Protecting innovations at every stage of their life-cycle is of utmost importance for all startups. Patents are one way to do this. Patents are exclusive intellectual property rights (IPR) that can effectively prevent others from making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing a patented technology. As intangible property, patents supplement good reputation and credibility and build authenticity and authority in the marketplace.
Patents may also help startups: (i) identify investors and convince them to invest in innovation; (ii) develop an attitude conducive to defending IPR; (iii) generate revenue through licensing; (iv) ensure their freedom to operate; (v) increase the market value of products and technologies; (vi) strategically align with potential market leaders; and (vii) develop partnerships for research and development.
Strategies for adopting and creating a patent portfolio will vary based on the nature of the company and the financial resources available. While large companies may have separate and significant budget resources to procure and maintain patents, small companies can also strategically maintain a cost-effective and valuable patent portfolio, which will eventually help in generating licensing revenues. In view of cost constraints, the initial focus can be on developing a few patents covering essential products and technologies in line with the company’s business objectives.
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Pankaj Musyuni is a managing associate at LexOrbis.
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