Reasons to Patent: Credibility

If you missed last week’s “Reasons to Patent” post, it was all about licensing. Check it out here.

As I mentioned last week, one of the most common misconceptions I come across is that the only way a patent can bring value to your business is through legal enforcement (suing a competitor for patent infringement). In reality, there are many, many other reasons to file a patent that are far more relevant to newer, smaller businesses (such as technology startups).

This week I will be discussing credibility. In the early phases of the life of a startup, the credibility of you and your business is very important. You will need to work with other businesses and people in order for your business to grow and succeed, but they likely won’t work with you if they don’t trust or believe in your venture.

There are many ways to show your industry that you are committed, and I wouldn’t suggest just relying on one, but since this blog is all about patents, I’m going to focus on that. Investing the time and money into filing a high-quality patent application is a great way to show others that you are willing to do what it takes to make your business succeed.

Once you file your initial application, you can properly claim that you have “Patent Pending” status. This label sounds impressive. Those who don’t know what is involved in getting to that stage are impressed because they assume it must be difficult (many people don’t understand the difference between an issued patent and patent pending). Those who have been through the process before are also impressed because they know how much effort and investment it takes!

There are many types of people and business relationships where this credibility will come in handy. For example, you may be seeking investment. Initially from friends and family, later from angel investors and VCs. Anyone investing in your business would love to see that you have thought through the protection of your core IP, and that you have invested in your business. If you take your business seriously, they are more likely to also take it seriously. This also applies to banks if you’re looking for a loan, potential new hires you may want to join your cause, other companies you might partner with, granting agencies, and more.

At The IP Link, we help our clients understand the value a patent application might bring to their business BEFORE they start spending tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on their legal fees with a lawyer. If you’re looking for investment, partnerships, or to hire high-caliber type-A people and you haven’t considered how a patent could help, let’s book a 45-minute strategy session to discuss it!

Reasons to Patent: Licensing

Over the next few weeks, I will be publishing a series of newsletter emails all about different reasons you may want to pursue a patent in your business.

One of the most common misconceptions I come across is that the only way a patent can bring value to your business is through legal enforcement (suing a competitor for patent infringement). In reality, there are many, many other reasons to file a patent that are far more relevant to newer, smaller businesses (such as technology startups).

For example, one great reason to consider filing a patent application is to enable your business to more easily and effectively pursue a licensing arrangement. In its most basic form, licensing is where you give another business (or multiple businesses) the right to use your protected intellectual property in exchange for a portion of the revenue they generate with your IP. It is possible to enter into a license as soon as you file an initial patent application (when you are still in the “patent pending” phase) so licensing can be a great way to bring early revenue into your business.

Certain business models work better with licensing than others, but if you have your heart set on manufacturing and selling your product entirely yourself, it may still be possible to pursue one or more licensees. For example, you might give the exclusive rights to another jurisdiction (for example a country your business won’t be pursuing in the near term). Alternatively, if your patent is applicable to more than one industry, you could provide the licensing rights to another company exclusively in an industry or application area that isn’t core to your business.

At The IP Link, we help our clients understand the value a patent application might bring to their business BEFORE they start spending tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on their legal fees with a lawyer. If you’re considering licensing, but haven’t filed a patent yet, or if you want help digging into all the different ways a patent could bring value to your business, let’s talk!

Make sure you’re subscribed to learn more about the benefits of a patent from a business perspective over the next few weeks!

Dig Deep Into Your Competitors’ Patent Correspondence 🕵️‍♀️

We’ve recently had another client, Robert from Soteria120, successfully complete the “Search” phase of the Product Protection Playbook and gain significant value from it.

Robert particularly appreciated gaining a deeper understanding of exactly how to dig into the swath of existing patent literature and figure out how it might impact his business. On a recent coaching call, we dug deep into one patent application in particular to see who filed it, the current status, how likely that patent was to issue (or if it had already been rejected), and even the specific correspondence that that company had with the patent office.

It turned out that many of the claims of the third party patent had already been rejected, and we were able to see exactly what the patent office’s reasoning was. We intend to use that as a model for improving Robert’s own patent application, so that it will be well positioned to avoid such issues.

Robert has this to say about it:

“This is super useful! To see your strategy with finding something on Google Patents then what we do to dig into it more deeply and troll through those references, that was awesome. Thank you for helping us with that!”

If you’re concerned with how existing patents might impact your business and your ability to get a patent (or potentially even more dangerous, if your not), let’s hop on a call and nail down your next steps for gaining this peace of mind!

Three Steps to Avoid Patent Mistakes

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working on a new presentation that really highlights the differences between the typical approach of going straight to a lawyer to get a patent application and the new and improved approach that The IP Link has developed.

Watch this video if you would like to avoid all of the common mistakes and roadblocks that tend to arise with the old approach to getting a patent.

In this video, you will also learn how to get a better patent and make the most out of your investment into patent protection:

In this video, I talk about:

  • How to get started with patent protection,
  • The three steps to getting a better patent that will bring value to your business,
  • How much patent protection costs,
  • How to avoid common pitfalls,
  • How you should prepare for filing a patent application BEFORE contacting a lawyer,
  • The typical timeline of the patent process (including costs) AND a timeline of our improved approach,
  • How the typical approach of going to a patent lawyer first can cause issues (and how to avoid these issues),
  • And MUCH more!

So don’t miss it!

Worried About Wasting Your Funding on Legal Costs? 💸

Patents can be very valuable to a business (for certain businesses or in certain cases, they are absolutely necessary for success), but they can also be a complete waste of A LOT of money.

The only way to make sure you aren’t wasting your money on patent protection is by getting the help you need to understand how patents work from a business perspective (not just a legal perspective). How will a patent impact your business, positively and negatively? What products or aspects of your products should your business file a patent on specifically?

Once you understand the business side of patents and how they might fit in with your specific technology and plan, you will be in a far better position to make the right decisions and to optimize your investment into patent protection.

If you’re considering a patent, make the most out of your effort and budget by learning and preparing before going to a lawyer.

If you need help with this, we have a program with over 5 hours of training videos (among many other materials) and I’m prepared to personally coach you through every step of the way. Just get in touch!

Confused About Whether or Not to Get a Patent? 🤷‍♀️

Has anyone told you that you absolutely need a patent to move forward in your business? Has anyone told you not to get a patent because it’s a waste of time and money? These are not rhetorical questions, I really want to know. Please leave a comment below with any patent-or-not advice you’ve heard!

If you’re an innovative business or a tech startup, there are two things you should be considered closely in order to determine whether or not you should file a patent application.

The first is determining whether or not a patent would even make sense for your business.

You’re right to be skeptical about patents given the high cost. This is all the more reason to figure it out properly. You might have not previously thought about all the benefits and costs, much less calculated them out carefully and weighed them. The IP Link has a program called “Strategize” that gives you the expertise you need to be intentional about your goals for filing a patent, objective about the downside, and confident in your decision to pursue patent protection or not.

The second thing you should consider is whether or not the patent office will accept your application or reject it once they finally get around to reviewing it. If your application does not meet the criteria for patentability, it will likely be rejected.

For example, anyone anywhere in the world has publicly disclosed a technology or product similar to yours, then your patent could be rejected. Unfortunately, you won’t find out officially whether you meet their criteria until 2-4 years into the process and $50,000 – $150,000 invested. It would be very unfortunate to be rejected after spending that kind of time and money.

If you want to learn more about our business focussed alternative approach to the patent process, join our newsletter and gain access to our free patent training webinar at:

Would an Investor Fund Your Business? 💰

“When somebody comes to me and says I want to invest in your company, the two questions that always come up are, ‘let’s see your financials’, and ‘what kind of patent do you have.‘ It comes up every time.”

A client, who is currently looking for investment, said this to me in a recent call.

Investors want to know how you will prevent competitors from taking over your industry once you prove the market. Having a strategic patent application will help you answer that question and will show investors that you are a running credible business and that you are committed to investing the time and money necessary to achieve success. This will certainly increase your chances of getting investment.

In certain cases, this increased chance of getting investment may be reason enough to pursue the illustrious patent-pending status.

Take the next step towards securing an investment by moving forward with patent protection. Book a call now to ask all your patent questions:

Also, let me know in the comments if you’ve had “the patent question” from an investor or, if you are an investor, is this one of your standard questions?

Not All Businesses Need a Patent, But Most Should Consider it Carefully

It does not make sense for all businesses to file a patent application.

This decision depends on your industry, investment, revenue, aspirations, business model, product, price point, and many other factors.

For many businesses, it’s relatively easy to determine that they don’t need to spend time or money filing a patent. For others, it’s clear that they do need a patent. The vast majority of businesses, however, are in the middle. For these businesses, determining whether or not they need a patent requires a concerted effort to review the opportunity, risks, and costs and to develop an approach and strategy.

The IP Link’s Product Protection Playbook program helps business founders evaluate patents and gain clarity on where they fit in this spectrum. The results of this work may reveal that patents don’t make sense. On the other hand, it may show that they are a great opportunity!

If you think you might be missing out on an opportunity to level up your business, watch my patent training webinar which includes a discussion of potential risks, costs, and benefits of a patent (link in the comments).

#business #strategy #intellectualproperty #patents #patentstrategy #innovation #founders

How will you use your patent?

Let’s say you decide to file a patent for $8,000 – $12,000, then within the subsequent year, you pay another $10,000 to maintain it.

What will you do with your patent application? How will it benefit your business? Will it bring more value than you paid?

As business strategy questions, not legal questions, these are not questions your patent lawyer will likely help you with.

You need to be the expert.

You need a deep enough understanding of the patent process to be able to determine how you will use your patent after your lawyer submits your application for you.

If you plan for this BEFORE drafting and filing your application, it will greatly improve your ability to use your patent effectively. Also, the prep work will help you work with your lawyer more efficiently, may bring the legal fees down, and will result in a far better patent application.

If you’re considering filing a patent application within the next few months, make sure to become an expert on how your patent will impact your business and do the right kind of preparation well in advance by joining The IP Link’s new Product Protection Playbook™️ program.

Also, let me know in the comments below if you have filed a patent in the past, what benefit did it bring to your business? If you haven’t yet, do you have a plan for your patent once it’s filed?

#intellectualproperty #preparation #help #strategy #business #patent #patents