I thought… “Patent Rights are for the “big boys”, and my business is only a SME. Therefore patents are not for me”
While it is true that the “big boys” with their large R & D budgets do file for and obtain a lot of patents to maintain their competitive advantage in the marketplace, even SMEs and individuals can obtain patents for any invention taking place in the shop floor or in the workshops of the factory.
Remember Thomas Edison was an individual inventor working in the workshop and invented and patented the incandescent electric light bulb and created a multi-million dollar industrial research laboratory.
Even minor but new and non-obvious improvements or modifications to a product or the process of manufacture of the product are eligible for patent rights. Consider examples of minor patented inventions which yielded large sums of money to the patent owners.
Special glue applied on POST-IT® memo-pad. Use of ethylene gets to increase the production of latex in rubber trees.
So SMEs should not shy away from obtaining patent rights for their invention no matter how trivial it may appear to be at first instance.