Some accuse patents of opposing innovation and entrepreneurship. Others think every startup should remember to apply for patents. We have been getting patents for our inventions ever since we founded the company, and in this post we will explain why.
Patents seems to be a subject that's always up for debate. Recently Vice Chairman from Danish Entrepreneurs Association Jonathan Løw stated, that the it-giants "patent regime" is damaging innovation and entrepreneurship, while the IP-advisors at Awapatent was advocating for patents as a way for entrepreneurs to defend themselves against larger companies.
While we don't cheer for patent sharks and -trolls, we really depend on patents and design protection as a small company making inventions. So this made us discuss what patents and protection of intellectual property mean to us.
A picture from the patent on our pallet supporting device from 2014. The whole patent can be found here.
Protection is crucial for turning ideas into business
Physical inventions are a long term investment, as we've previously explained in a post. The process from idea to product is often 2+ years, and when we've finally turned that new great idea into reality, we want to protect it - which is the simple and obvious answer to why patents and design protection matters to us.
Our main benefit is, that IP-protection makes it so much easier to share the idea with potential partners. The partners we work with is often bigger companies, and the IP-protection shows that we are serious about our designs and that we have something unique.
Without some kind of protection of our intellectual property, a potential partner is likely to turn down our idea. They simply wont risk pouring resourcing into producing and market our idea, if there's a possibility the idea might be stolen by another company.
Oh, and then we of course avoid the worst case scenario in the first place, where a bigger company and potential partner gets a little too inspired and make the design or idea themselves.
Don't get crushed like a cockroach
IP-protection can be a complicated matter, and some think that small companies can't get anywhere near a patent because of its complexity and pricetag - we have found that to be a little misunderstood,
At first it seems overwhelming, and as inventors we would rather just spend our time developing cool product. But just like doing taxes, it's one of those less exciting, administrative things that can make or break a small company.
By protecting our ideas, we get a chance to compete with bigger companies - and don't get crushed like the cockroaches we as, as Kevin O'leary might have put it:
More posts on Intellectual Property coming up:
If you liked this, you should stay tuned. We have a lot of experience with intellectual property, and will post some more specific posts on how-to and the challenges with IP in coming posts. You can sign up for our newsletter here, if you will be sure to get those posts: https://www.lolle-nielsen.com/newsletter