All businesses have to put up with the pressures of competition from rivals, and there are ample tools and strategies to assist them in this endeavour.
Patents can prove particularly powerful when it comes to shoring up the long term viability of a company and its core products. The only issue is that a lack of understanding can lead some to see them as unnecessary.
If you fall into this camp, a quick look at the positive impact of patents on ambitious organizations will bring you up to speed.
Patents bring value to your business
First and foremost, patent registration should be seen as an investment in your company. When you are granted a patent to protect your invention, it will become a very valuable asset.
This is relevant for several reasons, chief among which is that it lets you license your intellectual property (IP) and earn revenue from it without having to take any other risks yourself. So rather than competitors choosing to copy your creations with impunity, you can protect and profit from patented creations and make your innate IP ownership rights enforceable.
The other significance of the value that patents provide is that they will be taken into account by external investors who may be interested in funding your ventures. If your business has patented products or processes, then this shows you are serious about the long term success of your firm. And the more assets your business has under its belt, the greater its objective value.
Your reputation will be enhanced
Brand-building is a multifaceted process, and one which relies on a combination of clever marketing and tangible, definable qualities that your company can offer to customers and clients.
Patents are part of this, as they are a clear signifier of the fact that your organization has innovated in a truly unique and legally ratifiable way.
There is a reason that lots of businesses clearly advertise the fact that their products have been patented. It is not just to warn off competitors who might be thinking of infringing or copying without licensing, but also to demonstrate to their target audience that their brand is big and ambitious enough to be deserving of patents in the first place.
Litigation from established competitors can be sidestepped
Another facet of patenting is that you can use the registration of your invention to fend off any legal issues which larger rivals in the same space might otherwise raise.
Patent law provides protections for those who create inventions which are not necessarily entirely unique, but are innovative and significantly different enough from those which have gone before to be deemed novel in their own right.
As such, if a competitor were to sue over a product or process you use which they have patented, your own patent can shield you from being subjected to the pseudo-bullying of an intimidating industry rival.
Partnerships can be clearly codified
Lastly, patents are capable of setting down the framework of your relationship with a third party organization that you want to collaborate with on a particular project.
This avoids the ambiguity which might otherwise exist when sharing resources for research and development. It also means that you can more readily embrace offers made by larger rivals without the fear that this might lead to your up and coming organization being sidelined once a breakthrough has been made and a product goes to market.