Starting a tech company can be a very lucrative and major business decision. And much like any tech company, much of their success comes from their intellectual property. Thus, tech companies in Massachusetts and elsewhere need to take steps to protect their intellectual property through either a copyright or patent. Depending on the needs of the company and the tech that they have, this can become a complex process that contains many working parts.
With a startup, money is always needed, so what is better than pitching to potential investors that you own your intellectual property or have a license that protects it? While this can help promote investments in a new business, when innovative technology or ideas are involved, obtaining a patent may be an appropriate step to take. Doing so will also validate who innovative this technology or idea is.
The approval process for a patent is rigorous. Furthermore, it can be complex, time consuming and costly. Thus, it is imperative that one fully understands this process, the costs and benefits and the overall protection it can offer for intellectual property when compared to other options.
There are four patent elements to consider. The first is the patent quality. It isn’t until the patent intellectual property is workable will it provide tangible monetary value. This means that it will need to become part of a device, service or offering. Next, patent documentation needs to be complete, which means properly written, full research on prior patents and having a proper number of inventors named on the patent.
The third element is location and market. It is important to note the patent system within the U.S. and how that impact a business plan and market strategy. Finally, intellectual property infringement should be understood so it can be provable. The goal of the patent is to protect the tech or idea; thus, a business should be able to prove this and defend their invention and business.
Whether a business seeks to protect something of value or desires to take action following an infringement of a patent, copyright, trademark or trade secret, it is important to understand the steps included in these processes. This not only helps ensure that a business owner is aware of their rights and options but also provides them with a better understanding on how they can best protect their business overall.