All about intellectual property rights and startups
Intellectual property rights (IPR) can be the most important investments for startups. Obtaining intellectual property protection (patents, trademarks, design protection) can minimize risks and act as a defense against infringement claims from others. Intellectual property can attract investors, thus, a well-designed intellectual property strategy is essential for your startup.
According to a study of the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO):
- more than 42% of total economic activity in the EU is generated by IPR-intensive industries
- approximately 38% of all employment in the EU is provided by businesses that have a higher use of IP rights
- average wages in IPR-intensive industries are considerably higher than in other industries
- IPR intensive industries have played a huge role in EU trade with a very high share of imports (85%), and an even higher share of exports (93%)
The evolving IPR-intensive sectors promise great prospects for innovative small and middle-size enterprises. However, it is essential to make sure to protect your business by utilizing IP rights. Agreeing with and based on an article of Techcrunch, we recommend you to keep in mind the following.
File as early as possible and keep your invention in secret until filing
Time to file for patent protection is limited and patents should be considered early on in product development. If many inventors came up with the same solution around the same time, the first who files the patent application will obtain legal protection.
This is where Start-patent can help you!
File again and again
Consider about filing new patent applications as your products evolve. Since competition is harsh, your competitors may develop products beyond the scope of protection by your existing patent. A way to avoid this problem is to stay in front of them in terms of innovation. Still, even if your innovation is a newer version of the same technology, it can be subject to patent protection as long as it has some novelty in it.
Think about the territorial scope of your patent protection
All forms of intellectual property protection are territorial. This means that they provide you an exclusive right over your invention only in the territory of a certain country. You can utilize the existing systems of international applications to obtain protection from the first filing in many countries. If you decide to file a European Patent (EPC) application, we can assist you in obtaining protection in the countries you choose.
Consider design protection
In Europe, it is possible to obtain a European Community Design (ECD) protection for how a product looks. In the United States, design protection is a type of patents. Patents are not available for the protection of the outlook of your products. Thus, if appearance is important for your business, you can consider design protection.
Our firm can assist you in obtaining a European Community Design protection! Please visit our website for further information.
Consider trademark protection
Trademarks are words, signs, symbols or colors that help to identify the source of certain goods or services. If you are considering about the marketing of your product, trademarks can be essential in helping consumers to recognize your product. Everybody is familiar with several well-known trademarks and once your company appears on the market, a well-chosen trademark can be essential to position your products.
Trademark protection as also territorial, but in Europe, there is a possibility to get a European Trademark protection, which covers all 28 countries of the European Union.
Consult with our experts to decide which forms of IP protection are the most suitable for you. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!