Why it’s important for start-ups to file patents
There has been a lot of literature going around the Internet regarding the importance of filing patents, especially for start-ups. Opinions both in favour of, and against this proposal have been gathering storm, and there has been no conclusive outcome on the ongoing debate.
Why the debate after all? Here is why: Inventions and innovations have become the raisons d’ etre of today’s start-up ecosystem. Start-ups have come to be known for their creative vibrancy and their relentless pursuit towards something new, something different. The entrepreneurial zeal in all of you is definitely heady and is doing wonders for all of us to see!
But, wait, in all this excitement of starting up and managing everything by yourself, don’t you think you are missing out on something very crucial? You heard us right. If you are overlooking the need for patenting your product, you are in for serious troubles in the longer run. How?
Here’s how: In the initial stages of starting up, you get to discuss all your ideas with so many different people. Hence, chances are high that your ideas might get stolen, and you would be left with no legal remedy to battle it out, if this happens. Sounds nightmarish right?
Not to worry, as we do have a solution after all. And it’s simple: patent your product. File a provisional application if the product is still in the development stage. But do file a patent application. Provisional or otherwise. And even in the long run, patenting does prove beneficial, in so many different ways.
“A patent, or invention, is any assemblage of technologies or ideas that you can put together that nobody put together that way before.”
- You can monetize the patent:Now what does this mean? It only means this: Take for example, you have invented a sleek new car, that runs on biodegradable waste materials, and at the same time, is super stylish. Cool right? Now, if you choose not to patent this, it would absolutely make no sense, because you also close the doors of earning money through this invention of yours. How? Simply by closing the doors for royalties which you can earn by licensing your licensees to manufacture, market and distribute this product. Simply put, you lose out on earning money. Huge Money.
- Build a Brand Value for Your Start-up:At the initial stages of your existence there are two things which you would be in dire need of: Funding and Goodwill. You will have to strive very hard to get both of these, without doing which, surviving in the fast evolving start-up ecosystem would prove to be very difficult. Thus, by patenting that sleek new car of yours, you will dramatically raise your goodwill, which will help you reap rich monetary rewards in the long run (if you want to list yourself, or if you are looking for funding).
- Attracting Funding:Every VC, every angel investor, is undoubtedly looking for start-ups that are promising, that have the potential of making money, of being successful, of being market leaders in their sectors. Hence, it goes without saying that patenting your newly invented product attracts the much needed funding to your organization. Hence, not going for a patent just because you see it as a financial burden on the already shallow pocket of yours would be an ill informed and closed way of looking at things.
- Increases Your Business Valuation:Intellectual Property is your single biggest asset. Be it anything, a patent, a trademark, a copyright. They fetch huge money. Thus, having a patent in your name substantially increases the value of your business. You make more profits. You increase your value. It’s never too early to patent your product, the sooner, the better, because you would be having the benefit of starting early!
- Helps you scale-up faster – the Spill over effect:As a result of all the above mentioned benefits that accrue upon you because of patenting your product, you will indubitably scale up much faster when compared to not having patented your product. In other words, patenting your products helps you in moving towards your vision much faster.