Patents For Startups: Application Strategies

In an ever-emerging and evolving tech industry, it is often difficult for any start-up to stand out of its own. The costs of patenting a technology being comparatively high, emerging start-ups tend to avoid this step owing to insufficient fund balance. But compromising with this step leads to much more difficult scenarios. In this article, we will focus primarily on the patents for startups, i.e. the application strategies for Start-Up which if followed will help them sustain successfully in the long run.

Broadly, there are two strategies to patent an application. One is the offensive strategy while the other being the defensive strategy. A defensive strategy is focused to protect the value while an offensive strategy creates a value instead of protecting it.

Patents For Startups: Application Strategies

Let us discuss in detail, the important strategies for a successful build-up of a start-up:

Understand roles in the organization clearly

It is extremely important to understand and create a structure for the roles and responsibilities of the founder in a start-up. Frame the responsibilities to be executed by each individual, their salary structure, ownership of the company and contributions made by them. Maintain a proper record of the persons who are contributing their ideas to avoid problems during termination of service. Also, keep in mind the rules to be applied in case of underperformance by founders. All the above should be clear and specified before proceeding for the filing of a patent application.

Calculate the budget

This is by far the most important step for any entity before applying for a patent application. Filing an application with USPTO can cost you about $1600 and more depending on the size of your entity. The legal fees of hiring a patent attorney also range from about $3000 to $15000 which is dependent on the complication of the invention. Thus an initial budget keeping in mind all the factors will help you find out how many applications you can file and on other countries where you ought to seek protection.

Be careful while applying for Patent

With the recent change from USA’s “first-to-invent” to “first-inventor-to-file” system, it will be quite important to find out the exact time to apply for a patent. The “First-Inventor-to-File” system doesn’t necessarily mean that the first person to run to the patent office and file an application will be the rightful owner. All previously filed applications or disclosures if any are taken into consideration before granting of a patent under this system. Thus careful inspection and correct timing are the absolute requisites under this system.

Take into Consideration every minute detail

Before launching a product you have filed a patent application mentioning all the necessary Claims. Gradually your product can evolve more thus leading to the addition of new things to be filed for. If you deny or neglect this step, you will be responsible for the vulnerability of your invention. Thus timely updating a patent application is advised and must be abided by.

Do not wait for the grant

The patent application is a time-consuming process and granting of a patent can easily consume 3-4 years of time. Do not stop working on your product at this time. Focus on how you can modify or develop your product further. Gaining a patent doesn’t mean that your product or invention is extraordinary. The fact is true that patents are only issued to novel inventions. But the term ‘novel’ will not always mean relevant.

Work on your Brand

Just like patenting your invention or product, building a strong brand image is also necessary. Work upon securing your brand by effective trademarking of it. Alternatively, you can also think of copywriting your IP.

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