Protect this House: The benefits, pitfalls and costs of filing for a patent

Special to Financial Post – Feb 7, 2012, 6:05 AM ET

Patenting your invention is the best way to prevent others from copying it, allowing you to recover the costs of R&D, manufacturing and marketing. If your invention is complex, it will require such protection, but it’s also important to file a patent if your product is easily reverse-engineered. However, not every invention is patentable: ideas that are artistic or do not have a direct practical use will not be considered by the patent office. Here’s a primer on what to expect.