While it is seldom discussed in startup circles, intellectual property theft is a significant and growing threat--and the new first-to-file patent system increases the risk of invention theft. Here's how to protect yourself and your ideas.
Filing patent applications between now and March 2013, while the first-to-invent rules are still in place, can provide some significant benefits. Companies should proactively manage their intellectual property strategy to make the most of this opportunity.
Not all patent portfolios lead to headline-generating settlements or nine-figure M&A valuations, but intellectual property can be a critical asset for companies of all sizes, and is almost always a major focus in acquisition and licensing discussions. Any good IP program needs to include specific strategies to deal with the recent patent law changes.
President Obama is expected, without delay, to sign into law the first large-scale reform to U.S. patent laws in 60 years. It brings U.S. law into line with most international practices, and is designed to quash patent trolling, cut red tape, and spur innovation.