15MWTD - USONO
19: Solving The Ultrasound Probe-lem With Victor from Usono
13th June 2018
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20: Patent Masterclass for Healthcare Entrepreneurs & Innovators

5MWTD - Patent Masterclass for Healthcare Entrepreneurs & Innovators
On this special masterclass episode, we are joined by Phil, a patent attorney with a company called EIP. It’s a longer than usual episode but it covers the essentials in regards to patents. Phil gives us a concise but thorough description of patents, the process for being granted a patent, and some useful guidelines and tips for healthcare entrepreneurs and innovators.

What you will learn in this episode:

– Patent defined
– What can be patented?
– When is the ideal time to patent?
– Patent process
– Costs associated with patenting
– Advice for those considering submitting a patent application

– Patent defined
• A patent is an exclusive right to stop others from exploiting your invention.
• An invention is a technical solution to a technical problem; of an industrial nature including functionality, construction, process, or chemicals.

– What can be patented?
• Any invention with an industrial application, which can include the technical aspects of software.

– When is the ideal time to patent?
• It is never too early to submit a patent application, but it can be too late.
• You must consider strategic factors including the stage of development, the availability of funding, the availability of resources from suppliers, and the willingness of distributors to carry the product.

– Patent process
• Secure a patent attorney to draft the patent application – It is often to challenging to do yourself.
• File a priority application through your patent office.
• After a 12 month waiting period, you can then request a search and preliminary opinion to determine if the invention is protectable and then submit a priority claiming application which can include additional information.
• After approximately 12 more months, you can submit international applications in the countries where you would like for the patent to be granted, after which the agencies will conduct a thorough investigation of your invention’s viability for patenting.
• Next, your patent will be examined and you can submit arguments and amendments until your patent meets requirements.
• Finally, you will be subject to various fees after which your patent will be granted.

– Costs associated with patenting
• You will encounter costs at each stage of the patenting process, ranging from £4,000-£15,000, you also need to account for the renewal and maintenance fees that you will incur during the 20 year patent.

– Advice for those considering submitting a patent application
• Consider keeping your idea secret until it is protected; be cautious using crowdfunding sites to raise funds if you disclose too much information.
• Choose your patent attorney and business advisors carefully, and have them sign Non-Disclosure Agreements.
• Determine who actually owns the patented material; this could save you from trouble down the road.
• Before you begin this lengthy and expensive process, consider whether applying for a Registered Design or a Trademark could better meet your needs instead.

Key Quotes and Links:

“The patent gives technical protection to the person who has filed the patent.”

“It is important to work out how far along in your development you are and make a strategic choice about when to file your patent application.”

“What’s termed ‘state of the art’ is everything that is available at the date that the patent application was made.”

UKIPO:
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/intellectual-property-office
EIP:
https://www.eip.com/

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