In our years of filing patent applications, we have come across many entrepreneurs and innovators. Some with such resilient and innovative minds that we crave for their patents to be granted and their intellectual property to usher huge dividends. No entrepreneur is obsolete from failure. But the ones that find a solution or lesson from every downfall and choose to stand up are inspirational and worthy of applause.
Specifically in our service, inventors approach us with their ideas/Inventions, and we normally suggest conducting a patentability search. A patentability search is conducted to find relevant documents like patent applications, which are published or research papers, or products that are already on the market that might be similar to their Invention, and we give them the report of our findings typically within a week. Sometimes the search will throw up some ‘Prior Art’.
Prior Art is anything that is made available, or disclosed, to the public that might be relevant to the Invention.
We disclose the Prior Art in our reporting and share it with the inventors and we ask them to ponder and identify how their invention is different from the prior art and share their observations with us. Many times the inventors delay in getting back to us or they don’t get back to us at all. Perhaps the fact that there is a ‘Prior Art’ acts as a deterrent and soon filling a patent application for their Invention becomes a lesser priority amongst the many things they have to take care of daily as an Entrepreneur. They either proceed with launching the product or shift their focus to doing other things that they consider more important than filing the patent.
Keep in mind, this particular step of differentiating your invention from whatever is already there in the public domain is important and not just for the purpose of getting a patent, which is giving you legal protection, but it’s important for you as an inventor to be certain that the invention is really unique, that it is really different and that it is not obvious to somebody in the same field.
So many Inventors take this as a challenge, they recognised that currently, the way the Invention is defined is not really that unique or inventive. So they shift their focus and energy to work on it and improve on it further. This activity helps them come up with something, which is not only new but also contributes to the technical field. Something that is not obvious to someone of average skill in the field. Upon successfully accomplishing this, they are proud as an inventor.
One of the traits of a successful entrepreneur is that you look at problems as challenges. Problems, hurdles, or challenges as simply something to overcome. The ability to solve problems and overcome them is a quality of a great entrepreneur. It is a reflection of your Innovative trait, your persistent trait, and your determination to succeed despite these obstacles or roadblocks. We agree that some Prior Art is hard to overcome and in such cases, we advise our clients to not proceed with the application, but even so, we wish to encourage all Innovators to re-work their Innovation and develop it further, in order to better the Innovation not just for the purpose of getting a patent grant but to prove to yourself as an innovator.
As the popular saying goes, “ As an entrepreneur and you may be down but you are never out”.