Consumer product patents
Consumer products are fast moving and typically less complicated compared with inventions in other industries, so people often disregard the importance of filing patent applications for them. However, often the simplest innovations are the most profitable and carry the least commercialisation risk.
Contrary to popular belief, simplicity is absolutely no bar to patentability – patents are granted and designs are registered on new consumer products every day and are enforced around the world. This allows companies and entrepreneurs to benefit financially from their bright ideas and investment in their own inventions.
What products are patentable?
So long as your consumer product is new, inventive and has functional utility, it should be patentable in any country around the world.
Benefits and challenges of filing consumer product patent applications
Consumer products have some of the lowest commercialisation risks among patent industries. However, inventors and innovators see little value in pursuing a patent strategy for consumer products, which usually are fast moving but of lower cost to develop compared with other technologies.
One could consider the volume that can be acquired in the market for these consumer products: if successful in identifying the gap in the market and supplying the market with the goods, there is a huge potential to own that market share. Similarly large is the possibility that a competitor can eye and covet a chunk or all of that market share by positioning a similar product based on your product. In this case, a carefully designed patent portfolio can go a long way in protecting both the invented product and the possible tweaks to the product. How? By involving patent attorneys that understand both the technological and the business aspects of bringing a product into the market.
Foresight is important: “How will my competitor tweak my product to make it their own without infringing on my existing patents?” and design a patent strategy to address the possible answers.
Examples of granted consumer product patent applications
Disney Enterprises, Inc
Vorwerk & Co. Interholding GmbH
|Clothing, footwear & fashion (patent applications & registered designs)|
Roka Sports, Inc
|Toys & novelty goods|
Explore Nook Pty Ltd
Illinois Tool Works, Inc
Van Tonder, Andries Johan
Kambouris Shares Pty Ltd
Fujian Xihe Sanitary Ware Technology Co., Ltd