Patents are many a business’s secret weapon. Protecting your innovations from competitors, generating revenue for your company, and establishing reputation are just a few of the many perks of having a solid patent strategy. However, without in-house patent expertise or a wealth of available resources, it can be tough to know where to start when deciding whether patents would work well for you as a small business owner.
Let’s help guide you through the process–from determining if having a patent might benefit what you do at all, down to how a solid one could benefit other aspects of your business’s smooth operation, and even delegating the hard work to a qualified Houston patent lawyer.
Where and How Do Patents Work?
With a registered patent, your company can protect the invention and service that makes it unique from competitors.
A business may need to obtain protection by securing patents on products or services with high levels of exclusivity (e.g., pharmaceuticals). However, for other businesses where there is only one product being offered–one which has potential to generate significant revenue based on its uniqueness alone–patents will be needed too in order to safeguard these aspects of their offerings from competition.
If you have a product that has potential to achieve significant success because your technology is novel, patent protection may be worth exploring further–particularly if competitors are likely to want to profit from the intellectual property for their own purposes.
How Do I Start with Patents?
The first step for any startup is to conduct a patent search. This will help you identify whether your product or service has been patented already and, if not, it can provide ideas for what aspects of the company’s offering should be protected by patents so that they are unique competitors won’t have an easy time copying them.
To spare you the sophisticated process of obtaining a patent, that worry of whether you’re approved or denied by USPTO might seem worse than getting rejected on Tinder (which really does happen). But fear no more: this is where a patent lawyer comes in handy.
A patent lawyer can help you in every step of the process: searching, registering, applying, and monetizing. Look carefully for one, and you’ll eventually come to treat them as a part of your business.
Are patents public record?
18 months after filing, patents are published by the USPTO.
An important thing to note about patents is if you want complete control of how much information gets released, consult an attorney before going any further. They can help guide you through every step, and prevent a competitor from taking advantage of what little info was found during the initial search process.
With the help of a patent attorney, you’ll not only stay ahead of your competition but also protect yourself from copycats who want nothing more than to profit from stealing your hard work.