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By Sanjeev Kumar
Founding Attorney

Patents for Start-Ups

Setting up your start-up the right way with all the relevant legal protections in place is important in order for it to be successful. One type of legal protection that may be relevant to your business is patent protection. While not all start-ups need patents, in some cases, getting a patent may be the right way to secure your idea from being used by others.

When Does a Business Start-Up Need a Patent?

Not every patentable idea or invention needs to get a patent. Generally speaking, it may be worth getting a patent if you have an invention with solid commercial value. Also, in some instances, a patent may help you become more competitive in your industry. Whether getting a patent is worth it will depend on a variety of factors and your industry is one of them. Many companies heavy with intellectual property-type assets would benefit from obtaining a patent or patents as soon as possible. Companies with a focus on intellectual property are those that expend a large amount of money and resources on things like research and development. The research and development process can take a while to come to fruition. Getting a patent may be the only legal tool available to help protect yourself from competitors gaining the advantage on the market before the full rewards of your research and development investment can come to light. Those companies that are not so focused on intellectual property that requires extensive investments in research and development may have other routes available to them as opposed to obtaining a patent which can be quite costly.

Patent registration requires a substantial amount of money and should, therefore, be carefully considered before diving in. Start-ups should explore other potential avenues to protect their intellectual property. For instance, confidentiality agreements and trade secret protection can be very effective in protecting the intellectual property of a start-up. To reap the full benefits of the protections these measures can provide, a start-up should have a variety of relevant parties sign the agreement, including:

  • Employees
  • Board Members
  • Business advisors and consultants
  • Vendors
  • Engineers
  • Outsourced designers
  • Customers

While confidentiality agreements and trade secret protections can go far to protecting a start-up, there are still some perks of a patent to consider. For instance, potential investors might be attracted to a start-up that has secured patent protection. Additionally, having a patent has the potential to deter interference in the market by competitors.

Business Counsel Protecting Your Start-Up

One of the best ways to determine whether your start-up needs a patent is to talk to an attorney who is knowledgeable in this area. Come to The Kumar Law Firm will all of your questions on how to set your start-up for success. The steps you take at the beginning set the tone for the rest of your business dealings. Start off on the right foot. Contact us today.

About the Author
Sanjeev Kumar is the founder and principal at the Kumar Law Firm, which provides a wide range of legal services to entrepreneurs and business owners in the area of business & corporate law and intellectual property along with related areas of interest to clients such as business succession planning, wealth preservation through estate planning, and alternate dispute resolution.