The world of business is constantly evolving, and when society is facing challenging times, the need for business innovation is as strong as ever. Therefore, anyone who works to increase revenue is looking to improve on the methods used to do so, which results in an increased prevalence in the realm of business-related innovations.
However, coming up with a new business method is only the beginning of maximizing the potential that’s related to the idea.
The Nature of Business Method Patents
Business method patents involve processes, flows and approaches that are unique and that present a new way to do business in just about any way. While the nature of the business method patent could seem somewhat nebulous, the examples of these types of patented ideas are nearly limitless. Below are a few examples of the types of business method patents that exist:
- Industry promotion
- Online commerce
- Bank note printing
- Revenue stamps
- Business forms
- Insurance systems
- Statistical compilation
- Accounting machines
- Virtual sales personnel
Thousands of business method patents are granted every year, and most of them deal with the notions involving management, sales, banking, securities and insurance methods.
The First Step – Information Needed for the Business Method Patent Search
In order to find out if your pursuit of a business method patent is worth your time and expense, you first need to determine if a patent exists already for your innovation. Certain types of information will be useful in coming to this necessary conclusion, and below are a few examples of these types of information:
- A description of every step of the new business method process
- Identification of the step or steps within this process that would be considered unique
- A tangible example of the new invention and how it would work in practice
Any potential invention will carry with it certain particularities, but a description of the nature of the invention, how it represents what patent law refers to as a ‘novel’ invention and how it would work in practice are generally part of any existing patent search process. Read more about it on how to patent a product with InventHelp article.
Information Necessary for a Business Method Patent Application
If you find that your innovation has not yet been patented by someone else, you should proceed to the actual business method patent application. Of course, you’ll need to be able to present certain types of information, and below are a few examples of what you should be ready to include on your application:
- A statement that describes the current state of the art method
- The advantages and benefits that your business method would provide
- A specific description of each step of the business method proposed
- Details regarding the specific steps in the business method that would be considered unique or novel
- An explanation of the business method and how it would be applied in a real-world setting
While every potential invention is unique in terms of its specific tenets, the overriding characteristics of every business method patent application include statements that clearly and specifically describe the invention, statements that contrast your invention with those already in existence and examples of how your business method would work in practice.
Why You Need a Business Method Patent
Business methods need the same type of protection as a tangible product, as a method that works will no doubt be mimicked by other businesses that are interested in boosting their bottom lines. Therefore, you may be able to sell licensing rights to businesses that want to use your method, and you’ll be able to protect yourself by enforcing your patent if another entity attempts to use your method without your permission.
If you have formulated a business method that you believe could be unique, novel and in need of protection, you need to take the necessary steps to make sure that you maximize the potential of your innovation.
Business methods are constantly evolving, and some can obtain protection, although you’ll need to provide a description of your invention in order to properly perform a pre-application for a patent search. On the application, you’ll also need to provide statements that describe your invention and provide the benefits your innovation will result in for those who use it as this how to apply for a patent with InventHelp post explains.