Patents can provide broad protection for invention and innovation. They can cover almost any novel aspect of a technology, including hardware, software, materials, and business methods. Patents can also be obtained on improvements to existing technology—the innovation need not be radical or revolutionary in order to be patentable, merely new and not obvious. Many innovation developed by an emerging technology company can likely be patented, and patenting those innovations can create significant advantage in the marketplace.
A strong patent portfolio can help attract investments for emerging tech companies. Investors often look to see whether a fledgling company has protected its intellectual property when determining whether to invest. Smartly and strategically managing your patent portfolio can all indicate to investors that the company is serious about entering the market and vigilant about protecting its intellectual property.
Considerations When Disclosing Information about Your Invention
Two of the most important requirements of patentability are that the invention must be novel and non-obvious at the filing date of the patent application. In the United States, as well as most of the world, the prior sale, prior use or public disclosure of the invention by the inventor or others may affect your ability to obtain a valid patent. Inventors may inadvertently jeopardize their ability to successfully apply for or be granted a patent by disclosing information about the invention to the public and thus may fail to meet the requirement of novelty and/or non-obviousness.