not just for large companies. Patents are not only for high technology.
Some of the most successful E-Commerce companies have used patents for
business methods and “low-tech”inventions.
Patents can help your E-Commerce business in a
number of ways.
are probably more benefits to patents, but this list is a start. These benefits
are not only for
E-Commerce companies, but are especially important in
E-Commerce. This is because E-Commerce is closely linked to subjects that
have recently, in countries where patent protection is available for these
fields of technology, been the subject of vigorous patent activity:
business methods and
Systemic Innovation: 7 Areas
in E-Business are important because of the amount of licensing, contracting out,
outsourcing, and strategic relationships involved in E-Business.
will want to consider whether to implement an Employee Invention Incentive
Program in your company. Such programs are common, in particular in countries
that do not provide for legislation on remuneration for employee inventions, in
larger companies and usually involve a bonus in stock and/or cash given to an
employee or team of employees who produce inventions. The awards are usually
given in stages, with a small award given at the time an invention disclosure is
filed by the employee with the person in the company who is responsible for this
task, another given at the time the patent application is filed, and another one
given when the patent issues, with the largest incentive given last. Public
announcements and award ceremonies are good ways to boost morale and encourage
are usually first filed in your own country’s patent office, but also in most
other countries, anyone can file a patent in the respective national patent
office or use, where the conditions therefore are fulfilled, the International
Bureau of WIPO for patents filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (the
“PCT”). Using the PCT gives you options to file patent applications in a number
of countries. There are also regional patent offices, for example, the European
Patent Office (EPO), the Patent Office of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC),
the African Regional Industrial Property Organization (ARIPO) and the
Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI). See: “Protecting
Your Intellectual Property Abroad”.
are engaging in E-Commerce as your primary business, or as an important part of
your business, you will need to decide whether patent protection for your
employees’ inventions is a useful tool for your company, and if so, where you
should file the application.