“Wish we would have done this in my previous career.”

One of our clients, Tony, recently graduated from our Product Protection Playbook and was kind enough to share a few of his thoughts on how it went.

He started out giving a bit of context on where his company was before they started working with The IP Link: “We were kind of going around in circles, it was backwards and forwards a lot with the lawyer, and we didn’t seem to make any headway in regards to ‘what do we actually have?’ and is this the right way to proceed.”

Tony and his team had actually already started working with a lawyer before finding The IP Link, but it wasn’t going well. Of our program, he says “it just gave me better insight into what steps come first before you start going down the road of legal patent lawyers.”

While working through the first phase of The Product Protection Playbook, we uncovered an existing patent from a competitor that wasn’t previously on their radar.

“[The program] gave me a better understanding of how to search better when it comes to patents. We’ve all been doing searches, all plugging away at it, and we even had a patent lawyer looking at it and they didn’t even find that one particular patent that came way too close to make us feel comfortable. So to me, the plan works.”

This competitive intelligence helped them decide to pivot the development of their product away from a sensor to data analytics!  Working through the program, he says, “helped us decide we weren’t a sensor company, that we were more of a data analytic type company. After going through this process it made us think our business strategy should be more around the data collection and how we would sell that data. That changed our strategy a bit around what we were as a company.”

Looking back on it, he says that if they hadn’t worked with The IP Link, “my biggest fear would have been we would have probably wasted a lot of money backwards and forwards to the lawyers because the lawyers are going to charge you no matter what. So if we were unclear and we kept making revisions to what we were doing, we were just throwing money down the drain. Doing it this way saved us that headache…”

“My experience with the patent lawyers in the past was that they’re quite willing to keep taking your money. And there’s a lot of that backwards and forwards, and a lot of time goes by, because you wait a week or two to return your emails to give you good news or bad news.”

For anyone considering patent protection, he gives this advice: “If someone was to come along and they’ve got an idea and they want to save themselves a headache or spending too much money, this program would probably benefit them quite a bit. It would give them a better understanding of the patent process.”

To hear a bit more of our conversation, check out the video here:

Develop a better product with insight into existing patents πŸ§‘β€πŸ’»

Review competitive technologies early

If you’re still developing your business and product and are thinking about looking into patents once you’ve finished developing your product, now is the perfect time to jump into the first phase of The IP Link’s Product Protection Playbook program.

Learn more in the video below:

Find the Gaps in your Market

I’ve had a couple clients wait until their product was further along in its development only to find that they were “reinventing the wheel” so to say. Completing an in-depth competitive review will illuminate the gaps in the market and help you focus the development of your product. A careful review of related patents will greatly improve your chances of uncovering competitors and competitive technologies.

In one case, even though a company I worked with was aware of their competitors, they hadn’t carefully searched the patent literature early in the creation of their product so they missed an important patent in their space that was owned by a company that wasn’t on their radar prior to the search.

Product Development from the Shoulders of Giants

The added benefit of completing such a search early in the development of your product is that you may be able to use what you find in existing patent applications, expired patent documents, patents in countries that you don’t operate in, and scientific publications to improve your own product. You do have to be careful not to infringe on any active patents in your country, but the vast majority of published patents and other documents never issued or are no longer active, and therefore won’t impact your ability to operate.

Further, gaining an understanding of the prior art will enable you far more effectively improve on it. Without knowing what already exists, you may end up developing a product or solution that is already publicly known, even if it may be in an obscure corner of the patent literature. Why waste your time on that, when you could start from what’s known and improve on it!

When it comes time to file your own patent application, you’ll be far ahead of the pack and much more likely to have a patentable product on your hands. When it comes time to sell your product, your offering will be truly unique!

If this sounds like where you are currently in your business, let’s jump on a call and I’ll share all the info you need to join The Product Protection Playbook.