Protecting your ideas

Protecting you from others commercializing your novel ideas and inventions is the basis of intellectual property (IP) rights. Despite this general understanding, a common occurrence is that researchers and start-up companies lack understanding about what is required to receive a patent. Even more often, most newer companies only realize the power of a strong patent portfolio until it is almost too late.

Intellectual property, especially patents, and its management are crucial elements for a company in a high technology environment because patents provide protection against competitors as well as serve as negotiation tools. Surveillance of the patent environment surrounding technology needs to be constant and at each stage of development. This attention will result in faster speed of entry into market, avoid potential infringement lawsuits and improve the position of a company if there is a potential conflict in the way of the development.

For the industrial client, staying close to external and/or academic researchers is especially important. Although some intellectual property that is generated by external researchers may be owned by a university setting, the right to exclusive license (“right of first refusal”) could be granted to the company under specific but defined terms. Another option would be to invest in industrial-initiated research projects, whereas, any generated intellectual property under the specific field of research would automatically be owned by the company. In this case, the cost of the research project is much higher but the risk of not owning the IP that is generated during the time of the project is eliminated. In both cases though, the responsibility would be on the company to identify key opinion leaders in particular fields of interest and be willing to invest in research projects and licensing/acquisition of key technology.

GroupAdvance offers coaching and educational courses for researchers, start-up companies and small to medium enterprises about how to utilize your current and future patents to increase the overall value of your company. Additionally, GroupAdvance also can customized a strategic plan on how to leverage your intellectual property rights can be incorporated in your company’s business plan and budget. Evaluation services like a Freedom to Operate report can also be integrated into the strategic plan.

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