Having the proper patent strategy is important for every business, but it’s especially important for startups and SMEs. If you are trying to get established in your field, you need to be serious about protecting intellectual property and leveraging it as you grow. Every company is different, but an Orange County, California small business IP lawyer from our firm can help you figure out how to approach patenting and safeguarding your intellectual property.

How Should Startups and SMEs Approach Patenting and IP Protection?

Getting patents can require a significant amount of time and money. Startups and SMEs often have limited resources. This means that you have to prioritize. Figure out what your key innovations are, the most novel and useful ideas that you have. Protecting these IPs should be your first priority, and then you can expand and protect more of your property as you grow and have access to more resources.

What Are Some Common Patenting Strategies for Startups and SMEs?

There are a few patenting strategies often employed by startups and SMEs. Common approaches include:

The family tree strategy: First, startups and SMEs take efforts to protect their core technology. As this tech evolves, its evolutions or “branches” are evaluated to see if more protection is needed.

The sniper strategy: This is when a company secures a few different patents for its core technology, but not all of its modifications or improvements. This can be risky if another company is able to make a similar patent to yours.

The shotgun strategy: Taking this approach means obtaining as many patents as you can. This makes it difficult for competitors to one-up you, but it is an expensive strategy to pull off.

How Can a Patenting Strategy Help Expand the Reach of My Business?

A good patenting strategy that aligns with your company’s priorities can help you expand into different markets and continue to innovate with your core technology. You may also be able to take advantage of licensing opportunities that could give you access to areas that your small business simply couldn’t have gotten to all on its own. Having valuable IP and strong protection for those properties can make an enormous difference for any company, no matter which industry they operate in.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Securing a patent is not always easy. It can be a lengthy process and you want to be sure that your patent application is complete and compelling. You may also have to deal with appeals and other obstacles on your way to having your IP protected. Our lawyers can help you navigate this process and get the patents you need, even if you are taking the “shotgun” approach and trying to patent as much as you can!

Talk to an Attorney Today

When you want to learn more about potential patenting strategies that can work for your company, contact Burns Patent Law. We can answer your questions and advise you on any potential paths forward.