Originality is a rare thing these days. The minute a new music group becomes trending, it’s likely there will be other soundalikes being promoted within days. It’s the same in the business world: The second there’s a new innovation, other people are wanting to use or mimic it. There have been countless stories in the papers of people being taken to court for copying other peoples’ ideas. All businesses can be open to such abuse, but none are as vulnerable as startups.
This is because they are small and in the early stages of development. An entrepreneur may have come up with a new product or design, and be seeking financial help from outside. If someone steals their invention it could be the end of the road all too quickly. It is for this reason that startup businesses should seriously consider taking out a patent.
Let’s find out a little more right now.
Because Legal Guidance Becomes Possible
If a startup business decides it needs to file for a patent, it will soon discover that it’s not a cheap process. That may be unwelcome news for an already struggling venture. The legal side can also be highly complicated as well. Fortunately, patent attorneys are often able to make life easier.
The attorneys at revisionlegal.com/patent-attorneys/ say people often seek initial legal opinions as to whether it’s worth taking out a patent. Prior art searches are often made for entrepreneurs and advice given on the patentability of the inventions.
Intellectual Property Can Be Protected
Someone may have created some artistic works or come up with a brand new design for something. They may have made their own brand of products with unique names. Intellectual property can even be words that a person has written or a scientific process they have devised.
Startups often occur because someone was involved in research and development, and came up with something new. Frequently these people put all their money into the venture. If a legal patent is taken out on the invention, it will seriously deter other (perhaps larger) companies from stealing and using the idea.
There Can Be Options For Infringement
Whilst it is not massively common for patent infringements to end up in court, there is nonetheless the possibility. Patent attorneys can help monitor the market for copycat products. If something comes to light they can assist with the prosecution process.
They can also assist with such matters as filing or defending patent infringements. Whilst securing a patent may have been costly, the benefits of protecting future income may outweigh this.
Patents Give Entrepreneurs Exclusive Rights To Their Inventions
If a patent application has been successful, the intellectual property will be protected for (usually) twenty years. The person lodging the original application will need to pay an annual fee to keep the patent in force. Either a domestic or international patent may have been awarded by the government.
No one else will be allowed to reproduce the product or make, sell, or import it. Whilst larger companies may desire to bully a startup out of existence, the patent will act as a ring-fence around the invention.
Patents Can Encourage External Investment
As we said earlier, an inventor may have put their life savings into this business. They may have borrowed from family or friends. The avenues of crowdfunding and personal loans may also have been explored and exhausted. Startup companies frequently seek financial support from venture capitalists. The latter scout around for promising ideas and ‘up and coming’ businesses, in the hopes of making a profit. If a product or process has not been patented, there is no guarantee that it is unique.
On the other hand, nothing is awarded a patent unless a thorough investigation has been made beforehand. This is one of the reasons why the patenting process is so expensive. If someone’s bright idea has been patented, the investor can be assured that this is a quality idea and a unique one at that.
Patents Aid Future Success
Patented products can become a magnet for venture capitalists. One survey of startup businesses revealed that nearly three-quarters of entrepreneurs said it was essential to gain a patent in order to attract financial investment.
Statistics of companies with patents also verify that long term success was more likely to be secured this way.
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