Establishing a solid patent portfolio goes beyond filing individual patent applications. Securing enforceable intellectual property requires careful planning and cultivation of a portfolio of patents. A protective patent portfolio starts with a roadmap that is based on and supports the company’s business plan.
A patent roadmap lays out, clearly and concisely, steps to protect technology in the long term. An experienced patent attorney will meet with clients to discuss every potential patentable technology and innovation the company or inventor has developed. If the invention you are seeking to patent is related to software, you will want to hire an experienced software patent attorney. This is because there are some unique rules that apply to software patents that do not apply to other types of inventions.
At the onset, the attorney will discuss your technology, your business plan, and any existing intellectual property. Next, the lawyer will evaluate your technology and that of the competition to see which patents should be pursued. They will also answer questions and address feedback.
Then the attorney will draft a plan for protecting current and future technology by securing a series of patents to provide multiple layers of protection. Once the patent roadmap is complete, it’s time to start driving. This begins with the lawyer investigating invention patentability by searching for and uncovering relevant existing patents and other “prior art” that might render inventions unpatentable or require a shift in direction.
The attorney will then prepare, file, prosecute, obtain, and maintain patents in the U.S. and abroad, sequencing the strategy to maximize value for the client. They also will perform clearance investigations on products and services to protect against costly and disruptive patent infringement lawsuits by competitors.
In addition, if there is a change to any inventions in the portfolio, such as an improvement on an existing patented technology, you will want to inform your patent attorney so that they can file a patent application to cover the improvement. This is because improvements to patented products typically are not covered by the original patent. You can learn more about the importance of patenting technological improvements in this article.
A good patent attorney will become an integral part of the team and help steer the business’ patent portfolio in the same direction as the business itself. Start drafting your roadmap by reaching out to the lawyers at Blueshift IP.