Questions for You
Which forms of intellectual property are - or may over time become - important to my business? How does protection of IP relate to the goals I have for my business?
What technology will I need to realize my business plan? How will I develop or otherwise acquire that technology, and how will I determine whether or not I have the necessary IP rights to use that technology?
Viewing IP assets (technology, customer and supplier lists and other trade secrets, trademarks, etc.) as competition tools to give my business a measure of exclusivity in the marketplace, which forms of IP are likely to be the most cost-effective?
Do patents have marketing value in my industry as a credential or indicia of value?
Questions for Your Team
What technology developments and other work product are we creating in our work? How are we recording or otherwise capturing this work product.
How will our work product be important to achieving the strategy of the business? How can we secure IP protection for our work product? How do we determine whether or not the value of securing such IP protection justifies the expense?
Tools and Exercises
Identify a technology development or advancement (“NewTech”) you have or plan to achieve under your business plan.
Identify the forms of IP you believe are potentially applicable for the protection of NewTech.
Assess the competitive advantage your business would obtain in the marketplace from any exclusivity the various forms of IP would provide in NewTech.
Seek a brief consultation with IP counsel regarding the accuracy and completeness of your answers to questions No. 1 and 2; and the likely cost of securing each applicable form of IP protection for NewTech.
Why Private Equity and Venture Capital Firms Should Care About Intellectual Property Assets
Patent Law Blog: Patently-O
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has materials providing IP guidance and resources for entrepreneurs and enterprises. The following is a sampling: