Shane Olafson and Kyle Siegal of Lewis Roca Rothgerber presented their Patent Do’s and Don’ts for Startups webinar at our Lunch and Learn event recently. Note: While this is a general recap, we recommend you read the slides for a better understanding.
- It’s easier to say what a patent is NOT, rather than what a patent is in general.
- Startups often don’t anticipate the high cost of protecting their intellectual property. A startup should spend funding on patenting the most fundamental piece of the product instead of the bells and whistles. You can technically DIY it (without an attorney), but nuances can get you into trouble.
- There is a difference between a provisional application and a patent application. Patent application timelines are long, but a provisional application will hold your place in line for when you do finally send a patent application.
- Don’t prematurely disclose new product concepts without proper protection.
- In a patent application, broad claims are the most helpful because they overlap existing technologies. Very narrow patent claims can be easy to get around, which would make having a patent on your product practically pointless.
- A license is just a contract. When licensing, you are giving someone the right to use your invention. Divy up exclusive licenses in as many ways as possible (if it’s applicable).
Interested in more information on patents for startups? Download our whitepaper, "To Patent or Not to Patent."