Do you need a patent strategy?
What exactly is a patent strategy?
Many may be in doubt about what the term encompasses
Maybe you have heard before that it is important to have a patent strategy or IPR strategy? Perhaps you have been wondering what the term really encompasses? We often experience that start-up companies have been told that they must have a patent strategy, but are reluctant to deal with the concept, as it seems unmanageable and intangible. In addition, many have heard that patenting is expensive, so it is not uncommon for the patent strategy to be delayed too long in the start-up process. However, this can have fatal consequences for a start-up company, as the entire business base of the company may be in jeopardy. Not only that, one can ultimately be prosecuted for patent infringement.
We often find that even larger companies do not have a clearly defined patent strategy, which here too can lead to undesirable surprises and unnecessary obstacles along the way.
Of course, both small and large companies are well aware of the importance of a business strategy, but the IPR strategy is often an overlooked subject.
What is an IPR strategy?
A patent strategy or an IPR strategy is simply a strategy for how the company handles IPR, that is intellectual property rights, such as e.g. patents, utility models and design rights. The strategy can be general or more detailed. It should be written down and include procedures to be followed, such as for instance a quality management manual, so that you do not forget to consider important steps along the way.
If you change e.g. the design of an existing product, it is important to get an assessment of whether this is still covered by a previously submitted design application, or whether a new one should be submitted. If you have a fixed procedure for this, you do not forget to get it done.
A patent strategy does not necessarily involve filing many patent applications. On the other hand, it is about ensuring that important decisions about IPR are made at appropriate times and on an informed basis, which can have major financial consequences for a company. A patent strategy could in principle just as well prescribe that you do not patent, but this should be a choice that you have deliberately made in accordance with the company’s business strategy and market situation, as well as considering the advantages and disadvantages of not protecting the intellectual property rights of the company.
A patent strategy should also address how one relates to the rights of others. As a minimum, one should provide for a simple patent monitoring, which reduces the risk of inadvertently infringing on patents of others.
A strong patent strategy is thus adapted to and complements a company’s business strategy.
What does it take and how can Guardian help you?
There is no need to bury your head in the sand like an ostrich and hope for the best, because a good and sensible patent strategy does not have to be complicated and confusing at all. At Guardian, we have many years of experience in developing patent strategies together with both large and small companies. We familiarize ourselves with your company’s products, business strategy and market situation, and together we can set criteria for what a good IPR strategy should include.
Guardian has one of Denmark’s strongest teams of European patent consultants and European design consultants providing expertise in practically all technical areas. Therefore, please let us consider what options you have for a well-functioning IPR strategy so that you can safely face the future without risking unpleasant surprises in the form of piracy or accusations of patent infringement. If you provide a written IPR strategy and procedures to follow the strategy, you have done your part to ensure the company’s competitiveness in the future.
Please feel free to contact us. Guardian has one of Denmark’s largest and strongest teams of European Patent Attorneys and European Design Attorneys providing expertise in diverse technical fields. Reach out for us for a non-binding conversation.
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