The world is going through a rough phase and COVID-19 has created a catastrophe in everyday lives. In these hard times, each and every industry is doing a bit to overturn the impacts caused by the spread of COVID- 19. This is evident from the rapid rise in donations starting from protective masks, sanitizers, ventilators and many other life saving drugs.
The governments along with the FMCG, Pharma and Medical devices companies are taking the centre stage in alleviating or eradicating the spread of the killer COVID-19. FMCGs are the frontline contenders with the hand wash / sanitizer systems, while the medical devices companies are focusing on the protection devices as well as the diagnostic systems. The pharma companies are mainly focusing their research for identifying the potential vaccine candidates and re-assessing the potency of the exiting anti-viral drugs that are previously tested for Ebola, SARS and HIV, for their potential use in COVID-19 treatment.
However, the new pandemic has been a game-changer for many enterprises. Starting from small scale industries to large scale industries, have adapted to the current business environment, where we can see maximum number of new products being launched ranging from hand sanitizers, surgical masks and personal protective equipments, Sidha / Ayurveda products, as well as the tech apps / products for detection of the spread of COVID-19. One well known example is that the textile / fashion industry has adapted to the current situation and started producing protective aprons, face masks, etc.
Research institutions, Universities and Individual inventors are doing their fair bit for the prevention of COVD-19 Spread. While the research institutions and the Universities are highly engaged in the research for new chemical entities, diagnostic equipments including rapid test and diagnostic kits; the inventors are also coming-up with the traditional treatment products, sanitizing compositions, etc. for the prevention.
Importance of protecting the inventions:
Some-day or the other, there will be a cure for COVID-19 pandemic. However, the main impact made by this pandemic is the change in the lifestyle of the public, which is expected to last for a very long time.
In this unprecedented time, organizations / corporations and the inventors are mainly focusing on the research and the marketing of the products than filing patent applications. Innovations made during these times might become a biggest asset to the researches and prove to be valuable aftermath of the catastrophe. For any organization or a company or a researcher, patent applications will prove to be a savior in these times.
Patenting is not always a speedier process. It has its own limitations and timelines. However, protecting an invention may not always mean filing the protection complete invention but acquiring the priority of the invention i.e. filing the provisional application for the inventive concept at the conceptual stage itself. Filing a provisional application would not only provide us with a timeline of 12 months for coming up with the complete specification but might also help in reducing the cost of filing patent for one year i.e. abandoning the application in case of a prior-art, or exploring the commercial viability of the invention.
Other Intellectual Property Protection Mechanisms:
There has been an array budding inventors / companies with limited resources and are exploring their foray in the newer markets, like the companies currently involved in the manufacturing of face masks, personal protective equipments, cleaning or sanitizing products including hand sanitizers, diagnostic kits etc. Apart from the patent protection, Trademark protection and company registration are vital for the growth of the business and marketing of the recognizable products. This might legally protect the product from being used without the permission of the source company.
After we beat the pandemic, we will need these same companies to focus their attention on stimulating the economy and helping us bounce back. For some companies, this will mean utilizing the innovations that they created during the pandemic.
Today, a company's ability to capitalize from its inventions is frequently tied to its patent portfolio. Filing a patent application is likely not at the top of most companies' list of priorities right now, especially companies operating with limited resources. It's a good idea for companies to seek counsel from the very beginning of the patent application process.
Although that may not seem feasible at the moment, there are certain relatively inexpensive steps that companies can take, even on their own if needed, to preserve potential patent rights, such as filing a provisional patent application. In this article, we answer three common questions relating to provisional applications.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.