Ultimate Benefits of Patents for Technology Startups

Do you have an amazing idea? Or experimented a neat little prototype around an innovative concept. Are you excited about its release?

Hold your horses! You are first required to preserve your Intellectual Property (IP).

Patents for Technology Startups

It takes years of hard work and dedication to developing software. However, once it’s features are well-defined, it becomes easier for others to replicate the software using a separate language or a platform. A software copyright can only protect the replication of the software code. However, if an identical software code is independently developed, the copyright does not provide any protection for the same. Also, it does not safeguard the delicacy of the idea, core process or the functional aspects of the software.

 This is where “Patents” come into play.

Patents play a pivotal role in determining software and the process protection. It adds a significant value to the success of smbs and startups, particularly a Technology startup. Patents offer exclusive rights to the owner, thereby preventing others to from making, sell, distribute or sell the patented invention without the permission. The Bright Side of Patents, provides an insight on how patents can benefit the Startup. This published working paper shows how the patents assist the start-ups to become more innovative to reap maximum benefits. A study has found that patent approvals assist the startups to innovate, grow their sales, create jobs and succeed. For a tech startup, the patenting cost might seem a significant expense but it can prove to be an asset in a number of ways as there are so many amazing patent searching tools and techniques. Below are the ways by which software patents benefit the technology startups.

Preventing Competitors from Exercising any Right to Your Property

Patents prevent the competitors to exercise the rights that are granted to the patent owner. The threat of patent litigation is expensive and considered very serious. It can sometimes run into a million of dollars. It acts as a deterrent to the competitors who perceive a constant fear of patent infringement. Even though the patent is neither making a profit nor boosting your company’s brand persona, however providing the freedom to operate your startup by averting the potential competitors from emulating the patented software or the product. Needless to say, a properly patented technology, business method or a service can offer a great competitive edge to the startup, a trademark to company’s success.

Helps in Attracting the Investment

Sometimes the start-up company’s valuation is based on the value of the patents that safeguard its key technology. A patented software product or the business method gives you an advantage during the evaluations conducted by venture capital investment companies. A good patent portfolio helps in attracting investment. Valuation of start-up companies is often based primarily on the value of the patents that protect the key technology areas of the company. A patent, patent search or even a patent application gives you an advantage in the market and can, therefore, give the company an edge during evaluation by venture capitalists.

Helps in attracting a Partnership

In a scenario, where access to a third-party technology is needed, patents can become very useful as it aids in demonstrating the technological leadership and credibility of the startup company. It is an essential factor to boost the product or a company’s image. Further, it offers strategic edge by enhancing the negotiation positions for cross-licensing, contracts, deeds and various collaborative deals.

 Ability to Generate Licensing Revenues

One of the key benefits of Patent for Tech Start-ups is the ability to generate Licensing Revenues. The patent owner can easily permit the license to another party to grant the licensee to use the patent rights without violating the claims of the patent. This is very true in the case of patents on breakthrough technologies, where a number of competitors have the requirement for the patented technology so that they can enhance their products. Besides monetizing the patents using licensing, the patents can easily generate the revenue through the damages and the settlement that are won through the patent litigation process.

 If you are one of the Startup Companies, Consider this:

The delay in your patent application process and application rejections will lead to negative consequences. For every delayed patent application, the employment growth of the startup decreases by 21%. If the same continues for 5 years, the sales graph is bound to decrease by 28%. Not only this, with delayed patent application every year, the average patent granted decrease by 14% and its quality with a 7% decrease. With each year delay, the prospect of the startup to the public is reduced by half. This is the reason why tech startups that offer services and products like big data services, cloud computing, and online project management tools are required to get fully patented before getting completely live for end-user from its Beta Version.

Conclusion

Patents are considered as the monopoly grants that hold up for the time interval of 20 years. During this tenure, no one other than the patent holder is allowed to make use of the technology which is incorporated in the patent’s claim. Needless to say, patents are among key components of technology company’s IP portfolio. Patent Portfolio of your company opens the gateway for various investment possibilities from the venture capitalists and the investors. By licensing out the patented software, product or technology to the third parties, startups can use the patent portfolio as ROI. Not to forget, protecting and investing in the IP assets is the key to providing investor comfort, generate potential revenues and build business credibility for the startups.

Author Bio:

Ankur Kumar is an experienced blogger and content manager. He likes to write on various topics including technology, digital marketing, and environment. He is an active member of FindNerd, a social tech community and an emerging platform for project management tools. An avid biker, traveler, motivator problem solver and nature lover. He is straight forward in his approach and believes in minimalist lifestyle.

An infographic on How to Do A Patent Search

Do you have any idea or invention and you wanted to protect it? But before moving further for a patent filling procedure you must do a patent search to make sure nobody has patented the similar idea already which is known as prior art search. Now you can do a patent search on your own without hiring any patent attorney with few simple steps.

Have a look on some simple steps for a Patent Search:

How to Do A Patent Search

 

The above infographic shows every step one need to take when conducting a patent search. Still you have any query, feel free to consult TT Consultants.

 

Amazing Patent Searching Techniques and Tools

What is a Prior Art?

Prior art search refers to the process of finding relevant literature (called as a prior art) that is available in public domain before a particular date. While conducting a search the main focus of the researcher is to locate the closest possible prior art related to a particular invention or idea. Thus, prior art is simply an evidence or proof for existence of a technology-related inventive concept, available publicly. The exact application, meaning and concerned date of the prior art is bounded by various national patent laws. The most common sources of prior art are granted patents, published patent applications and non-patent literature (NPL) such as any published journals, product specifications, whitepapers, books, academic research papers, internet publications etc. Prior art also includes any documentation of the product, its evidence of sale or public use. You can also conduct the search yourself only if you know the Different Steps in a Prior Art Search.

Databases for Patent Search

A number of free and paid databases are available where the patent searching can be performed. These databases cover a worldwide country scope.

Some paid databases are:

  • Orbit.com
  • Thomson Innovation
  • PatBase
  • Derwent World Patent Index (DWPI)

Orbit.com is used for design patent search.

Free Databases include: Google Patents and Espacenet.

Several regional/national databases are also used for country-specific search like:

  • PAJ for Japanese (JP) patents
  • Kipris for Korean (KR) patents
  • AusPat for Australian (AU) patents
  • SIPO/CNPAT for Chinese (CN) patents
  • And so on….

Apart from the above mentioned databases, XLPAT- an automated patent search and analysis tool is also used for patent and non-patent literature search. This fully automated tool has a great advantage in exploring every aspect in the domain of patent technology. XLPAT is a powerful tool developed using 9 years of IP search experience at TTC, to enhance the quality of prior art searches.

Strategies for Patent Search

A standard patent search on any of the above mentioned databases includes the following key steps:

  1. Understanding the claims/novelty of the invention
  2. Webbing of the Subject Patent (subject patent refers to the patent to be invalidated)

Patent Webbing refers to the analysis of the backward citations and forward citation of the subject patent. This is done by taking into account the forward citations of the backward citations and backward citations of the forward citations.

Suppose A is the backward citation of the subject Patent and B is the forward citation of the subject Patent.

X = All forward citations of A

Y = All backward citations of B

Webbing = X OR Y

  1. Inequitable Search

This is an important step while conducting an invalidity search. Inequitable Search is done to identify any extra citation cited in any of the family members of the subject patent.

Suppose B = Backward Citations of the Subject Patent

A= Backward Citations of the family members of the subject Patent

Inequitable Search = A NOT B

  1. Keyword based search

Identify the relevant keywords and their logical variations/synonyms. Combine the keywords in a logical fashion to form search queries.

  1. Classification based search

Various Classifications such as IPC, CPC, US, and ECLA are used in search strings. Fully Independent Class based search is performed for an extensive search in a technology domain.

  1. Assignee and Inventor name based search
  2. Complex search strings or combinational search

Broad and narrow search strings are used to approach the prior art from different directions. Logically relevant keywords and classes are combined to create a complex query to approach more relevant results.

  1. Applying Restrictions:
  • Search in Select Sections of Patent Applications. Patent databases allow searching within: text sections, title, abstract, claims, bibliographic details.
  • Search using date criteria (usually the earliest priority date)
  1. Non-patent search (not relevant in case of an FTO search) 
  2. Citation analysis

Analysis of forward and backward patent and non-patent citations of the most relevant patents identified in the above steps.

Prior art searches can be performed by an individual using a number of databases listed above. One may take assistance of professional patent search firms to conduct a more thorough and comprehensive search using a combination of paid databases.

TT Consultants ranked as the TOP Company by JETRO

TT Consultants has recently been rated as the TOP Company in Patent Searches in India, in an evaluation conducted by a sub group of JAPAN EXTERNAL TRADE ORGANIZATION (JETRO).

The report that was published in May 2015 is based upon an open evaluation of about 30 companies wherein they were given a few searches to run.”This is perhaps the only independent and in-depth assessment done so far by and internationally renowned organization” remarks a patent engineer with experience in the domain.The report is titled ‘Evaluation of patent research companies in India’ and is available on the JETRO website. Continue reading

TT Consultants add automation to Technology Landscapes

TT Consultants announced today that it has brought in automation and big data analytics to Patent and Technology landscapes using XLPAT. Users will now be able to get a handle on data, use powerful tools to identify licensees, products, technologies and experts of Interest.

We call it “democratization of data” said, Sandeep Kohli, the inventor of the set of tools. We will now enable users to get relevant datasets, set parameters and iteratively analyze large sets of Patent data. Continue reading