Excerpted from the author’s article published in VC List. To read the complete article, please click here.
Patents can provide broad protection for invention and innovation. They can cover almost any novel aspect of a technology, including hardware, software, materials, and business methods. Many innovation developed by an emerging technology company can likely be patented, and patenting those innovations can create significant advantage in the marketplace.
A strong patent portfolio can help attract investments for emerging tech companies. Investors often look to see whether a fledgling company has protected its intellectual property (IP) when determining whether to invest.
Considerations When Disclosing Information about Your Invention
In the United States, as well as most of the world, the prior sale, prior use or public disclosure of the invention by the inventor or others may affect your ability to obtain a valid patent. Inventors may inadvertently jeopardize their ability to successfully apply for or be granted a patent by disclosing information about the invention to the public.
Manage Confidential Information to Avoid Unintentional Loss of IP Rights
One of the most important ways to protect IP is to avoid inadvertent or unplanned public disclosure. If the invention is released into the public domain — whether by publication, presentation, posting on a website, blogging, discussion with potential customers or suppliers — before a patent application has been filed, a total loss of the right to obtain a patent can result. Additionally, such inadvertent disclosure of the invention can reduce or eliminate competitive advantage.
To help protect your IP, there are some very basic documents you should always have in place to protect ownership and confidentiality of your intellectual property. The major ones are invention assignment agreements, NDAs, and employee handbooks.
Continue Reading Managing Your Patent Portfolio to Attract Investments