In today’s day and age, for startups to survive in a highly competitive era- it’s imperative that they patent their individual and authentic inventions and ideas. Patents provide for a way to ensure that the innovative ideas are appropriately rewarded. With a patent, the startup increases its valuation and thus is more likely to attract investors. This happens because of the fact that once an intellectual property of a startup is safeguarded, it becomes safer for an investor to put in their money. Patents ensure that the commercial rewards of any new idea is reaped by the startup which ensures more profits. It keeps the competition away as one has the sole right to his/her own product. On the other hand, an unpatented idea invites more competition. Worst case scenario, it can also result in the rivals patenting someone else’s idea thus making it impossible for them to benefit from their own idea. Intellectual property rights facilitate a startup that has already developed an innovative product to compete effectively against large companies after patenting its invention.
For any startup, the resources both in terms of financial resources and human resources are limited and so it’s imperative to decide how to allocate these minimum resources. Hence, it’s important for them to have an Intellectual Property strategy. One of the strategies could be to keep the confidentiality in the details of its ideas or innovations till the startup is funded to reduce the costs attached to applying for a patent. The strategy will also have to entail a business plan which does not only focus on the present plans but also the business plan once the startup starts expanding. The basic but an important condition is also to ensure that the startup is not infringing upon someone else’s intellectual property. Startup valuation is possible on the basis of the intellectual property rights. Therefore, it’s important for the start up to not over-stretch its finances and also impose some restraint on what they already have.
The patent strategy should be cost efficient and after a careful evaluation of the core assets, the type of intellectual property protection that is required should be assessed. It is also important for the startup to ensure that its employees are trustworthy and will not leak the idea until the patent is gained.
Thus, these are the few ways a startup can protect its intellectual property.