Igniting Innovation: Tips, Sparks and Ideas for Acting on Innovation

3 Reasons to Bother With Getting Patents?

Posted by David Lafkas on Mar 3, 2016, 10:00:00 AM


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.

  1. Equity.  PriceWaterhouseCoopers recently presented data to the innovation and intellectual propertyWorld 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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?

Topics: innovation, Patents, intellectual property



David Lafkas

Written by David Lafkas

David is Eureka! Ranch’s legal eagle, or more traditionally our patent and trademark authority, not only serving as in-house counsel at Eureka! Ranch, but also evangelizing on the importance of patents in today’s world of innovation to stay ahead of your competition. As an Innovation Engineering Black Belt, David has helped numerous companies develop patentable new products and services. Most recently, he’s supported High Liner Foods in Canada and the US on their comprehensive journey to achieve a culture of innovation as they not only create breakthrough seafood ideas, but also broadly educate employees and implement systems driven innovation across the corporation. David received a biomedical engineering degree from the Rose Hulman Institute of Technology and his juris doctorate from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, the 4th oldest law school in the country. He lives in Cincinnati with his rescue dog, Chauncey.

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