When Aalborg University decides to acquire the rights to a reported invention, a commercialization process is begun that in special cases also includes a patenting process. There are both advantages and disadvantages to initiating a patenting process and so it is always necessary to assess what is most appropriate for the individual invention.
Requirements for patenting at Aalborg University
An invention is patentable if it is new, involves an inventive step, is industrially applicable and it is not obvious to a person skilled in the field how to develop the same technology.
However, patenting is the most expensive and complex way to protect an invention. So the Technology Transfer Office chooses patenting only when it is necessary for the commercial process, and most essential, if the commercial value of the invention justifies the cost.
Advantages of patenting
Patenting an invention provides a number of advantages, such as:
- The patent holder obtains the right to forbid others to produce, market and sell the patented invention.
- Patenting is an investment and it ensures the patent holder a technical-economic monopoly.
- A patent can be used to create sources of revenue through collaboration and licensing agreements.
- It ensures that the patented invention is made public to society after 20 years of protection.
Disadvantages of patenting
The disadvantages of patenting an invention include:
- Patenting followed by rapid publication of the invention in a scientific journal often has the unfortunate side effect of damaging, in terms of novelty, the possibilities for protection of additional results generated during the priority year.
- Patenting too early in relation to research results could mean that:
a) It is necessary to patent again during the priority year in order to cover what later turns out to be the real invention. Patenting thus becomes twice as expensive since the original patent application must also be maintained.
b) A weak patent is obtained that is too broad and difficult to defend.
c) In the worst case it may happen that the patent must be annulled.
- Patenting can be very costly.
- It may be necessary to disclose a trade secret.
- The patent can prevent your own later patenting.