Limerick inventors warned not to disclose their ideas

The director of a research centre at Limerick Institute of Technology has hailed a growing reputation of invention in Limerick.

LIT lecturer Darragh Naughton runs the centre which specialises in helping inventors to turn their ideas into a viable product.

Limerick’s reputation as a centre of innovation has been boosted by the sucess of Castletroy brothers Patrick and John Collision who became overnight millionaires with the sale of their software company in 2008.

Darragh has this advice for any amateur inventors:

“The majority of inventions that we see around us every day have come out of necessity. If you have an idea, the first thing I would advise you to do is seek professional advice.

The second thing I would advice is never disclose any details of your concept or your idea, because that invalidates you getting any protection at a later stage”, he warns.

According to Dr. Naughton, people immediately jump from concept to patent. They may outlay a lot of cash trying to protect the idea when in reality there’s nothing there to protect, because they haven’t gone through a regimental framework.

In order for an invention to be patentable it must meet the following criteria:

it must show some new characteristic which is not known in the body of existing knowledge (called “prior art”) in its technical field i.e. it must be novel.

A person with average knowledge in the technical field would not be able to deduced invention i.e. it must be non-obvious.

It must be useful or capable of industrial application.

It must be part of the so-called “patentable subject matter e.g. or methods for medical treatment (as opposed to medical products) are not considered to be patentable subject).

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