While many people initially think of enforcement, the reality of patent enforcement is that it’s long, expensive and uncertain. Most companies don’t randomly engage in patent litigation, and neither should you. Here are six additional ways you can put a patent to work:
- To prevent or delay the competition from invading your turf. Having the ability to apply “patent pending” to your intellectual property puts your competitors on notice. They’ll know that should you eventually receive a patent, you will have the ability to claim damages dating back to the first act of infringement.
- To use as a marketing tool. Filing for a patent gives you the ability to communicate that your invention is “patent pending.” This can help you build market penetration earlier while positioning you as a thought leader in your market segment.
- To explore licensing. If your invention improves on an existing product or would be of value to another party, you can receive compensation each time your patented item is used or sold by negotiating a licensing agreement.
- To counteract your competitors. If your direct competitor is obtaining patents, you can seek patents of your own as a way to maintain leverage should your marketplace nemesis ever bring litigation against your company.
- To utilize during M&A or joint venture negotiations. Patents can act as bargaining chips or additional assets on a balance sheet during the negotiation of complex business transactions.
- To build corporate value for potential and current investors. In most cases, investors will see patents as added value. To attract venture capital, having formal patent protection surrounding your inventions can pay off big.
To learn more about the purpose of patents, types of patents, how to tell if your invention is patentable and more, visit our Essential Guide to Patent Filing.