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Nobody will ever force you to get a patent for your innovation, but no one will ever tell you that your invention, once copied, will not stay yours. So, in order to protect your creation, it is a must to get a patent. A start-up must build a patent strategies to restrict others from using their technology or innovation. However, it is a well-known fact that patents are expensive, but it is worth spending money on because you will be the sole owner of your creation without any interference, which will help your brand grow on a large scale. In this blog, we will discuss the patent strategies that must be used by start-ups, along with their advantages.
What are Patent Strategies?
Patent strategies are the steps that a company takes while getting a patent to protect its invention. The Patent strategies includes various measures, such as choosing the type of patent, the country where you wish to take the patent, hiring a patent attorney, and so on.
Furthermore, a patent protects your creation for a term of 20 years, and no one can use the same technology without your permission. This clearly means that no one else except you will be dealing with the same technology in the country where you have applied for a patent.
Patenting Strategies for Start-ups
- Protect your important products
There are situations when a single patent cannot protect all your products. Although start-ups have a limited budget, it may be challenging to spend much on getting several patents. Therefore, it is advisable to use a wise patent strategy and initially take patents for the products that are more revenue-generating. Moreover, you can list and take patents for the main features or functionalities used in most of your products to make them unique.
- Connect with an experienced Patent Attorney
The start-ups must hire an experienced lawyer who deals with intellectual property matters as he will be well-versed in patent filing. Hiring a lawyer is necessary as patent filing is expensive and time-consuming. Therefore, all the formalities must take place with due care.
- Keep a check on the competitor’s patent activities
Filing a patent is not enough, and companies are also required to keep a close check on the patent activities of their competitors. This is important to get an insight into the new strategies that the companies follow to make their product unique and reliable for customers. Moreover, you will also get to know about the new companies that are trying to enter the market by filing patent applications. It can be understood that monitoring patent activities is a challenging task, and the start-up may need help to perform it. Therefore, it is advised to hire an agency for the monitoring work. This is the main component in the process of patent strategy.
- Make a Patent Strategies that suits the market
A patent application has to be individually filed in every country where you wish to take a patent considering the requirements of that country. Moreover, taking patent protection for all the countries in one go is not feasible as it will not be a market-driven approach and will be very costly. Therefore, you can initially take a patent in two-three countries where your base production or sales will occur.
Advantages of a Patent Strategies for Start-ups
- A patent is granted for a specified period to protect your invention. It will also restrict others from using it.
- You are the only person who has exclusive rights to use your patented technology.
- Once a patent is granted, no other person can manufacture, copy, or sell your invention without taking your prior permission.
- To earn additional income, you can license your patent to others, permitting them to use or sell the patented product.
Things to Consider while getting a Patent
- Novelty –The most important requirement of getting a patent is that no one should know about the innovation until it is patented.
- Helpful – The next requirement is that your innovation or creation must be beneficial to others.
- Non-obviousness – Ensure that your invention must not be obvious and shall not be related to any prior art. It means that any similar invention shall not be already patented.
Is it advisable to file a provisional patent or not?
A provisional patent is not compulsory, but it is advisable as you get one year to complete your invention and file a utility patent. Moreover, filing a provisional patent can prove to be a smart move to keep your invention safe from others because you will have a claim over your invention which is still in progress.
Moreover, filing a provisional patent does not require all information to be disclosed, and you are only required to submit a general description of your invention.