for tech startupthe most valuable assets are often invisible. Businesses have traditionally been built on physical resources, but modern economies are increasingly driven by intangible assets. For example, the semiconductor company Arm $40 billion valuation and a reputation as the UK’s leading technology company despite never having produced a single chip. Instead, the company designs the architecture of the processors used in countless devices.
This intellectual property-based jobs model Transformed the stock market. In 1985, less than one-third of all assets in the S&P 500 were classified as intangible assets by 2020, a proportion of about 90%However, startups may overlook IP protection in their initial planning.
They’re taking big risks, according to Robert Lind, a patent attorney at intellectual property firm Marks & Clerk.Lind recently wrote E-book Learn how to protect and monetize your intellectual property. He shared his key tips on his TNW.
1. Start your research as soon as possible
According to Lind, technology companies often dismiss IP until it puts the business in creative and financial jeopardy. He advises starting research before it’s really necessary.
Unsurprisingly, Lind suggests that their teaching materials include his e-book. However, we do not recommend relying on professional advisors every time.
“Knowing it from the start lets you know when to bring in an expert and when you don’t need to bring in an expert,” says Lind.
For technology start-ups, patents are the primary form of protectable IP. Founder You should learn what patents are, how to obtain them, how to enforce them, and how to interpret third party patents.
It goes without saying that your great idea needs to be kept private, but that’s easier said than done.
“Going public isn’t just about selling a product,” says Lind. “It can mean publishing a paper at a conference, publishing an article in a journal, or posting information on a website. Be very careful what you do.”
3. Diligently Identify Innovations
Innovation is the lifeblood of patents, but it’s not always easy to identify. Many researchers and engineers are unaware that their research can be valuable IP.
“It is very important to have regular internal reviews and set project planning milestones to consider what innovations have been made and whether they should be patented.” says Lind.
Once you have identified an asset, you can get expert advice on whether it is patentable.
4. Protect your rights
Savvy investors are familiar with the value of IP. Venture capitalists use patents as evidence that a company is well managed, at a certain stage of development, and has a niche market. Their due diligence may distinguish between filing an application and obtaining a granted patent.
However, startups often prioritize investing in R&D over protecting intellectual property. Lind recalls that this problem occurred at a green tech company. The team had a very slim IP portfolio, which raised questions about its value to investors.
“Protection really embodies the value of the research and development you do,” says Lind.
5. Develop a clear intellectual property strategy
An IP strategy should start with a clear purpose. Broadly speaking, this involves maximizing value at the desired point of exit or investment while staying within financial prudence.
Registered rights are territorial, so you need to identify where you want to register your IP assets. This analysis can incorporate local size, potential, cost, and effectiveness.
A prudent strategy can defer costs and commitments, but be aware that it may slow down the registration process. File early in key regions and respond quickly to objections to avoid delays and take the opportunity to discuss the issue with the patent examiner. Careful cost forecasting and budgeting can help cover any pitfalls that arise.
“You have to be very aggressive with your strategy,” says Lind. “But it’s probably useless if you don’t know where you want to get to first.”
6. Connect IP to your business and future
You need to make sure your IP corresponds to marketable technology. According to Lind, it’s surprisingly easy to get a patent that doesn’t match your most valuable asset.
“Make sure the patent actually covers the efficient and clever part, which is very important,” he says.
IP must be future-proofed, as the final product may differ significantly from the original vision. One of Lind’s former clients, DNA Nudgeraised $60 million after building a diversified patent portfolio. The company already sells consumer products, but its IP could also be integrated into various other devices and apps.
“Make sure your IP range is broad enough to cover not only what you do now, but what you might do in the future,” suggests Lind.
7. Continue to build your portfolio
Lind advises startups to look beyond the first few patents for big ideas. After all, each patent only lasts his 20 years.
“A slow-burn startup can take 10 years to bring a product to market, and then only have 10 years left on the patent,” says Lind. “They have to keep innovating and keep patenting so they can continue that pipeline.”
8. Resolve ownership issues
Staff cooperation is essential for IP registration. Signatures from inventors, designers, directors, and owners may all be required on legal documents. If you can’t get the name on the dotted line, you could be in big trouble.
To escape this fate, Lind recommends getting the necessary agreements while everyone is happy and working together.
“Make sure all ownership is clear and proper records are kept throughout the process,” he says. “And do it while everyone is still friends and before you start making money.”
https://thenextweb.com/news/how-startups-can-protect-their-ip-according-to-patent-attorney 8 tips from a patent attorney