Posts Categorized: Patent Strategy

Offensive Protection of Marketplace

A very common use for patents is to enforce those patents against infringers in the marketplace. This strategy can be much more complex and risky than it seems.

In the simplistic view, this patent strategy involves protecting the products of the business by writing patents that cover the key elements of a company’s business. These patents serve as roadblocks for potential competitors and are designed to make a competitor go a long way to design around a product.

This is the classic patent strategy.

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Defensive Ammunition Against Infringement Suits

Note: this is a continuing series of posts looking at specific patent strategies in various business scenarios.

Patents may serve as defensive ammunition in the event of an infringement suit. Many large companies, especially in technology fields, use their patent portfolios in this manner. In this strategy, a company may amass a quantity of patents that may be used in the event of being sued by a competitor. In essence, the patents become bargaining chips that are played after a competitor sues for infringement or anything else for that matter.

This strategy plays out overtly and in a much quieter way. In both ways, this strategy is very effective.

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Defensive Publication

The defensive publication strategy protects a company’s intellectual property by getting it into the public domain, but while optionally retaining rights. In this strategy, a business publishes their technology before an aggressive competitor can file a patent on the same technology.

For example, if a business is afraid that a stronger or more aggressive competitor may develop a similar technology, the business may attempt to dump as much of the technology into the public domain before the competitor may develop and patent the same technology. If the aggressive competitor were to obtain patents in the area, it may attempt to enforce the patents against the first business.

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