Patents are becoming the most important asset for technology companies.
6 Ways a Patent Application Benefits Your Company
There are six ways that filing patent applications can benefit your high-tech business.
1) Establish strong intellectual property rights - A valuable asset that adds vitality to your business. 2) Extend your intellectual property rights. Patent protection needs to be created for high-tech companies where it is not presently available. 3) Build a strong patent portfolio. Only about 4% of applications are granted worldwide. So you need a strong database of key patents in order to raise your visibility among patent attorneys. 4) Find out about small "lead" filings, those filed when people start inventing. For this you need to get outside advice to assess the strength of your intellectual property. In addition, look for patents that are old. If they have not changed since they were first filed in the 1970s you can build a case that the patents are inapplicable to your patents. 5) Sell your patents, patents you have applied for or been granted, once you develop the technology you invented. Licensing is also a solid source of revenues for early stage companies.
6) Build your patent and trademark portfolio for follow-on products and services. This way you can secure a broader base of legal protections.
The inventors could potentially leave the company and file their own patent application - leaving you with little recourse.
Many companies use the patent process to document ownership of innovations , primarily by having their employees submit invention disclosure records (IDRs) as part of the company's patent program.
It can be pretty impractical to collect all the inventions in existence, so having a group of your employees send in invention IDRs could be useful in studying a few high profile and valuable patents. Having them record the information anonymously can make the IDRs much more reliable.
The patent information contained in the invention disclosure records is useful to find the inventor, as shown in this patent disclosure analysis from Intellectual Ventures . They present the intellectual property page of each patent received .
Even if you don't end up filing a patent application, you can still use the IDR itself to document the pertinent information surrounding the innovation, and establish the company's ownership of it.
After the patent application is drafted, the innovators will execute a formal assignment to the company.
In addition, in a joint ownership, the company is permitted to force their application upon the patents, or patentees. In order for this to be enforceable, an even number of shares of ownership are required.
This process is known as "application numbering" or "numbering out." For some of the more "minor" inventions, more works might require a different method of application numbering
Is A Patented Technology Beneficial to My Business?
Before contemplating offensive tactics such as suing a potential infringing person or barring importation, it is important to consider what type of ongoing business relationship may be needed and consider whether patents can assist in opening doors to a different and valuable type of arrangement, such as cross-licensing technology or partnering in some aspect of business development.
When facing this type of trade off, the provider of a patented technology is incentivized to make other technology public so as to increase market awareness and gain more allies in negotiating deals.
The results of the Annual Intellectual Property and Licensing Survey conducted in November 2014 conducted by eMarketer, a research firm specializing in information and communications technology, show that 69 percent of U.S. Internet users are concerned about their online reputation.
Patenting is a substantial multi-year investment and must be planned and budgeted .
The cost of filing U.S. patents is expensive, and may be double the cost of licensing a foreign patent. Patents are expensive to implement, such as complex software to secure, evaluate, and protect them. BNRE recommends pursuing a broad portfolio of patent-related products to lower your patent expenses over the long-term.
In addition, patents are not the panacea that they are sometimes made out to be. The Patent System currently contains a number of exceptions that the patent system does not exist to resolve. If your business requires the use of a patent, consult your own advisors to ensure compliance.
A valuable patent application requires a careful analysis of the inventive features, problems to be solved or needs to be addressed, how the invention provides advantages, who will make or use the invention, and its potential value to the company and to competitors.
An expert patent examiner can examine an application more thoroughly than a layperson. If you are awarded a patent, it may be difficult to pay legal fees, and it may take several years before the patent expires. Your written outline of the patent rights, patent fees, the method to be used to make, use, and sell the invention, and the anticipated publication schedule should be provided to the patent attorney prior to filing.