Oftentimes businesses do not just own goods and property, but they also own intellectual property. Intellectual property rights allow businesses to protect their concepts from other people who are looking to profit from them. Patents, in particular, protect novel concepts, products and processes. If a patent is granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a person or business is forbidden to use or profit from another’s patent without the owner’s consent.
Unlike other types of intellectual property, patents do not automatically apply. Instead, businesses must apply for a patent and they last for a limited amount of time. Patents can apply to a wide variety of things, including drugs, chemical formulas, medical devices, computer software and furniture designs, to name a few.
New Jersey businesses hold a great number of patents. Recently, the Research & Development Council of New Jersey honored some New Jersey businesses for their intellectual property achievements at its 50th anniversary party. These businesses received the Edison Patent Award for their work in 13 different fields. These areas included pharmaceutical technology, agriculture, medical device, telecommunications and emerging technology, among others. New Jersey companies that were honored for their innovative work included Honeywell, TE Connectivity SubCom, Merck Research Laboratories, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
This recognition is just one example of how important patents are to New Jersey companies. Patents and other forms of intellectual property must be protected from those who would like to illegally profit from the patented products. Businesses will often need to find balance between protecting their intellectual property and profiting from it, and with the right help, this can be done.
Source: My Central Jersey, “Research and Development Council of New Jersey announces 2012 Edison Patent award winning patents and inventors,” Dec. 12, 2012