Intellectual property is more often the fruit of substantial financial investment than of random inspiration. Proper patenting of intellectual property can help to safeguard such investment, and allow full exploitation of the attendant commercial and strategic advantages. WilliamsonMcGee IP is specialized in the protection of technical innovation through patent law. 

What is a patent?


A patent is a legal instrument that allows its owner to prohibit another party from commercially exploiting a particular invention. In this context, commercial exploitation includes manufacturing, selling, marketing, etc. For optimal results, a patent should be sought in one or more countries in which there is significant commercial activity within a given industrial branch; the owner of such a family of patents may then be able to substantially curtail activities of his competitors in a particular technical field.

Protective patents


In many cases, a patent is used to exclude competitors from commercially exploiting a particular product or process, thus creating a temporary monopoly; this is often the case in the pharmaceutical industry, for example. Alternatively, competitors may be granted a license to exploit the product or process concerned, in return for payment of a royalty; such royalty income may then serve to offset R&D costs incurred in producing a new product or process. 


Deterrent patents


Even if patents are not used to produce a commercial monopoly or generate royalty income, they may still be used in a deterrent/defensive capacity to ward off attack by a competitor. In many cases, the threat of an offensive patent lawsuit by a competitor can be effectively combatted by having an arsenal of defensive patents that can be employed in a countersuit; a predator will generally be less likely to strike if there is a risk that he may himself become prey.