Patents may be used to prevent competitors from offering the same technology.

Patent Example

International Patent Application
This specific International Patent Application was filed 16 months earlier than the U.S. Application.

Patent Fact

An inventor can file a patent application in his or her home country and then file the same application in other countries at a later date while claiming "priority" to the originally filed application.

There are many reasons companies pursue patent protection for their invention. If others are interested in the invention, the patent may be licensed to others in exchange for royalties.

Some companies pursue patents in recognition of work performed by the company. Patents may be used to recognize the achievements of inventors and to notify the public of the company's innovations. The company may further benefit from an increased value of the company's assets.

Finally, patents may be obtained for defensive purposes. When a company is accused of patent infringement by a third party, it may turn to its own patent portfolio as proof that it is not using the third party's patented technology or that the third party's patent is invalid.