Innovations in the process chemistry area are “different”. Unlike most inventions they may be hidden from view, and may not form part of the public knowledge.
This has a number of implications for our patent work, including:
- should patent protection be sought at all for a process innovation?
- would it be better to try and keep the innovation secret?
- can it realistically be kept secret?
- might employees or ex-employees spill the beans?
- can the innovation process be deduced from the product?
- are the prospects of obtaining granted patents good? – if not, competitors may learn about the process innovation from a failed patent application.
- will you be able to police a patent on the process innovation?
- could a valid patent be obtained which does not disclose all the valuable details of the process innovation?
At Appleyard Lees, we are pragmatic advisors in this area. Our job is to help our clients work out the best business solution. It may be to patent; or it may be to keep secret. We are experienced in assessing these questions, involving legal, technical and commercial aspects, in order to give the best advice.