The first step a company needs to take is to define what the patent activities is supposed to achieve. Patents can increase the return on research and development investments, as the patents will make it more difficult for others to provide similar products or services.
The purpose of the patent strategy might be to:
- Increase or maintain market share or profit by limiting competition.
- Deter others from enforcing their patents by creating patents that are relevant for their products.
- Improve opportunities for initiating cooperation with other companies.
- Increase the value of the company, thus becoming more attractive for investments, mergers and acquisitions.
- Create revenue through licensing.
Depending on the situation of the business and company targets, we can help in identifying a number of activities. Please see below for a list of activities and considerations relevant to the creation of a valuable patent portfolio.
An investigation outlining what the existing patent situation looks like within the technical field of your company may provide important information about competitors and their patents. Your own patenting may then be adapted to ensure that your patent portfolio is competitive.
Analysis of what should be patented
Your own technology should be analysed in order to identify what could be patentable. In addition, it needs to be assessed to what extent an identified invention differs from prior art and what scope of protection a patent might provide. We help you to evaluate to what extent such a patent would have an impact on competitors in the same technical field.
In larger technology development projects, several patent applications are often filed for different technology areas, which in turn provides more comprehensive protection.
There may be others developing products within the same technical area and at roughly the same time as you, and the first one filing a patent application for a specific invention can get a patent granted. That is why it is important to file a patent application at an early stage of the development process, but this should be balanced against filing it later when you have had time to develop your technology further and the conditions for creating an optimal patent application are even better.
The original invention is developed further and often concretised through various specific, technical solutions during the course of the project before it turns into a finished product or service. Continuous analysis should be carried out to assess whether further elaborations of the technology could be patented.
Avoiding infringement of others’ patents
Besides the management of your own patents, there should also be a plan for how you, as much as possible, avoid your product or service infringing any patents of others. An assessment of patents within the relevant technical field can be carried out prior to launching your own product or service. The purpose of this assessment would be to clarify which technology is free to use (Freedom To Operate).