Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Patents is a question and answer site for people interested in improving and participating in the patent system. It's 100% free, no registration required.

So, I have an idea and I wish to patent but as of today I can't put it to any actual use. Is it possible to patent in that way for the sole purpose of preventing someone else from patenting it?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

Absolutely, although less absolutely after some court cases in the last few years. In fact a patent does not give you the right to do anything.. It only provides the right to exclude others. You might invent an improved lawn mower but it might be seen as a variation of a already patented basic lawn mower. Or you might invent a super sonic jet but realistically only be able to get it to reality by a license deal with Boeing or Airbus. And you might first have to try to stop them if they don't cut a deal with you.

share|improve this answer

What GW said essentially covers it. Getting a patent identifies you as the inventor and prevents others from profiting from your invention (during the validity of its fees-paid lifetime, about 20 years). In most cases, there is some intent of the inventor for using the invention, at least to cover the cost of the patent process and maintenance fees.

Is it possible to patent in that way for the sole purpose of preventing someone else from patenting it?

To simply block OTHERS from patenting the same invention, a cheaper alternative may be to release a defensive publication. Making the invention public this way will prevent others from getting a patent on the exact same thing - but will also allow anyone to simply profit from it since you do not have a patent on it either.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.