Key reasons to patent your invention include:
Diminished risks of infringement:
By obtaining patent protection you will be able to prevent others from patenting the same invention and also reduce the chances of infringing the rights of others when commercializing your products. While a patent by itself does not provide the "freedom to use" the inventor's concept, it does prevent others from patenting the same or similar inventions and provides a reasonable indication that the invention that you have patented is new and non-obvious over the "prior art."
Strong market position and competitive advantage:
The patent owner has the exclusive right to exclude others from making or using the patented invention, thereby reducing uncertainty, risk and competition from free riders and imitators. If your company can exploit a valuable patented invention it may be able to create a market entry barrier for competitors in respect of that invention. This will help it to become a pre-eminent player in the relevant market(s). Owning a patent also considerably improves the owner's ability to take appropriate legal action against copiers and imitators of the protected invention.
Higher profit or returns on investment.
If your company has invested a significant amount of time and money in R&D, patent protection of the resulting inventions provide a route for recovering costs and obtaining higher returns on investments.
Additional income from licensing or assigning the patent.
As a patent owner you may license your rights of the invention to others in exchange for lump sum payments and/or royalties, in order to generate additional income for the company. Selling a patent or assigning a patent implies transfer of ownership whereas licensing implies only permission to use the licensed invention under specified conditions.
Access to new markets.
Licensing of patents to others may provide access to new markets, which are otherwise inaccessible. In order to do so, the invention requires patent protection in the relevant foreign market(s).
Enhanced ability to obtain grants
Ownership of patents (or license to use patents owned by others) may enhance your ability to raise capital to take a product to market. In some sectors (e.g., biotechnology), it is often necessary to have a strong patent portfolio to attract venture capitalists.
Access to technology through cross-licensing
If your company is interested in licensing technology owned by others, you may use your company's own patents to negotiate cross-licensing agreements, by which your company and the other party agree to authorize each other to use one or more of your respective patents under conditions specified in the agreement.
Innovative image for your enterprise.
Business partners, investors, shareholders and customers perceive patent portfolios as a demonstration of a company's expertise level, specialization and technological innovation. This may prove useful for raising funds, finding business partners and raising your company's profile and market value. Some companies mention or list their patents in their brochures, annual reports, etc. to project an innovative image to the public.