KISSPatent
Helping startups to protect their ideas

Patent Community - learn more about patents

KISSPatent Patent Community, where you can learn about patents and turn your ideas into profit!

KISSPatent Community

Learn more about patents and turn your ideas into profit!

 

How to get the most out from our Community

Our Community offers three things: resources, tests & quizzes and personal consultation options. 

 

Who can file a patent? What can be patented? How to prepare a patent application? How the patent application works? What is a provisional patent?

Why patents are business assets? What benefits you have with patents? How can you raise funds with patents? How can you enter new markets with patents?

How can you plan your patent application? How can patents help you stand out from the crowd? How can patents impact your sales and business performance?


We collected our videos where we share our knowledge around anything patent related under 2-minutes. Worth to visit, we have almost a hundred videos!

We receive many questions from our customers on patents. We collect the most popular ones and answer them publicly here within our Question of the Week series.

We have numerous ebooks that can help you on the road. We collect all of them here for you in our ebook library, where you can download them directly.


Patents promote startup acquisition success

You know the symptoms when they startup – racing pulse, distraction at work, thinking only about one thing…

And then – at last! – you get together. But instead of bliss, it all falls apart. While it’s Saturday night and I’m still at work, that’s not what I’m talking about!

No, I’m referring to that depressing all-too-frequent story of failure. That is, of a failed startup-BigCo integration.

REALLY – IT ISN’T YOU….

Like all romances, this sad story begins with high hopes. BigCo realizes that it needs fresh innovative ideas and new blood. It makes your startup the object of its buttoned-down corporate affection.

The deal goes through. Suddenly you and your startup team are the stars of the moment. You’re lauded for your intelligence and daring, and (hopefully) paid well for joining the BigCo family.

But as Steve Blank points out, these acquisitions often just don’t work. His insight as to why they fail focuses on the reasons that the BigCo acquires the startup vs. the startup’s lifecycle stage. He specifically notes that these reasons should mesh with the stage in the startup’s life to avoid failure.

Under two circumstances, Steve Blank recommends rapid assimilation to the BigCo (using a rather disturbing Borg analogy). In the first circumstance, the startup has found a sustainable business model and the BigCo expects the startup to continue commercial execution on its innovation. Steve Blank has a number of recommendations for how to best integrate it to the larger corporate environment.

But sometimes, as Steve Blank points out, the BigCo doesn’t expect the startup team to continue executing on the innovation that it developed. One example that he gives is when a startup is acquired for its intellectual property. He briefly states that in this case, the startup team should be rapidly assimilated as its current business processes aren’t useful to the BigCo.

NOT ALL INNOVATORS ARE INVENTORS

I’d like to add some specific recommendations to this general advice. Innovators who have developed intellectual property – particularly patents – can make their general ideas into concrete property. Constructing patents is non-trivial and requires three skills:

  • Distilling a vague idea to a specific design
  • Describing how that design is different from what has been done before
  • Blocking competitors from commercially lucrative related ideas

The BigCo could benefit from these skills in many ways. For example, instead of assigning the startup team to a vague “innovation group” which has no clear direction or goal, the BigCo could assign the team to solve a specific problem within a particular department. With these skills, the team would provide focused solutions to these problems. The new solutions could then be protected with patents that successfully block BigCo’s competitors from entering the space.

Or, for companies that have an effective innovation culture (like DisneyAmazon or any of the Alphabet soup), the startup team could execute well on bringing the department’s general ideas to a commercially successful solution. Patents would again protect that solution, to stake out BigCo’s market space and of course, block competitors.

When innovators can successfully translate their ideas to patents and other intellectual property, they should be employed – and of course rewarded – for their unusual skills. BigCos that recognize the value of such innovators will ultimately get the maximum benefit from their startup acquisitions.

PATENTS PROMOTE THE PROSPEROUS STARTUP

As for startups being acquired, the founders of Mailgun (acquired by Rackspace) have some great advice for founders. And yes, defining your expectations plays a big role.

But I’d add some specific tips for startup teams with patents:

  1. Define the value of the patents for the BigCo (i.e. – most of the deal value or just a nice to have?)
  2. Ask yourself whether acquisition is the way to go. Could licensing your patents be enough?
  3. Would a competitor give you a better deal to keep BigCo from having your patents?

Whatever you decide to do, patents will give your startup more options. And if your startup is bought by a BigCo, patents will help make it a success!