Do what most businesses don’t do to get results that most businesses don’t get!
By John Cronin – January 2023
In renewing your business, we mean to give it a new life, a new value, and possibly a newly enhanced value. Renewing your business using IP is done by creating and using Intellectual property (IP) such as patents, trade secrets, and enabled publications. Learn what others have done to enhance their business through the use of IP, as it may surprise you how IP can help renew your business. Simply taking your existing business and seeing and developing the existing IP rights would likely be transformative. Learn about ten ways you can renew your business using IP.
- Enhance Employee Morale
- Increase sales
- Improve your Brand
- Create innovative products enhancements
- Enhance and Control Business relationships
- Reduce Business Risk
- Reduce Liability
- Save Money
- Attract new business partners and business relationships
- Raise Money successfully
Enhance Employee Morale
Reinforcing value for employees with patents, provisionals, and trade secrets
Most companies don’t realize the power of recognizing their employees’ creative technical work! You could recognize their creative work by helping them get patents, provisionals, or trade secrets. As a business consideration, patents, provisionals, and trade secrets are beneficial for many business reasons. But a substantial (and usually not seen) benefit of documenting employees’ inventions is the recognition an employee gets from being an invention author. A company can only offer many benefits to employees to motivate them to work hard and creatively. However, investing in employees to document their ideas is a way of showing the employees the company cares and believes in their ideas. There are many intangible benefits when employees become authors of the company’s intellectual property, including seeing their efforts becoming recognized and personalized. Having one’s name on a patent, for instance, is something we have seen employees talk about for decades. We have talked to many retired technical people about their careers, and they almost always talk about their patents in their careers, almost like a badge of honor.
Think twice about investing in the company’s IP for the many benefits it brings but add to this thinking the long-term enhancement in morale. This investment in an employee’s ideas often produces benefits beyond the typical raises and promotions. It is less likely that employees who author inventions in a company would want to leave the company. Investing in employees’ inventions is one of the most significant returns on investments we have seen for employee morale.
Create an employee “innovation ladder of success.”
Usually, the ladder of success in a company is both “technical” and “management.” As an ambitious employee climbs these ladders, it becomes clear how to link the employee’s contributions to where these employees are on these “ladders of success.” As it turns out, there is a third ladder of success that deals with innovative employees, risk-takers, and employees with ideas. This innovative ladder may initially buck management or buck the high-profile technical employees who generally make sure everything in the product or service works. But in either “ladder of success,” whether management or technical, there is the need for most companies to innovate constantly. The “standard ladders of success” may not be able to take innovation easily into account. So, identifying a separate “innovative ladder of success” is a way to ensure that innovation can occur along with the standard ladder of success. It’s essential to recognize innovative achievement even when the standard ladder of success wouldn’t back the new innovative ideas. In large companies, this third innovative ladder of success is recognized. Companies often identify their “inventors” or their “fellows.” These ladders create a place where the more innovative employees can flourish. Although smaller companies may not be able to afford the programs of the inventor or fellow ladders of success, the smaller companies can certainly award the creative success of their innovative employees by adding some new titles. We have seen titles like “chief inventor” or ” master inventor,” etc., added to the engineering title. Adding a title would not cost much, but highlighting this inventive contribution is essential. Also, smaller companies can provide some added resources to the innovative employees, such as extra time off, the addition of some new experimental equipment, or other “innovative resources.”
Would you consider adding a third ladder of success based on innovative contributions by employees to the company? Is innovation important to your company?
Encourage Innovative employees through low-cost award
We have seen many ways to create low-cost awards recognizing employees’ innovative contributions. Innovation can be recognized for everything from a single contribution to the inevitable cumulative innovation contributions. For a single innovation success, we have seen (1) a dinner for two awards, (2) a desk award (statue of a light bulb, etc., or (3) a press release. For more sustained innovative contributions, we have seen (1) invention plateau awards (monetary gift and plaque), (2) awards given by management in front of a team or even a board of directors, or (3) time off with a small all paid for the trip, etc. A simple but well-thought-out recognition program can ensure employees get the message that employees new ideas and their efforts to make them become a reality are appreciated.
Would it make sense to create an award program to encourage innovation in your company? Be careful, as a program like this could work!
“Setting up an employee morale program does enhance the company’s innovative directions. AN employee morale program helps renew your business. It should be noted that there are pitfalls if done incorrectly, as sometimes it could backfire, so be careful and seek expert advice first.”
Use “Patent Pending term” on your products, your website, or your sales brochure
One way to renew your business using IP is to use patents and provisionals to help sales. You can use a “patent pending term” the same day you file a provisional or patent application. We have found that the “patent pending terms” does many things to increase sales. There are many benefits to using “patent pending terms,” but here are a few. First, a “patent pending term” is a “stop sign” to copycats (episode 27 Invent Anything™ Podcast) whereby the copycat now has new concerns. We have found many times most copycats would think twice before they decide to copy your product with a “patent pending term” on the product, website, or in your marketing materials. Second, we have seen the” patent pending term” be great for customer interactions (if you’re selling your product to a customer that integrates your solution into theirs). The “patent pending term” informs the customer that the customer cannot “shop your technology around to others.” Third, we have seen that the term patent pending directly increases your sales margins, as you should be able to price at a premium due to your product or service being covered by “patented pending.” Finally, we have seen “patent pending terms” on a product or service allow the company to paint the picture as the “innovator in your space” and make it easier for the company to attract new investments or even interest in an M&A.
Imagine if all these benefits (plus the ones we haven’t mentioned) to add together to help renew your business. So many businesses don’t even believe what they are doing could be applied for a “patent pending?” Maybe it’s time to check whether your new product or service could become “patent pending”!
Add patents and trade secrets to your marketing campaign shows innovativeness
Marketing is the activity or business of promoting and selling products or services. Marketing campaigns are always designed to demonstrate innovativeness. The company makes “statements” about the company’s product or service, which may carry 3rd party quotes. Patent support for a company’s product or service is one of the best-unbiased support for innovativeness obtainable, as the patent office is independent of bias. Also, enhancing the marketing campaign to discuss a “patent portfolio” that shows patents over time and in numerous areas of the product or service ecosystem further supports innovative strength.
A thorough explanation of the company’s trade secrets (episode 11 Invent Anything™ Podcast) will likely leverage the marketing campaigns. By discussing numerous trade secrets (without divulging the actual trade secrets) in the marketing campaign, competitors and potential customers start to recognize that the company’s product or service would be impossible to copy and, further, that something special is involved. Trade secrets in marketing campaigns create a notice of innovation that cannot be copied. Trade secrets create a fundamental distinction of the company’s product or service value.
Wouldn’t it make sense to develop the patents, patent-pending, and trade secrets to add to your marketing campaign?
Learn how to leverage customers so they can’t shop you around.
If your product or service integrates into your customer’s product or service, your customers always shop around for the best deal they can find. Shopping around for your product or service solution means the customers will be looking at your products’ functions, benefits, and costs versus your competitors. If your product or service is covered with a solid patent position, your customer now must worry about willful contributory patent infringement. Contributory patent infringement includes actions that contribute (or potentially contribute) to someone else infringing a patent, even if those actions do not directly infringe the patent. A solid patent position means that the product or service is protected by valid and enforceable patents, which gives the patent holder the exclusive right to make, use, and sell the invention. Willful contributory patent infringement occurs when a party actively induces or encourages another party to infringe on a patent. Willful contributory patent infringement means that if a customer uses a product or service covered by a solid patent position, they must be aware that they could be held liable for contributory patent infringement if they actively encourage or induce others to infringe the patent.
Can you make your customer concerned about willful contributory patent infringement? To do this correctly, you must get your customer to come to this thinking rather than you are stating it directly for the optimum effect.
“The complexity of using patents or trade secrets to increase sales is one of the best returns on investment you can use for your IP to renew your business. Experience can be best used to show how to finesse, in a coordinated way, everything from your product documentation, your marketing plan, and your campaign and website.”
Improve Your Brand
Add to your brand image to be an innovator using patents and trade secrets
Using your intellectual property (IP) to update or renew your brand is one way to monetize your IP investment. An IP brand can help to attract new customers and increase brand loyalty, leading to increased revenue and profits. Additionally, updating or renewing your brand image can help to differentiate your business from competitors and make it more relevant in today’s market.
A brand image is a customer’s interpretation of your company and its products and services. It manifests inside the customer’s mind based on their experiences, interactions, and perception of your company’s mission and values. A strong brand image creates both recognition and encourages the formation of loyal customers. When a company has a brand image as (1) an innovator, (2) a sophisticated IP developer, and (3) an IP company that will adequately use its IP in the marketplace, then that brand image should enjoy many benefits. Having a strong brand image as an innovator, a sophisticated IP developer, and a company that effectively utilizes its IP in the market can bring many benefits to a company. These benefits may include increased customer trust and loyalty, a competitive advantage over rivals, and the ability to charge premium product and service prices. A strong brand image can make it easier for a company to attract and retain top talent and secure funding and partnerships.
Would your company benefit from a strong IP brand image to renew your company’s value in the marketplace?
Add IP to website and marketing materials
Many companies may not fully understand the potential benefits of leveraging their intellectual property (IP) on their website or marketing materials. This approach can include using patents and trade secrets to showcase the company’s innovation and expertise, highlighting the unique features of its products and services, and differentiating itself from competitors. Additionally, showcasing IP can help to build trust and credibility with customers, partners, and investors and can help to protect the company’s market position. However, it’s important to note that not all companies should leverage their IP on their website or marketing materials, as it can be a legal and regulatory-sensitive area. Companies need to consult with legal experts before doing so.
It’s best not just to provide a “list” so someone else must figure out how the IP links to your product or service. Instead, it’s best to graphically integrate your IP into the product and service to show where your IP fits in the overall product or service. The caveat is to do this not to be so explicit as to limit what others (and the courts) might think your IP covers. An example is if you have a process patent that makes some of your products with enhanced purity. So, for this, it is best to overlap your process patent with the benefits of purity to any product your customers may buy versus your particle products. In this way, you may let the customer believe you cover all competitive products—this approach as it creates value and avoids legal issues.
Showcase your position to the competitors
One of the ways to renew your business using IP is to associate your brand image with your competitors. A company must demonstrate its innovation and highlight how it compares to the competition. This demonstration can be done by showcasing the company’s patents and other IPs and highlighting the specific features, functionality, and benefits that set your company’s products and services apart from its competitors. Additionally, companies can conduct a competitive analysis to identify areas where they have a strong IP position and can highlight this in their marketing and communication materials. This demonstration helps potential customers to understand the company’s competitive advantages and how it can help them to achieve their goals.
One example to showcase your position with the competitors is to use 3rd party expert studies of patents to show where in the space you a patenting versus others. Even for a small portfolio of one or two patents, it’s possible to show a larger space where these two patents are foundational. A combination of finding the competitive space versus where your IP fits in this space starts to show your company’s differentiators. One suggestion is to showcase your ipLandscape®.
Wouldn’t it make sense to create an ipLandscape® of your space to showcase your IP for the brand image?
To renew your business using the enhancement to your brand using IP is to change your brand image, especially in your website and marketing materials, and include a comparison to your competitors. In this way, you can expand your brand image against competitors.
Create Innovative Products Enhancements
Using Creativity Tools & Invention sessions.
Creating new intellectual property (IP) is one direct way to renew a business through IP. Various techniques and tools are available to help companies generate new ideas and inventions, such as “Invention on Demand®,” a structured innovation approach that emphasizes creativity, experimentation, and collaboration. This method can generate many new ideas, from incremental improvements to existing products and services to new inventions.
Creating new IP can help a business to stay ahead of the competition, expand into new markets and increase revenue. Additionally, by creating new IP, a company can strengthen its brand and reputation as an innovator and leader in the industry. However, creating new IP is not a trivial task. It requires dedicated effort, resources, and a specific mindset. It also requires a deep understanding of the market and customer needs, which should be continuously monitored to create new IP that aligns with the company’s strategic goals.
Wouldn’t it make sense to create new ideas which can be converted to new IP and new product directions to renew and reinvigorate your business, all at a low cost?
Forward-looking patents to “hold the place” of new products
Forward-looking patents, also known as “patent pending” or “provisional patent application,” are similar to paper patents in that they are filed early in the development process of an invention to reserve a place in the patent office’s queue and establish an early priority date for the invention. However, unlike paper patents, forward-looking patents are also intended to provide some level of protection for the invention while it is still in development. A provisional patent application can be filed with the USPTO. Once this is done, the inventor has 12 months to file a non-provisional patent application.
A forward-looking patent application typically includes a detailed description of the invention and any drawings or diagrams necessary to understand it. The patent office will review the application to ensure it meets all the requirements, and if it does, it will issue a “patent pending” notice. This notice lets the public know that a patent application has been filed for the invention and that the inventor is seeking patent protection.
It’s worth noting that a forward-looking patent is not a complete patent, it’s only a temporary right, and it doesn’t grant the inventor the right to exclude others from using the invention. The inventor must file a non-provisional patent application within 12 months of the provisional application’s filing date to continue the process of getting a complete patent.
Lower the cost of R&D using virtual innovation.
One of the ways to renew your business is to create new innovative product enhancements backed by IP through “virtual innovation.” “Virtual innovation” refers to using creativity tools and invention to design and develop new products. These inventive methods can benefit businesses looking to renew themselves by creating new and innovative products. By using virtual innovation, businesses can test and refine their ideas before committing to the costly process of creating physical prototypes. Additionally, virtual innovation creates new products without a laboratory, development, and costs of prototypes. It covers the new directions with patents to “hold the place” for the new products when they are eventually built.
Intellectual property (IP) can protect a business’s new and innovative products. Patents, trademarks, and copyrights can protect a business’s unique and innovative products and prevent others from copying or using them without permission. By obtaining IP rights, a business can have a competitive advantage, as it will be able to prevent competitors from producing similar products, and it will also be able to license the technology to others and generate revenue.
Virtual innovation can be a powerful tool for renewing a business by creating new and innovative products at very low costs. IP can also protect these products and provide a competitive advantage by preventing others from copying or using them without permission.
For businesses that want to develop new products at very low costs, the business can use tools that use creativity, invention sessions, and virtual innovation. These low-cost tools are used to create new products and patents to hold their place in the future. These patents are used when the products are ready to be introduced. In this way, the company can be renewed at a low cost capturing its future with forward-looking IP.
Enhance and Control Business Relationships
Trade Secrets program to leverage your NDAs
A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a legal contract between two parties in which one party agrees to keep certain information confidential. NDAs can be a powerful tool for protecting trade secrets, as they can be used to ensure that confidential information is not shared with unauthorized parties.
When using NDAs to protect trade secrets, it is essential to ensure that the NDA is appropriately drafted to define the confidential information that is being protected clearly and to specify the restrictions on the use and disclosure of that information. It is also essential to ensure that all parties sign the NDA with access to confidential information and that the NDA terms are strictly followed.
Companies can implement internal processes to ensure that trade secrets are protected, such as limiting access to confidential information to only those who need it, implementing security measures to protect the information, and conducting regular audits to ensure that the NDAs are followed.
It’s worth noting that NDAs are not a substitute for other forms of IP protection, such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights. They can be used with other forms of IP protection to provide a comprehensive strategy for protecting a company’s valuable assets and intellectual property.
In summary, NDAs can effectively protect trade secrets by ensuring that confidential information is not shared with unauthorized parties. To leverage NDAs effectively, it is essential to ensure that they are properly drafted and signed by all parties and that internal processes are in place to ensure compliance with the terms of the NDA.
Trade Secrets are critical to any business. A sound trade secret program (episode 11 Invent Anything™ Podcast), one can leverage trade secrets in many ways. One way to leverage your trade secrets is to leverage your NDAs in a process to ensure trade secrets are protected.
Some examples include (1) before signing an NDA where trade secrets are involved, audit the other parties’ trade secret process to ensure they can protect your trade secrets, (2) parsing out trade secrets of yours by field of use so that only the trade secrets in the agreement become shared and (3) creating inventive ways to hide your trade secrets so in non-trade secret NDAs you can genuinely protect your trade secrets.
Know your business relationships IP position in advance
One way to enhance and control your business relationships to improve your business is to know the IP position of your business relationships. Knowing the intellectual property (IP) position of your business relationships can help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your partners, competitors, and suppliers. This information can be used to negotiate better deals, identify potential areas of collaboration, and protect your IP assets. Understanding the IP landscape can help avoid potential legal disputes and infringement issues. To know the IP position of your business relationships, you may need to conduct IP due diligence, including searching for patents, trademarks, and copyrighted materials.
One example is that you find out your business relationship has no IP. This data may mean either the business relationship does not believe IP is essential or the business relationship does not understand what IP they have. It would be best if you understood their thoughts about IP in the business sector to leverage the relationship. Suppose they give feedback to your business relationship that you may be concerned about the IP of others. In that case, the business relationship may claim they don’t understand the value of this IP. This feedback leads you to recognize your strategy of leveraging your IP is likely to have an impact. You could, for instance, rush to get an improved IP position first. If you find out the business relationship “doesn’t believe IP in the space has value,” your strategy may be to slowly educate the business relationship on the importance of IP by showing others the concern you have with others’ IP. Later your IP could start to relate to your business relationship. This way, you slowly educate the business relationship to align with your IP’s value.
Wouldn’t it make sense to get expert help to understand your partner’s IP before you engage with them?
“Price in” IP in the negotiations
Usually, in a business, negotiations are deployed to leverage the business position, backed by some value proposition. Adding IP to the negotiations at the right time allows you to “price in” new added value. Incorporating IP into negotiations can provide additional leverage for your business by highlighting the value of your IP assets and identifying potential areas of collaboration with your partners or suppliers. By understanding the IP position of your business relationships, you can use this information to negotiate better deals, such as licensing agreements or joint ventures, that consider the value of IP assets. Additionally, by highlighting the value of your IP assets, you may be able to charge a premium for your products or services.
Furthermore, knowing your IP position can help you negotiate cross-licensing agreements, where you can use your IP assets to gain access to IP assets from your partners or suppliers. This thinking can provide cost savings, access to new technologies, and reduced legal risks.
It’s important to note that IP should be considered a strategic asset and integrated into the overall business strategy rather than being seen as a standalone issue. This way, you can ensure that IP is being used to maximize the value for the business and its stakeholders.
An example of “pricing in” IP in negotiations is to create a trade secret registry of trade secrets you would hold back from the negotiations. Using this registry of numerous trade secrets in reserve, you can understand how to create a deal of some given value while knowing the trade secrets are omitted. Your company will use the trade secret to add value to your company outside the deal you create. Now you have a deal with a partner, but you have the technology and know how to do more on your own using your trade secret. This action adds new value. Without developing a trade secret registry, usually, everything is added to the deal you negotiate, so you get no extra value priced in for your trade secrets.
Wouldn’t it make sense to “price in” the value of your IP in the next deal you do?
“Leveraging NDAs or using knowledge of IP of partners to do a deal and actually “pricing in” the value of IP in a deal are all ways to enhance and control business relationships to renew your business.”
Reduce Business Risk
Use Freedom to Operate (FTO) to reduce risk
One area to renew your business is to use FTOs. FTOs’ can be used with many other strategies that you can use to gain leverage and reduce the risk for your company. FTO will also inform you about your competitor to build better products and services at very low costs.
FTO analysis (episode 14 Invent Anything™ Podcast) is a way to assess the legal risks associated with developing or commercializing a new product or technology. It involves researching existing patents and IP rights to determine whether your proposed product or technology infringes on any existing rights. By conducting an FTO analysis, you can identify potential legal risks and design around any existing IP rights, reducing the risk of legal disputes and infringement claims.
FTO analysis is a crucial step to take before launching a new product or technology, as it can help you avoid costly legal battles and potential damage to your company’s reputation. Additionally, FTO analysis can provide insights into your competitors’ technologies and products, which can be used to inform product development and marketing strategies.
FTO can also be used with other strategies, such as patent portfolio analysis, patent mapping, and competitor analysis, to understand the market better and identify opportunities for innovation. Furthermore, it can also identify gaps in the market that your company’s products or services can fill.
Wouldn’t it make sense to reduce risk in your business by knowing if there are FTO issues?
Trading Card Patents
Creating trading card patents by inventing on top of your competitor’s patents is one way to reduce risk against a competitor that may assert their patents against you. By having an arsenal of trading card patents, your competitor may view them as a deterrent for asserting patents against you as they could calculate you would counter-assert.
Creating “trading card patents” by inventing on top of your competitors’ patents is a strategy that can reduce the risk of a competitor asserting their patents against you. This strategy aims to create new patents that cover improvements or alternatives to the competitor’s patented technology, which can be used as a defensive measure if the competitor asserts their patents against you.
This strategy can be helpful in a few ways. For example, it can create a “patent thicket” around the competitor’s technology, making it more difficult for them to assert their patents against you. Additionally, it can be used to create a “patent pool” where multiple companies license their patents to each other, reducing the risk of patent infringement claims to the group of companies.
It’s worth noting that this strategy can be effective, but also it may require expertise to do significant research and development to create new patents. It’s also important to consider that this strategy should be used in conjunction with other strategies, such as FTO analysis, patent mapping, and licensing, as it only addresses one aspect of the intellectual property landscape and the company’s IP strategy.
Developing expertise to get trading card patents to lower your company’s risk may make sense.
Do a “patent watch” on your competitors
A “patent watch” is a method to use software tools and create keywords that run on the software tools daily, to deliver an alert if any new patents are found from the keywords. If the keywords are designed correctly, the company can receive important new patent information “on the day” it occurs. The purpose of a patent watch is to monitor new patent applications and publications. The patent watch is used to identify potential infringement or competitive threats. It can also be used to identify new technologies or business opportunities. This low-cost approach is a straightforward way to reduce your business risk!
It may make sense to look into setting up a patent watch today.
“There are many ways to reduce risk in business, such as performing FTOs, developing trading card IP, or even doing simple patent watches. A reduced-risk IP strategy could include many more IP tactics. Expertise in this area may be warranted if your business issues are non-standard or complex.”
Reduce Risk and Liability
Get employees’ IP rights correct
To enhance your business, you can reduce risks in many areas. One such area is ensuring the company has property title and ownership of the IP the employees create while working for your company. Having proper title and ownership of intellectual property (IP) created by employees is essential for reducing risks in your business. This ownership can be done by having employees sign agreements, such as an invention assignment agreement, that assigns any IP they create while working for the company to the company. These agreements help to ensure that the company has the exclusive rights to use, license, and monetize the IP and reduces the risk of disputes over ownership. Additionally, it’s also essential to have clear policies regarding IP ownership and use and to educate employees about these policies and agreements. These policies will help to prevent misunderstandings or disputes over IP ownership and use in the future.
Wouldn’t it make sense to ensure your employee liability is contained?
Website teaching “how.”
Most companies don’t realize that they expose themselves to patent infringement through what they put on their website—many patent litigation experts study websites to see if the website teaches the patents. Often, a website will teach specifics about “how” their product or service works. If used, this kind of teaching is needed to create evidence (episode 15 of Invent Anything™ Podcast).
Learn how to rewrite your website to avoid patent infringement risks!
Patent assets leverage (ABL, Backstop investors)
Many companies find they can create leverage with their patents by “securing” them with loans or investors. Many companies use their patents as collateral to secure loans or attract investors. This collateral can create leverage for the company by providing it with access to capital that can be used for research and development, marketing, or other business activities. The value of a patent as collateral depends on the strength of the patent, the commercial potential of the technology protected by the patent, and the company’s ability to monetize the patent.
Patent-secured financing is a form of alternative financing. Companies can use patents as collateral to obtain financing from lenders. This collateral allows them to leverage the value of their patents without diluting equity or giving up control of the company. It also allows for a flexible way for companies to manage their cash flow and invest in their business growth.
However, it’s important to note that not all patents are suitable for this purpose. Patents that are weak or have limited commercial potential may not provide sufficient collateral value to support a loan or attract investors. Therefore, companies must carefully evaluate their patents’ strength and commercial potential before using them as collateral.
“Reducing risk and liability can be done in various ways, from managing employees’ rights, securing the language on your website, and getting leverage for your patent assets. There are dozens of other ways that IP issues can be risk reduced or leveraged. Creating an IP strategy to maximize risk and liability reduction can enhance and renew your business for the future.
Use the patent documentation process to work out new ideas before product development
The patent documentation process requires precise language, sound engineering planning, and strong showings of experience as to how things work. That is why any new idea that moves through the patent documentation process becomes more transparent and well-thought-out, similar to R&D development.
The patent documentation process often involves understanding the problem, the level of the problem, and its detailed solutions. But, the solution is novel, so the need to construct enablement is always new. That is, how can a new solution be fashioned? It may take iterations with a technical team, patent counsel, and even the business to ensure the solution works is novel and works for the business return on investment. Once all this is achieved, the documentation can go to the next step for filing. This enablement process (episode 6 Invent Anything™ Podcast) is a virtual “product development.” This understanding of enablement means we can use the patent documentation process to work out new ideas before product development.
Wouldn’t it make sense to save Money in product development by using the patent documentation process?
Product Development – Forward Patenting – Hedge Your Bets
Many large companies practice “forward patenting,” projecting where the white space will be and filing patents in that space with the hope that these patents overlap where new products will be developed.
Forward patenting, also known as “defensive patenting” or “landscaping,” is a strategy used by some companies to file patents in areas they believe will be important in the future to protect their potential products or technologies. This strategy is often used by companies in highly competitive industries, such as technology or pharmaceuticals, where innovation is critical to staying ahead of the competition. By filing patents in areas of future development, companies can secure exclusive rights to new technologies or products before their competitors do, thereby giving them a competitive advantage.
Forward patenting may be your key to saving money and capturing your future white space.
Get improved margins through patent leverage
A critical use of patents is improved sales margins. Some studies have represented a 34% increase in improved sales margins. Patents can be valuable for companies looking to increase their sales margins. By obtaining a patent, a company can establish a legal monopoly on the production and sale of the patented invention, allowing them to charge higher prices for its products without competition. This strategy can lead to increased profits for the company, and in some cases, studies have found that patents can result in a 34% increase in improved sales margins. Additionally, patents can serve as a form of intellectual property protection, providing companies with a competitive advantage in the marketplace by deterring competitors from copying their products. Patented products can be promoted with the patent number and the patent-pending logo giving the product an extra edge in the market.
Wouldn’t it make sense to review your product direction and get protection via patents to increase your sales margins?
“It is counterintuitive that developing IP can save your money. From using the patent documentation process to work out new ideas before product development to forward patenting, a company can improve sales margins by leveraging patents. “
Attract New Business Partners and Business Relationships
IP as an attractor for M&A or JVs
Studies have shown that most “normal” mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are valued at 1.5 to 2X revenues or 10-15X EBITA. But as you move away from the norm, we can see some M&A as 5X, 10X even 100X. When investigated, a lot of these companies have fifteen or more patents. That right, valuations of M&A can be correlated to a sizable IP portfolio. We have no direct evidence of why this is, except practical experience suggests that it is much harder to invent around a more extensive portfolio!
IP can be used to both attract M&A or joint ventures (JV) activity and motivate the closure of a deal for M&A. Many larger companies follow IP analysis to find companies that could be used for acquisitions.
Wouldn’t it make sense to develop an extensive IP portfolio to attract an M&A rapidly?
Create “prediction patents” about the future to create a “buzz” about your company in the market
Patents don’t have to be manufacturable with today’s capability. This strategy means one can get “predictions patented.” Prediction patents are a fantastic way to advertise the future of your technology. Many news companies look at patents for guides to the future. You could create and obtain patents ten or 20 years from now with the right expertise. Prediction patents may create a real “buzz” for your company that you can leverage in the market.
Why not get an IP position in the future to get a “buzz” regarding your thought leadership?
Use “IP Press releases” to get noticed
Press releases are many times used to showcase a development. IP press releases bring market focus to your innovations. Press releases are a common way for companies and organizations to announce new developments or news to the public. They can showcase new products, partnerships, or other significant events. IP press releases specifically focus on innovations and intellectual property and are used to bring attention to a company’s new patents, trademarks, or other forms of IP. By issuing an IP press release, companies can draw market focus to their innovations and establish themselves as a leader in their industry.
Companies that use IP press releases get inquiries for partnerships, licensing, etc. Why not advertise your IP to Attract new business partners and business relationships?
“Attract new business partners and relationships through simple strategies like IP press releases, prediction patents, and positioning for an M&A or JV. The uses for IP are endless to create real value for your business. Learn how you can attract new business partners and relationships.”
Raise Money Successfully
IP relationship to Valuation
IP can enhance your business’s Valuation in six ways (episode 10 of Invent Anything™ Podcast). These are (1) winning in patent litigation, (2) having a successful patent license, (3) enhancing sales margins, (4) adding Valuation in a contractual negotiation, (5) pricing in the value of your companies stock, and (6) adding to your brand image so that your value chain and surrounding stakeholders value their interactions with your business.
Patents and trade secrets are types of intellectual property that can provide a competitive advantage and create revenue streams for a company. Patents provide exclusive rights to prevent others from making, using, or selling an invention for a certain period. This use of IP allows a company to charge higher prices for its products without fear of competition. Trade secrets are confidential information a company uses to gain a competitive advantage. These can include things like recipes, manufacturing processes, or business strategies. Companies can license or sell trade secrets to generate revenue. Additionally, patents and trade secrets can make a company more attractive to investors and acquirers, who see the potential for future revenue growth.
Why not create and use patents, provisionals, trade secrets, or enabled publications (episode 12 Invent Anything™ Podcast)? Your overall IP position can create value. Wouldn’t it make sense to develop an IP strategy to use IP to enhance your Valuation?
Use IP to enhance your Valuation and have a higher probability of closing a deal
Once you have developed IP, the chances are that you have improved the company’s Valuation. In so doing, your company becomes more attractive to closing and sorting deals. We have seen over the years if investors haven’t yet set terms, that discussion of an exciting IP position quickens getting to a deal. In the investor’s mind, they see a deal that makes sense and can have multiple exits and more leverage in business than expected.
Once a company has developed and secured intellectual property (IP), it can increase its Valuation by providing a competitive advantage and potential revenue streams through licensing or commercializing the IP. IP can make the company more attractive to potential investors, acquirers, and partners. Additionally, having a strong IP portfolio can also help protect the company from competitors and provide a strong foundation for future growth.
Tell your “IP Story” to educate the investor
As you develop your IP, it would make sense to develop an IP Story (episode 24 Invent Anything™ Podcast). An IP story communicates your value related to your business, market, product, technology, and inventions connected to your IP. Communicating your IP story is done in “investor language” and graphically and does not focus on the legal side of the IP. By telling an excellent IP story, investors can quickly see the value associated with your IP.
With expert help, you can create a winning IP Story!
“At the end of the day, almost all companies need access to capital. Raising money successfully using your IP and its relation to enhancing Valuation is fundamental to creating and telling an IP Story to educate investors. Few companies have IP, but even the ones that do may not price in the value of their IP to their company’s business. But to create and develop IP and tell a great IP Story would differentiate your company from all others.”