Why or why not file a patent application?

Why not file a patent application?

Deciding whether or not to file a patent application is not easy. Endless questions may be circling in the minds of founders. Will the innovation work? Will customers want my new product? What if it flops?

The difficulty lies in the uncertainty of the future. If you knew for sure that your new product would be a huge success, then the decision to apply for a patent would be easy. But, you do not and can not know the future. You are unable to guarantee results much like a patent attorney cannot guarantee that your patent will be granted.

What are bad reasons for filing a patent?

For smaller companies and startups, the decision of whether or not to patent might have less to do with the probability of success and more to do with benefits of patent-pending status. Before delving into those benefits, it may be worthwhile to explores some decent reasons not to apply for a patent. Here are some bad reasons for applying for a patent:

  • you feel that your patent will solve the world’s problems and that there’s no way a patent examiner will fail to see this;
  • you believe that licensing your patent-pending idea will generate a great deal of money even though you do not have any serious potential licensees contemplating a deal;
  • you believe that no one else has thought of a similar concept since you do not see any similar products currently in the marketplace;
  • you assume a design patent will cover the useful functional features of your product.

What are bad reasons for not filing a patent?

Many common misconceptions surrounding patents may also lead to poor choices in declining patent protection. Here are some bad reasons for not filing a patent application:

  • patents are too expensive to enforce or litigate;
  • my brand is sufficient to protect my product in the marketplace;
  • you assume your concept is not worth protecting because it’s too simple;
  • you believe competitors will not copy you;
  • you don’t see the value of patent-pending.

Now that we’ve uncovered some poor reasons for making patent decisions, let’s explore good reasons for deciding whether or not to file a patent application.

What are good reasons deciding whether or not to patent?

We discussed several factors on why patents matter to startups. In addition to those reasons, the following factors may not be as evident to potential patent filers:

  • more cost-effective ways to enforce patent rights through IP enforcement programs by ecommerce platforms;
  • marketing value of a proprietary technology or product;
  • boosting the value of your company for a potential acquisition or merger.

When is the right time to file a patent application?

If you have decided that filing a patent makes sense, then the timing will be critical. The first-to-file rule should cause you to pursue an earlier filing date if possible. If you must delay, then the US gives you a 1-year grace period from your earliest date of public disclosure, but foreign countries may not give you any grace period at all.

What is the cost of a patent?

You can’t think of filing patents without considering the costs. Budget is always a factor especially for smaller companies, which is why our firm provides fixed fee billing. Here are some helpful articles that provide rough cost estimates for the initial filing and ongoing prosecution:

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Frenda Williams
Frenda Williams
I have had the pleasure of working with Vic and his team at Innovation Capital Law Group on Trademark creation and contracts. As a solo and non-tech founder, the assistance, guidance and recommendations from Vic and his team have been INVALUABLE. And, with the knowledge that I have a Solid, well versed and caring legal team I can turn to, I have the confidence I need to navigate the intricacies of the tech industry as a solo founder. With that being said, If you’re a startup and you’re looking for a legal team that speaks your language, knows the industry and makes you feel like family…. Innovation Capital Law Group is a Perfect fit for you, your company and your team. Five out of Five Stars… don’t let their brilliance blind you 😁
Shiwei Liu
Shiwei Liu
Excellent service and quick response. Lots of informative documents on its website.
Chang Chien Michael
Chang Chien Michael
I have worked with iCap for more than 7 years. I am very glad with his professional knowledge that 7 utility patents were granted by USPTO. Vic and his team are very efficient and knowledgeable. Every time he can transcribe my design idea perfectly in two weeks and file it with no rejection from USPTO. The other service including the granted patent following up is always in time to remind me to take actions. That is why I still stick on iCap as my first priority when I want to file a US patent.
Mats Johansson
Mats Johansson
We have been happy client for 10+ years. Awesome Patent Law Firm!
Hanson Chang
Hanson Chang
Glad to write a review for Innovation Capital Law Group. We previously worked with a big law firm (2200 employees) on our patents, and decided to shift over to Innovation Capital. It was a great decision, this team got our patents done faster, more effectively, at a lower cost, and with broader claims. Win all around
Genevieve Springer
Genevieve Springer
Clear, discernible tools and strategies couched within a business conceived from a genuine interest in doing right by founders.
InPlay Inc
InPlay Inc
Vic and his team have been providing us with the best patent application experiences we could ever have in our entire career life! Their professionalism and technical knowledge have really saved us a lot of communication effort and time on the applications. Definitely highly recommend if anyone is looking for help with IP protection for their business.
Meg Crowley
Meg Crowley
After working with Vic and his team at Innovation Capital Law Group, our organization is confident our trademarks were solid and protected. Thank you team.
Andy Dong
Andy Dong
I have been using Innovation Capital Law Group for a few years and continue to use them. They have provided an excellent services on our legal issues including intellectual properties and patents . They are very responsive, easy to work with and very competent . I highly recommend them.

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