Patents Protect Your Business
Patents are usually considered as being the holy grail for inventors with sometimes strange or wacky ideas. However, Patents are more often used by businesses and can provide a savvy entrepreneur with significant growth opportunities. Many businesses can benefit from protecting their technology or innovation from competitors, including those in manufacturing or technology related industries.
Patents protect your business by preventing the patented technology from being copied, sold or used by someone else without your permission. It also stops other companies from manufacturing or importing the patented technology into the United States. A patent can cover a physical product like a machine or consumer good, but also protects processes, including processes related to manufacturing the product as well as systems or methods where the product is used. Sometimes an invention is simply an improvement on an existing product, process, machine or composition of matter.
How to Obtain a Patent
Recently, we divided the process into what we consider are five easy steps.
Working with a licensed patent attorney, applying for patents is pretty simple.
- Determine if the Invention is Patentable
- Conduct a Patent Search
- Write-up and File the Patent
- Work with Patent Office to Obtain the Patent
- Pay the Issue Fee and Maintain the Patent
Advantages of Obtaining a Patent
Because they offer exclusive rights, patents protect your business in several ways:
First, for the life of the patent, the patent protects the business from competition by competitors who want to make, sale and use the invention. Holding a patent gives you the ability to reap the reward of the patent by preventing competition during the life of the patent. By maintaining the exclusive rights, or licensing them jointly or exclusively to others, the inventor can ensure that they receive a reward for their inventive product or process. This also allows the business to build upon the invention and can provide marketing opportunities which may result in additional profit and revenue for the company. Look at Apple. Sometimes Apple protect a single invention and then slices and dices the invention, repurposing it into as many different embodiments as they can think of.
Patents provide a business with a competitive advantage. Savvy entrepreneurs know what competitive advantages they have and look for different ways at protecting this advantage from their competition. When it comes to protection, patents are the 800 pound gorilla. If drafted broadly, patents protect your business.
A company can leverage their patents, adding additional inventions to their patent portfolio or finding other companies who have invented products which may be of beneficial to grow the business. Adding additional patents or other companies can offer strategic growth to a business. Also, if you are looking for an inventor, a single invention or patent may not attract some investors into investing significant case into a company. Typically, an investor is looking for a company who has market exclusivity in a variety of fields. Rarely, are they looking for a once-and-done type of company. That is why savvy companies have a variety of patents which have applicability in a variety of fields, with a variety of different implementations, alternatives and variations.
Value of Business
Holding a patent increases the overall value of a company. Generally, most businesses are valued on a cash basis. That means their value is based on the amount of cash coming into the company. Patents on the other hand (along with trademarks), increase in value over time. This value is added to a company’s net worth, making it more attractive to potential investors. Alternatively, patents can be sold for a flat fee or licensed for a percentage of their future sales. Either way, patents can open new roads to strategic growth and can add additional sources of revenue and contribute to the company’s long term strategy.
Patents, trademarks, and copyrights work together to protect your business. Proper guidance from a licensed patent attorney can often help contribute to continued financial success and growth of a business. If you have any questions on how to build, grow or leverage your patents or other intellectual property, contact our office to schedule a meeting with a patent attorney.