Patent Strategies for a Business Before Building a Patent Portfolio
Over the years, intellectual property (IP) gained immense significance, and businesses that understand its importance continually file for IP protection. Among the various IP protection methods, patent protection is one of the most important, yet often misunderstood ones. This is because most individuals/small companies think that patent protection only involves securing patents and enforcing the associated rights. Large companies, on the other hand, understand that patent protection involves more than merely obtaining patents. Consequently, they adopt comprehensive patent strategies for building their patent portfolios.
We understand that not all businesses are aware of these strategies. Hence, in this article, we explain everything they need to know about patent strategies before building a patent portfolio.
Understanding Patent Strategies
A patent strategy is a crucial part of a company’s IP strategy. It refers to the steps taken by the company to protect its inventions and maintain position within its technological domain. The type of patent strategy that a company chooses depends primarily on its size, resources, industrial demand, and business requirements. For instance, large firms usually adopt comprehensive patent strategies due to the availability of resources and money. On the other hand, small firms implement effective yet cost-efficient strategies.
Also Read: The Best Patent Strategy – An Explainer
Types of Patent Strategies
There are two types of patent strategies that a company can adopt for its business – offensive and defensive. In this section of the article, we will briefly discuss the two.
1. Offensive Patent Strategy
An offensive patent strategy is essentially designed to stop competitors from entering a company’s proprietary technologies as well as business sector. Therefore, in this strategy, companies file patent applications for all their relevant inventions as early as possible to secure patent rights.
Quite often, filing a large number of patent applications and maintaining the obtained patents becomes a cost-intensive process. Companies, however, can use the secured patents to generate revenue or recover costs by either selling or licensing their patents later on.
2. Defensive Patent Strategy
A defensive patent strategy, unlike an offensive strategy, aims to prevent other companies or individuals from securing a patent on the same idea. This means that a company files patents mainly to ensure that it can use its invention without the risk of a competitor patenting the same idea/invention and later on enforcing the patent upon them.
In terms of costs, the overall cost, i.e., patent filing and maintenance fees, in a defensive strategy is less as compared to an offensive strategy. Companies, however, cannot monetize a patent portfolio created using this strategy.
Sometimes, emerging companies cannot afford to file a large number of patent applications using either offensive or defensive patent strategies. In such cases, they can opt for a defensive publication. This type of publication allows such companies to file a patent application and get it published for establishing a prior art that can later be used against other businesses.
Also Read: Patent Portfolio : How To Identify Deal Drivers
A robust patent portfolio can help companies in protecting their inventions as well as core technologies. For building such portfolios, companies need to first choose the right patent strategy – offensive or defensive, depending on their business requirements, resources, and budget. If you are one of those companies that are planning to create a robust patent portfolio, you can reach out to companies such as ours. Sagacious IP’s Patentability Search service offers you the most relevant prior arts at the right time. Click here to explore our service.
- The Editorial Team