Executive Summaries Oct 1, 2020
5 Reasons You Should Care About Patents
Beyond protecting your invention from being copied by competitors, there are a myriad of reasons as to why proper care and investment in your intellectual property (“IP”) portfolio, notably patents, could be beneficial for your business.
Protect Your Investment in Innovation
In order to stay competitive, you and your company invest time and resources in creating better products and services. By acquiring a good patent on your innovation, competitors will not be able to immediately copy and sell your hard-earned invention. Your initial sales will thus benefit from the lack of competition. By remaining the only provider on the market initially, your company also has an advantage of becoming known for that market niche.
Generate Income Through Licensing or IP Sales
Not every innovation will result in a product aligned with your business plan, but these innovations need not go to waste. Your monopoly, for patented innovations, can be transferred or lent to others. A patent portfolio can provide additional or alternative income streams by licensing patents, either in exclusivity or not. Licensing allows other companies to use, sell, or make your patented innovation, in exchange for paying you a licensing fee or royalties. Patents and IP portfolios can also be sold to another party to exploit.
Motivator and Internal Metric for Research and Development
In the course of research and development (“R&D”) activities, patents can provide a concrete metric against which to measure R&D advancement. As a patent is only awarded for new and inventive projects, each patent is a measure of innovation success. By implementing an internal innovation scoring and review process for building a patent portfolio, as well as ongoing feedback from patent examiners during patent examination, progress in R&D can be monitored and optimized. Being an inventor on a patent can also motivate your most valuable R&D reemployees, who will gain recognition understandable beyond the walls of the company labs.
Patents as Marketing Tool
Beyond the tangible benefits of protecting your market territory, patenting your products can serve as a marketing tool. When consumers see the “Patent Pending” and “Patented”labels on a product they buy, it tells them that this product is new and unique on the market.
Having patented products also helps demonstrate to the public the innovative nature of your company. Patenting carries the cachet of an innovative, modern company and can be marketed as an advantage over your competitors.
Understanding Patents to Avoid Infringement Risk
Even if you don’t care about patents and patenting your innovations, your competitors probably do. It is important to understand and follow the patent landscape in your technology area both to benefit and protect your business. By being abreast of patent developments in your market niche, you may avoid accidentally infringing a third-party patent. Accidental or not, infringing your competitor’s patent can be an expensive mistake.
And a Bonus Reason!
Don’t forget that a competitor’s patents can also provide new ideas. While you cannot copy the patented innovation, other patents in the technology area can serve as a springboard to new innovations.
BCF’s Patents team can help optimise the value of your innovations. Should you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, please do not hesitate to contact our team.