Why is patenting necessary?

The main purpose of intellectual property protection at the university is to create and to expand the economic interest of business partners. However it is important to note here that patenting process involves financial investment, so it is only worth to start when the chances that legal protection fees are reimbursed are high, and the invention is not only profitable but also useful in the market. Licencing a product needs further investment from the businesses to cover fees of improvements and launching to the market. These investments usually return only when the enterprise gains exclusive rights to manufacture the product or provide the service. 
An example from the pharmaceutical industry: development, licensing, testing and launching of a new pharmaceutical compound may cost about 200 billion HUF. There is no company taking this risk without the competitive advantage provided by patenting. 
The main advantage of patenting through the university for a researcher is that all patenting-related expenses are covered by the university. 

Patenting process

After receiving the invention, the TTO starts proceedings to gain patent protection and acts in cooperation with the researchers. 
A patent attorney expert in the given area is asked by the TTO to evaluate the invention. The patent attorney contacts the inventors and the text of the patent application is also prepared under the coordination of the TTO. The priority patent application is usually issued to the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office in either Hungarian or English.  

Researchers creating the inventions have a crucial role throughout the patenting process so the TTO counts on You, the inventor in the following matters: 

  • signing all authorizations and relevant documentations necessary for patenting;
  • scientific cooperation during patenting (researching current state of art, cooperation in preparing the text of the patent application and wording replies handed to the examination office etc;)
  • contribution to finding business partners exploiting the invention, software or other intellectual product (for instance writing technology-presentation summaries, advising on improvements, attending meetings, etc) 

Threats of early presentation 

Any information that had gone public before the priority day of the patent application may be a threat to the appropriate protection.  Hence we kindly ask you to abstain from publishing the invention before the application is filed. The TTO makes all efforts to avoid unjustifiable delay in academic publications. 

Patent expansion abroad

In the 12 months long period following the priority patent application it is possible to expand the patent application internationally or file certain international applications. Hence before the twelfth month is over the inventors make a new evaluation along with the TTO. The university decides whether it is worth filing an international patent application.  In this phase patent expenses may be 5-10 million HUF depending on the geographical coverage and the complexity of the process. Launching international phases may vary depending on the estimated market potential. 

Three scenarios are possible following the new evaluation: 

  • 1. The University may decide not to launch international phases based on the preliminary patentability report or the market feedback received in the meantime. In this case the opportunity is offered for the inventor. 
  • 2. The University decides to file a PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) application. The PCT application is an easy but expensive way to extend the 12 months deadline, the deadline for handing in international applications extend to 30-31 months from the priority patent application. 
  • 3. The University may also decide the direct launching of certain international phases ( USA, Europe) in exceptional cases. Taking into consideration that this procedure carries significant costs, it is typically launched only in the case of having found a business partner for commercialization and reconciliations are in progress about conditions of licensing agreement.

Thorough drafting of the patent application and answering all questions and objections of patent offices is a time- and cost consuming process. Both could be significantly reduced by quick and effective communication between the inventor and the patent attorney and if the inventor provides all the information required by the patent attorney. The very first step towards this is giving a detailed and elaborate answer to all questions of the Invention Disclosure form.

Updated: 2019.07.19.

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