How To Raise Money For Your Startup Using Provisional Patent Applications

By: Stephen Key

Startups are extremely busy. As a result, protecting their assets can take a backseat. I hear it firsthand all the time. “Intellectual property? Oh, our attorneys are handling that."

Huh? Leaving the responsibility of crafting an intellectual property strategy up to your legal team alone is a mistake. To be of value, the intellectual property you file must support your business objectives, the specifics of which you — and only you — can determine.

The evidence is clear: Technology startups that file early raise more money.

So, how do you go about creating a patent strategy for your startup?

First, by thinking big-picture.

The question Samar Shah asks of startups that consult with him right off the bat is: At the end of the day, what’s your goal?

Shah is a patent attorney who works with technology startups and has represented established companies like Facebook and Blackberry in patent prosecution and litigation.

“If it’s to grow your company based on sales made without ever seeking investors, you might decide to pass on patent protection,” Shah explained. Historically, patents have been thought of as a way to exclude competitors. Because patent lawsuits have become so expensive, litigation is no longer a viable option except for those with very deep pockets.

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