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Phoenix, AZ 85004
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Does Your Startup Arizona Business Need a Patent?
There have been a host of high-profile heavy-weight patent battles over the past few years in the corporate world: Apple v. Motorola, Apple v. Samsung, Carnegie Mellon University v. Marvell Technology Group, and others. You might think that companies are clamoring for more patents to protect themselves in the wake of this costly litigation. You would be right, but you would also be wrong. While some companies in some industries have ramped up their patent portfolios, patent applications have decreased steadily since 2005. What does this mean for you and your startup? How necessary is it for you to get in on the patent arms race?
In 2012, a study took a look at shifting behavior in the use of patents among technology startups, which includes some of the most patent-hungry industries around.
Here are some of the results:
- One third of all funded companies have filed a patent application.
- 19% of all funded companies filed at least one patent application before to receiving any funding.
- Since 2005, the average start-up has become less likely to apply for patents than companies founded in the previous year.
- Companies in the semiconductor industry are most likely to apply for patents (65.2%) and companies in ecommerce are the least likely (10.5%). (http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/21/do-patents-really-matter-to-startups-new-data-reveals-shifting-habits/)
In its conclusion, the study states:
Despite the overall decline in application activity, those companies that have chosen to pursue patents have done so more aggressively than ever. This is indicative of the increasing dichotomy in the marketplace, in which some thought leaders are actively speaking out against certain types of patents while patent portfolios are being bought and sold for lucrative amounts.
The short of it is that the decision to pursue a particular patent is one that requires an assessment of your business’s objectives and a cost analysis of an expensive patent acquisition compared to the actual benefit it brings. In some cases, it is a matter of timing to decide at what point obtaining the patent is worth the cost. The evidence is clear that more and more startups are deciding that the benefit is not worth the cost, at least initially, in getting a patent. With that said, it must be understood that the decision to get a patent can eventually spell life or death to a business or opportunity, so you do your homework.
Having an experienced Arizona advisor to explain your options can help you make the most informed decision possible. You need to understand your options and the potential risk and reward to your decision. Only then can you make the right decision for your business of whether or not your business needs a patent.
The experienced professionals at Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C. can help. Contact our office today!
Written By: Brad Denton
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
40 N. Central Avenue, Suite 1400-1532
Phoenix, AZ 85004
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