When building a patent portfolio with the intent to sell a company, the main audience is not potential infringers, but the acquiring company. Depending on the situation, the acquiring company may have any of several different reasons for the acquisition.
Posts Categorized: Patent Strategy
This is a second part of a series on different patent drafting styles. The first post dealt with protecting an existing product. The final post deals with developing a portfolio with intent to sell a company.
Patents that are intended for licensing have a distinctively different feel to them and a different method of drafting. Here, our intent is to protect an idea that may potentially be more valuable at the end of the patent life. In this circumstance, we are unable to predict where the technology may change.
Rather than focusing on a product or opportunity, these types of patents identify a concept and develop as many variations or configurations of the concept as possible.
I vary the drafting style of a patent application based on the client’s business needs. Based on the client’s short and long term needs of the patent, the resulting patent may take on significantly different looks.
I have had a rash of independent inventors calling over the last few weeks, all with very sincere and heartfelt belief in their ideas. My first advice is always to do a business plan, but I also suggest that the independent inventor do as thorough a patent search as possible. The basic advice to a new inventor: learn everything you possibly can.
The best piece of advice I give inventors, both independent inventors and business managers, is to do at least a cursory business plan before seeking a patent. Not only are patents expensive, but they teach your competitors a lot about your strategies, technologies, and plans for the future. There really needs to be a good business case for disclosing your trade secrets before you do so.