very powerful assets to businesses in California. Before making an application for a patent, it is best to consult with an experience business attorney. This can give individual and companies the ability to better understand the scope of the patent and how to capitalize on it.