31-03-2021

Ready to bring your research to market? Keep these six points in mind

Ready to bring your research to market? Keep these six points in mind

Niels Jansen (27) is a patent consultant at Novel-T and a PhD student at the University of Twente. At Novel-T, Niels is the guy to talk to when it comes to protecting your inventions. In this article, he discusses the six points to keep in mind when you are ready to bring your research to market. Read on!

Author: Tamara Hartman 31 March 2021

Applying for a patent

A patent is an exclusive right to make your invention available to industrial parties or sell it. It is important that your invention is technical in nature. Furthermore, you have to meet the following three requirements in order to receive a patent:
1. Your product must be new;
2. Your invention must be inventive;
3. The invention must have industrial applications.
Besides these points, there are other aspects to consider as a researcher. Below, Niels shares the six key points to keep in mind when you are trying to bring your research to market.

1. Do not share your invention with the public too soon

“Researchers are often very excited to tell everyone about their invention, but that is something you should avoid,” Niels emphasizes. “By announcing your idea too soon, you will generally no longer be eligible for a patent, because the invention won’t be ‘new’ anymore.” Even discussing your invention at a conference can ruin your chances of getting a patent for it. Niels: “We understand how eager you are to share your invention with the world and we don’t want to get in the way of that, but you should always go to the Knowledge Transfer Office (KTO) first before publishing anything. Together, we can explore the options available to you.”

2. Prove that your invention works

A patent application is no simple matter. One important requirement for the KTO is a proof of principle, i.e. proof that your invention works. “On idea on a piece of paper is not enough for us. You must be able to demonstrate the practical feasibility of your idea. That will help you build a stronger case,” Niels explains. Not having a ‘proof of principle’ does not mean you have absolutely no chance of getting a patent, but having such proof does make the whole process easier.

3. Inventing something new is (sometimes) easier than you think

“Sometimes, researchers don’t even realize they have an invention on their hands. They are often far along in their research, which can make them believe they are only making incremental progress,” Niels says. He adds: “All these little steps together can lead to new inventions. Sometimes, that happens sooner than people think.”

4. Think about your rights

It is important to realize that there are rights associated with your invention. Do you retain these rights yourself or do they belong to a business? Niels: “The rights to an invention can belong to one or more businesses. It is important to understand that once a company owns the rights, you are no longer the owner of your own invention.”

5. Garner commitment

After two and a half years, a patent must be transferred to the market or it will not be prolonged. While drawing up your patent – but also while searching for a commercial partner or launching a spinoff – commitment can make all the difference. Niels: “Commitment largely determines how quickly and smoothly the overall process will go.”

6. Gather enough information

You can find an incredible wealth of information about patients both online and via the KTO. Niels: “We organize webinars that can help you bring your idea to market and you can spar with our consultants. Take your time, but make sure to involve the KTO in a timely manner if you are looking to bring your idea to market.”

A patent application via the KTO always coincides with a business program, in which a business developer assesses your product’s market opportunities. If you are a researcher at Saxion University of Applied Sciences or the University of Twente and you are ready to take your invention to market, contact Niels Jansen or read more information about the patent application process on this page.

Niels Jansen

Are you looking for advice on patent applications? Niels can help you with this.

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