Patent Strategy? What? And Why?

Why patent strategy?

Founders who want to start a company face daunting odds. There are a lot of statistics, but the consensus is that 90% of startups fail within three to five years. With odds like these, young companies need to do everything they can to mitigate risks they face in their early days. Most start-ups tend to spend nearly all their time thinking about how to make a great product and get people to buy it. That makes complete sense, but in my experience too many start-ups overlook the need to protect their intellectual property -- a costly and sometimes even fatal mistake. Startups sometimes refrain from pursuing patents and other intellectual property due to limited funds.

Despite the costs, however, there’s a strong case that start-up companies and their legal counsels need to incorporate intellectual property into their risk mitigation strategy early on to avoid problems as they grow. Besides being able to monetize patents, they can potentially block others from negatively impacting your business, and investors often see patents as a valuable property right.

How does it help ?

Start-ups go through many phases and every phase has different logistics to be followed.

FOR BUSINESS POSITIONING:

Positioning is a marketing concept that outlines what a business should do to market its product or service to its customers. In positioning, the marketing department creates an image for the product based on its intended audience.
Fundamental positioning is achieved by creating the right product and technology at the right time, along with a comprehensive patent portfolio that covers the essentiality of the solution per specified industry standards (when applicable) and commercial implementation.

Some of the advantages of the Patent strategy for business positions are:

Being well positioned for long-term strategic customers and prepare for hyper growth: Top-tier customers greatly value a strong portfolio as part of their supplier selection process since they are usually the target of such infringement lawsuits and can provide the financial means and support for countersuits if the supplier and the customer agree that this is the appropriate course of action.

Comprehensive portfolios are valuable assets for a successful exit strategy: Having a strong portfolio is a key differentiator in attracting strategic investors and larger companies who look to broaden their product portfolio through acquisition. It is also a key asset for yielding a significantly higher sale valuation.

FOR POOR BUSINESS DRIVERS:

Why do ( smart ) start-ups need an IP strategy ?

To Enforce and cross license plans:

Even a company that practices its patents may find that it cannot fulfill all the demand for its patented products. For instance, it may not have the know-how or skill to sell its products in foreign markets or, it may be prevented by another's patent from combining its patented product with other features that consumers demand.

In these situations, a practicing patentee will often license its patents for use in other geographic or product markets to extract value it otherwise could not.
Second, and perhaps more common, a patentee will not have the resources, know-how, or desire to practice its patents.

Competitor prevention:

When a patentee invents a new product it plans to sell, it risks that others may copy or independently invent the product, which can diminish and even eliminate the
patentee's profit. A rational patentee will first assess the magnitude of this risk, including its likelihood. If the overall risk is small to nil, then the patentee can forgo additional protection.

If the risk is not insignificant, the patentee will then weigh its options to reduce the risk. It might consider nonlegal options, such as increased marketing expenditures to promote the new product. Alternatively, or in addition, it can opt for legal protection, such as trademark, copyright, trade secret, or patent protection.

TechHub Bangalore is hosting "Brevetto Militarium" a workshop conducted on Patent Strategies conducted by Mr. Arjun Bala on March 17th 2017 @ 5:30PM. If you wish to be a part of the same, register here:

(https://www.eventbrite.com/e/brevetto-militarium-tickets-32682644670)