Recently I found myself in the middle of a conversation that took me back to my many years of private patent practice. The conversation was with some company inventors who were struggling with leadership in their organization who don’t want to “bother with filing patents” because they don’t see themselves ever spending the money to legally enforce one.
As we talked, I explained to the inventors to go back to leadership and talk about the other reasons to consider filing for patent protection.
- Equity. PriceWaterhouseCoopers recently presented data to the World Intellectual Property Organization that upward of 70% of a company’s value is now associated with intangible property, i.e., intellectual property, which includes patents. This is a huge reversal from decades ago. So, if leadership wants to build greater company value, intellectual property needs to secured and increased.
- Marketing. Look how many products and services you see that say “patented” or “patent pending.” It means something to customers, whether B2B or B2C. It means that you are delivering something new and different that they cannot get somewhere else.
- Pride in Work. This may not be directly measurably, but filing patents gives employees a sense of belonging and pride in their work. It means that leadership finds such value in what employees are developing, the company is going to spend the time and money to secure that work product and acknowledge the employee’s success.
As a leader, have you considered the reasons why your organization does file for patent protection, and whether it should take steps to file more?