It can be useful to take account of patents during different stages of a development process. Patent literature can be useful for inspiration at the conceptual stage. At a later stage it may be useful to determine the patent positions of third parties in order to avoid potential conflicts. Once choices have been made in the development process, it may be useful to consider applying for patent on the achieved results. Be advised that there is no point in applying for patent if the inventions have already been made public. A patent application can be of great importance to companies in attracting investors; the opportunities for recouping investment are after all increased if a company can defend its market position using patents.