Free LIVE Patent Strategy Training!

Hello! On Monday we will be presenting all about “How To File a Patent That Will Bring Value To Your Business!” and you’re invited!

Date & Time: Monday, December 12, 12:00 Mountain Time
Location: Online (Zoom)
Register here:

We won’t be including a bunch of boring legal technicalities that you’ve probably heard many times before from the lawyers (unless you ask). Instead,

  • We’re going to discuss how long it actually takes to get a patent and how much it might actually cost (not just the filing fees, everything)!
  • We’re going to provide concrete suggestions on how to reduce these fees and make the absolute most out of your investment.
  • And, most important of all, we will discuss why you would even want to bother with a patent. Specifically what value could it bring to your business??

After this training, you will have a far better idea as to whether or not a patent filing would make sense for your business or whether it might just be a complete waste of time.

Big News at The IP Link!

Hello Innovators!

One of the things I love about helping entrepreneurs and founders with their IP and patents is all the great conversations I get to have. If there is some way that I can help, I’m typically happy to hop on a Zoom call to discuss it in more depth. On these calls, if there is a way we can help after or beyond the call that makes great sense for us and you, I’m usually happy to talk about what that looks like and enroll folks into one of our programs – at any time.

In fact, I suspect I have talked with many of you over Zoom or at least via email recently, or over the past year or two!

But, I also enjoy deep conversations with our clients and ensuring our programs and services are top-notch.

So, to provide an even better service for our clients, by the end of this month, we will be switching over to a cohort-based process for onboarding new clients. Since our core program is typically between 9 and 12 weeks long, we will be onboarding new cohorts once per quarter rather than at any time as we have done up to now.

What does this mean for you? Well, if you are hoping to file a patent, launch your product, or even start marketing it at any point in the next 3-6 months, now is the time to take action on all the important patent assessment, preparation, and strategy work that needs to happen BEFORE engaging with a lawyer.

…and the best way to start that action is to register now for my upcoming free webinar – I’ll share all the details on the 21st at noon:

Anthony’s Journey Towards a Deeper Understanding of Patents

Wondering about how to best approach the patent process?  I recently interviewed Anthony Chan – CEO & Co-Founder of Venturi from Edmonton, Alberta – all about his experience and approach to the patent process.  Read below to find out what he learned throughout the process and how he would advise startup founders at the beginning of their IP protection journey.

Trevor: Where was your business, from an IP perspective, before we started working together?


At the very beginning of everything, we weren’t sure if we needed a patent at all. I knew that getting a patent was very expensive. And this is a software patent, and I’ve heard a lot of people say “software is really hard to patent”, [so we figured] maybe we should take a look at this first – before spending all this money and trying to find a lawyer which may not understand the technology as much as someone who is probably in the trade already.  

That was one of the key points, as I think the lawyers are really good at the legalese and the legal aspects of the patent but they might not know too much about technology itself, if it is patentable, or what we can do to extract more value out of it. So, I thought that it was very important to engage someone like yourself to really understand and articulate that. And to formulate a strategy so that we can set ourselves up for success for when we are ready to file.  So that was super super important.

Trevor: What led you to decide to work with The IP Link?


First and foremost, I liked the fact that you have a technical background.  You’re not just a lawyer but you’ve worked in the startup space before, having previously worked at TEC Edmonton. Being connected with various companies you understand their ecosystem and the environment really well, and you have seen what was done before and that experience definitely lends itself to helping a startup like ourselves in software engineering technology. That was a huge factor in my decision. And you have some really good reviews from past clients, and I trusted my gut. I think it was very successful.

Trevor: How did your understanding of the patent process change over the course of working with the IP link?


Initially, when I approached patents, it was about protecting IP because I don’t want anyone else to steal from it or duplicate it. Trying to find a safe way for us to protect ourselves is critical because we’re fairly small, and we’re up against some of the big boys here and larger companies who have a lot of corporate might behind them.

Trying to understand and get protection was key.  After going through the modules and when you helped us break down why exactly we were actually filing, there were certain aspects that we didn’t consider, like if you have a patent filing that could increase the chance of closing a deal by a certain percentage and how much the deal was worth. Trying to get down into that level and understanding as to where exactly the value of the patent lies. Also the cost of maintaining these patents is something to consider because it’s not just a one-time cost, you file and that’s it.  There are also other aspects of it where you could be filing in other countries.  How many countries?  Which countries? And the list goes on.  You have to look at it as a capital investment, a total lifetime cost of that patent and what it means to the business. Is it worth pursuing and spending this money upfront and even in the future to maintain it?  Also, when are you going to extract the value out of it?  Is it now or later?  [You need to] make that decision and do those calculations.  That made a lot of sense.

Trevor: Overall, how was the program and working with The IP Link?


I thought it was a really good experience, the modules that we went through were very relevant.  I thought the level of engagement was pretty good too, it wasn’t too much or too little.  I think we were just spot on.  We kind of found a cadence to really set us up for success and I think that really worked well too.

I also like the fact that at the end while we were working on the patent draft, we had a chance to circle back to the beginning because it was a good reminder of what we did talk about [in the first module of the program].  That has been really beneficial to us.

Trevor: What would you say to a startup founder or someone like yourself who’s still right at the beginning trying to decide whether or not to even pursue patent protection?


Seek as much information as possible and don’t be afraid to ask around, especially from professionals like yourself [The IP Link].  Reach out and understand really for yourself.  Sometimes, it’s hard to ask questions when we don’t know, but I felt like you were kind of like that bridge. There are a lot of things that we don’t know that are in the legal world, right?  But we know about the technology.  

We have the domain expertise in engineering but we have no clue when it comes to who is a great lawyer for this particular type of patent, what’s their experience [for example]. Trying to decrease the amount of time spent in doing that is value in itself because you [The IP Link] already know who your preferred vendors are, who are the great folks in the local economy and industry.   I think for a founder, saving time and also getting knowledge at the same time is a win – a double whammy.

Trevor: How has your business progressed in parallel with the patent work?


The technology is developed and proceeding well, we’re working with [an initial customer] now, so it’s official.  Also, they’re talking about testing this technology on [a broader set of applications].  We secured funding too, I was looking back at the funding this year, and it was about $450,000 of funding, the majority of it on this project.  

With your help, we were able to get there.  We were talking with our client and [they asked], “Oh are you guys trying to file a patent?” [We said], “Yes, we are filing a patent.”  And with the government, [when they asked] “How are you guys protecting your IP?”, [we were able to say], “We’re working with Trevor and with [our patent lawyer], so we’re going to file that pretty soon”.  And all that contributes to gaining funding and investor confidence as well.  It was a lot of work, but I’m glad we did it.

Thanks again for the help, it’s been amazing.

If you’re in a similar situation as Anthony was at the beginning of his journey, let’s hop on a call and see if we can pull together the beginnings of a proper IP strategy!

What is Inventorship? ⚡️

Game Board

I recently had a question from one of our clients about who should be listed as an inventor on his patent application. If you have multiple founders, or a team of developers, researchers, or engineers, it is important to get this right.

Unlike authorship (which can have a certain flexibility), inventorship is determined based on a set of legal criteria. You need to ensure that the inventors are accurate (are actual “inventors”) based on these criteria. If you get them wrong it may be difficult or expensive to change them later, or, even worse, a competitor could use the mistake to try to invalidate your patent.

Always confirm with your lawyer if you are unsure, but simply put, in order to be an inventor, each person needs to have conceived of at least one of the claims of your patent. Once the claims of your patent have been written, you can go through one by one and ask “who initially came up with this idea?” This isn’t necessarily the person who built the element, or the person who tested it to confirm it worked (especially important in research settings).

Many of our clients are looking to get an initial sense of this before they have written their claims, so we consider it in the first module of The IP Link’s core program, Articulate Product.

In this module, we utilize a template worksheet called The Articulate Product Spreadsheet which has a section specifically devoted to this. In many cases, there is only one inventor and we don’t need to worry about this step, but when multiple people are involved it’s important to understand how inventorship is determined and get an initial sense of who should be listed on your patent as inventors.

Once you are clear on who the inventors are, it is also important to make sure that your business has signed agreements with all inventors ensuring that all rights to the invention are owned by the company.

If you need more help with this or would like to gain access to the Articulate Product Spreadsheet, just let me know!

Reasons to Patent: Increased Net Worth

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

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).

One such reason could be to increase the net worth of your business. This would be relevant if you are looking to sell your business at any point in the future, if you are looking for investment (the higher your company is valued at, the less equity you need to give up to receive investment, generally speaking), go public, or any number of other situations.

A potential acquirer may be looking at buying your business for your high caliber employees, your contracts with clients, your internal processes or systems, or, particularly if you are a technology company, your intellectual property (IP). Protecting this IP by starting to build up a patent portfolio early on in the life of your startup will greatly increase the value of this IP, especially over time. It also makes it far more tangible. This ultimately improves your ability to negotiate a sale and get a better deal.

The ideal acquisition is one where your business is valued for all of the above reasons, including a patent portfolio with broad claims!

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 exiting through an acquisition in the future (or any other transaction that requires a valuation of your business), then you should start building your patent portfolio now if you haven’t already. The first step towards a full-fledged patent portfolio is preparing a strategy, which The IP Link would be happy to help with!

Don’t Miss Anything in Your Patent Draft 🧩


We just had a client graduate from the Product Protection Playbook™  Program and in our wrap-up call, he let me know how important the last module, Module 9 – Elevate Application, was to the overall process.

After a fair bit of back and forth between this founder and his patent lawyer, where they both reviewed the draft, made changes, and discussed it in depth, The IP Link also reviewed (as we always do with clients in Module 9) and found quite a few omissions of important aspects of their product. Our recent graduate had this to say:

“You cross-referenced our worksheet where we articulated our product [in module 1 of the program], and you were right, there were quite a few things we were missing in the actual draft from the patent itself. So we need to beef up a few sections… it was just missed.”

Given the cost and importance of getting your patent right, it’s very important that you make sure to have more than one person that knows your tech and understands patents review your patent draft BEFORE it is filed. Missed elements are very common, this client is just one example of many!

What’s your plan for ensuring the highest quality patent draft without missing anything?

Client Feature: Self-Sanitizing High-Touch Surfaces 🧂

Outbreaker Solutions - Self Sanitizing High Touch Surface

The IP Link has recently been working with Outbreaker Solutions, an exciting Edmonton tech company that has developed a really cool and very timely product – a completely safe surface that automatically and passively sanitizes itself within seconds of being touched. It continues automatically sanitizing itself for years without any maintenance or other action.

The IP Link is helping Outbreaker identify strategic partners and we’re looking for companies that may have an interest in learning more or licensing this innovative technology.

Let’s keep ourselves safer (especially during a global pandemic) by getting more of these door handles and other surfaces out in the world!! If you know anyone who might be interested in partnering or licensing, please connect me with them or share this link:

If you would love to be in a position to monetize your own IP through licensing, but for whatever reason still haven’t been able to pull the trigger on getting a patent draft filed, I would love to chat.

Can you defend your patent in court? Would you even want to? 🤺

Super Soaker

Many entrepreneurs I talk with shy away from filing a patent because they have heard that “in their industry” or “for their technology” or simply “because they are a small startup” it would be difficult to defend their patent in court.

Although this may be true, does it immediately imply you shouldn’t file a patent? Should getting into a bunch of lawsuits really be at the core of your IP strategy, or is that just what your lawyer would like to see happen? Could there be a better, more business-focused strategy for extracting value from your patent?


For many businesses in many industries (especially technology and software startups), yes, there are many other strategies for extracting value from a patent or even a patent application.

In fact, for smaller companies, attempting to prevent their competition from manufacturing or selling their product by defending their patent in court would not be a great approach. Even if you could win such a court case, the legal fees required to get you there may cause you significant financial woes (to put it mildly).

Plus, as the founder of your business, should you really be spending your time in court arguing over patent infringement or should you be continuing to innovate, looking for investment, finding customers, and selling your solution? Your time is limited and it’s important to choose every action you take carefully, because taking one means you won’t have time to take countless other actions.

Consider your reasons for wanting a patent very carefully. If the primary (or only) reason you’ve considered for filing a patent is to defend your patent in court, then it may not make sense to file until you have a much larger legal budget. Although, even on this point, if you file an application now and all goes well, your patent may not be accepted or defendable for 2-4 years, by which time you may have an increased ability to defend it.

If you are filing a patent for other reasons such as improved credibility, increased investor confidence, licensing or partnerships, improved net worth, or others, then patents may start to make much more sense earlier in the life-cycle of a startup or innovative business.

We do a deep-dive into the business strategy and benefits of filing a patent in Modules 4-6 of The Product Protection Playbook. I’m happy to give you a preview of what this looks like and determine which strategies make the most sense for your business specifically.

Let’s chat:

Unsure of Which Patent Lawyer to Work With? 😵‍💫

Have you started searching for a patent lawyer yet? Email me to let me know!

It can be pretty tough to tell which of the many lawyers that advertise their services will produce a high-quality patent draft. Given the importance of your initial patent application, typically high rates, and the total amount you may eventually spend with a patent lawyer, this is one decision you want to be absolutely sure of.

But here’s the problem, even after starting to work with a patent lawyer, you won’t really know how good your lawyer is until your patent draft is reviewed by the patent office and you start receiving rejection or approval notices. This might not happen for 3-4 years and $50,000-$150,000 into the process.

There have been many situations where I’ve been working with a patent lawyer when months or years after the initial filing, things start to go wrong. In certain cases they started sending bills for work I didn’t ask them to do and I have to waste time arguing over the amounts, even referencing past emails where I had specifically asked them to confirm any work with me first. One lawyer I worked with on a few patent applications (he seemed great initially) ended up ghosting and I couldn’t get in touch with him as an important deadline approached!

I’ve found that many of these issues stem from not doing the right preparation before engaging with a patent lawyer. Much of it relates to what you ask them to do, and even more importantly, how you ask it. Of course, you could also just end up choosing the wrong person to work with (surprise surprise, not all patent lawyers are great at what they do).

This is why we developed the “Submit” phase of our Product Protection Playbook which encompasses a unique and specific process for preparing, finding, and engaging with the right patent lawyer in the right way. It even includes templates, how-to and training videos, and a list of the best patent lawyers we’ve worked with (far, far shorter than the full spreadsheet of all the lawyers we’ve worked with, as we’ve vetted out most of these).

Book a call now to learn more about the program and to find out how to join!