Surprising facts on a patent's worth
As a startup, pushing profits early is your main goal, though you may not have full preparation for getting where you need to go. If you think you have a unique idea nobody else is doing, you’ve perhaps forgotten to get it patented before someone else seemingly hijacks your mind to do the same thing.
With new patent laws, you’re basically running on borrowed time to get your idea protected. Waiting just a few extra days could mean someone else manages to take credit for an idea you’ve worked on for years. Think Alexander Graham Bell not moving fast enough to fight off all other amateur phone inventors.
It’s time to understand how patents increase sales for startups rather than succumb to misconceptions about businesses being hurt by filing. For a while, there was a myth permeating that businesses were victims of the patent system. This isn’t true, despite whoever patents something first getting the invention credit.
In truth, when you file a patent now, you’re going to see an increase in more than just sales.
Let’s take a look at what’s at stake and some success stories without you having to consult a psychic.
How Much Can You Realistically Gain in Sales?
Consider this statistic from a recent paper called “The Bright Side of Patents” and cited by the Henry Patent Law Firm: Approved patents provide long-term benefits to startups.
More precisely, startups get a 51% increase in sales over five years. The same goes for a 36% increase in employment. Nevertheless, the first year is critical because it’s when you pave your path toward seeking funding from “Shark Tank” venture capitalists and avoiding legal traps.
Your biggest risk is waiting too long to file your patent and being contested by your competitors. Should they file first and you don’t know it, they can essentially block you from going forward with your idea.
After years of hard work planning your business idea, this can become more than devastating. Unfortunately, it’s happened far too many times.
It’s not to say you’re not already risk-averse from the start when seeking funding.
Proving You’re Not Completely Risk Averse
Perhaps you’re starting a tech company, which is risky from the get-go and because everyone wants to become the next Steve Jobs. When seeking money from a VC, they’re going to automatically consider you risk-averse, and Forbes notes companies with potential quick growth are more vulnerable.
Ultimately, venture capitalists don’t want to give capital to companies like yours if you don’t show patents to prove your worth. Without it, they’ll deem you even riskier and probably prone to tying up litigation longer than a Donald Trump lawsuit.
There isn’t any excuse not to file a patent when you have numerous methods for filing online. Through the USPTO, you even get a semi-facetious Patent Prosecution Highway to fast-track application examinations.
If you think there aren’t lessons to learn about faster patenting (especially in the tech industry), consider some standout stories in the business world.
How Different Companies Succeed With Patents
You’ll find a lot of success stories with companies that managed to file patents early. A company like Safety Blade is one good example of protecting a product with many likely competitors. As a safer blade that doesn’t cut you, it went through various redesigns first, though had patent protection early to prevent others from running with the idea.
A tech company called NFC went through a lot of hoops to get their mobile payment technology patented, though won in the end. Despite dealing with the Supreme Court case of “Alice vs. CLS Bank” related to tech patents, the company is still around and managed to file 30 patents several years ago. They also had 120 patents pending.
The greatest success story of all comes from Infinidat, which turned into a major company in providing data protection. They filed hundreds of patents in quick succession to protect their innovative technologies.
It turned them into a billion-dollar company within a few years and left competitors in the dust. What’s important about this has they filed their patents with only 100 customers, showing it doesn’t matter what your customer base is to get moving on protecting your IP.
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