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DU Research & Scholarship

Office of Research & Scholarship

Intellectual Property

Technology Transfer

Patent Information

The University of Denver subscribes to the innovation model for technology transfer where inventors are given substantial incentives to carry  out  the  innovation and help move it forward.  If you have questions regarding patents at the University of Denver, please contact the Technology Transfer Office either by telephone (303-871-4230) or email ( techtransfer@du.edu ).

Benefits of Patenting

The benefits of patent rights may be considered in commercial, economic and societal terms.

COMMERCIAL AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS

  • Assuming a patented invention has commercial value, the owner of the patent may choose to make and sell the product, taking advantage of the monopoly rights afforded by the patent.
  • The owner of the patent may lack the background, incentive or the resources to make and sell the product. The owner still can benefit commercially by waiving those rights to another party for consideration. For example, the patent owner can license the patent to another party. Patent owners can also sell a patent outright.
  • The value of patents must be interpreted in relation of the economic structure of the society under which patent rights are practiced. In many countries of the world, manufacturers of patented products expect to gain financially by making and selling products protected by patents.

Patents are essential to the successful commercialization of some types of inventions; namely, inventions that require large expenditures to develop to commercial stage, such as pharmaceutical products. There is little likelihood that inventions of this type will ever become available to the public without benefit of patent protection. Patent protection provides the developer of such products market exclusivity long enough to recoup the costs of bringing such products to market.

SOCIETAL BENEFITS 
Patents provide several important benefits to society.

  • Society-at-large benefits whenever patented products important to a significant number of people become available to the public.
  • When a patent is allowed or issued, publication is mandatory. Patent publication is freely available to the public. Society benefits by learning about inventions through this publication process. Society benefits by obtaining something it lacked previously and which would not have been obvious to members of that society. It is important to realize that the invention might never have been made available to the public except for publication of the patent.
  • An often unrecognized feature of the patent system is that it is structured to encourage people to invent around the patent; i.e., to provide alternative solutions to the problem toward which the invention is directed. This attribute of the patent system often serves as a powerful stimulant to make further inventions that may also benefit society.
  • After a patent has expired there may be significant residual benefits to society. If a successful product has been launched through the benefit of patent protection, there is a strong likelihood the product will continue to be manufactured and sold to the public, not only by the original developer who depended upon patent protection, but by other manufacturers who benefit by making and selling the product when the patent expires. This is all part of the benefit to society that flows from the patent system.