Patent management is crucial for businesses looking to profit from their intellectual property. All businesses, but especially entrepreneurial businesses, generate numerous innovations and ideas. And ideas are the largest asset of most start-ups. But for your business to profit from your ideas, those ideas must be protected.
A patent is one of the best ways to protect and idea. With a patent, you can prevent competitors from imitating your successful innovations. A patent also becomes part of your businesses asset base, adding value to your balance sheet.
To protect properly protect ideas as patents, it is important to record and track each innovation. Otherwise even great innovations can get lost in the rush to get to market. Your tracking system should record the inventions of all employees in your company, and make thoseventions available for review by an intellectual property manager. The record should include the date of conception, and details of patentable concepts.
Most businesses generate far more ideas than they can afford to patent, and not all innovations are worth patenting. So after you have established a system for recordingventions, the next step in good patent management is evaluate and establish a value for each innovation. By valuing each idea, you can determine which are worth patenting and which should be used and protected in other ways.
Your valuation should consider the economic value of your innovation, including marketing and cost components. You should also consider how likely you are to win broad patent coverage, and if you will be able to detect infringement of your patent. With this information you can estimate a value for each innovation.
After you have a record of each idea and a value estimate, you can use this information to make an intelligent decision about which ideas to patent. With a complete listing of your businesses innovations and their value, you will find it much easier to manage your intellectual property.