7 Mistakes Start-ups make When Filing Patents


All men are error-prone. Likewise, an inventor is prone to a number of mistakes while filing patents. The Patent Office grants a legal right to an inventor or an applicant for his invention in the form of a patent. Accordingly, the inventor owns a time span of 20 years. It grants him a monopoly on the patent that prevents another party for selling, manufacturing or licensing the product or process without permission. Also, prior approval from the patent owner is mandatory.

Also Read: How to File Patent in India?

Filing Patents: Significance of a Proper Strategy

A start-up in India is a small registered Indian entity that is not more than 5 years old. It owns an annual turnover not exceeding INR 25 Cr with respect to the previous fiscal year.

Most startup entrepreneurs spend their valuable time creating business plans, product development plans, marketing plans, etc. It is absolutely necessary.

However, startups often neglect one crucial aspect of planning that is to develop a plan for the intellectual property (IP) of the company. Also, it minimizes the risks of the intangible assets of the company. It may prove costly for any start-up to overlook this aspect. Moreover, it may cause the failure of the start-up in the worst cases.

Also Read: Patent in India: Procedure for Grant

Mistakes to Avoid while Filing Patents:

Filing patents is an extremely delicate task. Even an experienced drafter may make mistake sometimes.

Thus, you must mind your decisions in order to create a perfect patent application. Some of the common mistakes that you may avoid while filing patents are:

Filing Patents that are Poorly Drafted

Some startups make big sacrifices in IP quality in order to file patent applications quickly. Filing patents that are poorly prepared are too narrow in focus to provide effective protection or too broad to properly support the claims. They may contain speculative language without sufficient detail about the invention. It prevents the startup from protecting later inventions. They not only are poorly-written as to not support the claims at all but also have several other flaws.

Delay in Filing Patents

You must consider registering a patent as the first and foremost priority instead of talking about an invention or idea publicly. It may leave the inventor or applicant vulnerable to obtain the patent rights if you disclose the information about the invention in public. Other competitors or third parties may take hold of this situation by exploiting a product or idea of the rightful inventor. So, the proper time to file a patent application matters a lot.

Stolen IP- A Strict ‘No-No’

It is intriguing to use similar strategies of a field of the individual’s previous employer if an individual plan to create start-ups for a new business. However, it is not acceptable to use any stolen or similar IP as it may cost one his business. The competitor may ue the inventor for Infringement suits and litigation in court. Also, they may charge the applicant to the extent of criminal liability. Thus, it is essential for a startup to perform a thorough analysis regarding third-party IP Rights before finalizing for a patent application. It helps to avoid any infringement activity on the Intellectual Property Rights of others.

The apprehension of the Invention

The applicant must have a crystal-clear understanding of the motive or utility behind an invention.

Also, he must carefully scrutinize the technology used for a current and future scenario and any existing technology that can affect invention.

Ignoring the Best Practices

Unlike any other industry, one may achieve success in the Intellectual Property industry by adhering to certain protocols and practices. Moreover, it is a competitive world where each and every industry is incorporating the best methods or international standards to meet the required criteria. Also, it may prove costly if you are lacking behind in these practices.

Some practices that you must abide are as follows:

  1. Sincerely filing patents or applications and forms at the respective Patent Office.
  2. You must keep the format of the application (page layout, fonts, and margins) proper. It is considered as an essential practice.
  3. The description of the application must comprise the following points:
  • Title of the Invention
  • Technical Field of the Invention
  • Background of the Invention
  • Summary of the Invention

You must follow the best industry methods to avoid any sort of delay or rejection of an application from the Patent Office. Also, it helps to obtain patents at ease.

Failure in establishing an IP Strategy and Plan

Strategy and Plan are quite different from each other. A Plan essentially means a systematic step by step approach of accomplishing a pre-determined work. However, a strategy means the seen and unanticipated factors that might affect the work. This plan and strategy factor is equally applicable while working on a patent application.

Some of the plans and strategies that can be followed by start-ups for a glitch-free filing of a patent application are as follows:

  • To monitor the competitors regularly.
  • Keep oneself up to date on the current market scenario.
  • To have a clear knowledge of the changing legislation in different jurisdictions in accordance with the change.
  • Must plan the strategy according to reduce the governmental as well the legal department fees.

Not signing the correct agreements/contracts with employees, vendors

An organization pays immense importance to the signing of the right contract or legal agreements with respect to IP property with employees or vendors. At the same time, it protects the intangible assets of the company. Some of the few elements of such Intellectual Property Agreements are as follows:

  • The owner of the Intellectual Property
  • To sign a confidentiality agreement within the employees of start-ups or the vendors.
  • Check whether the confidentiality agreement extends to non-competent clauses
  • To look at whether the start-up is licensing an Intellectual Property to a vendor to solely manufacture for the start-up
  • In the case of infringing material in the developed or manufactured product, will the vendor compensate for it?
  • The legal cost bearer in the situation of an IP Infringement: a third party or some entity may try to infringe on a start-up’s Intellectual Property. In this scenario will the partner (vendor, distributor) bear the responsibility of paying the legal costs?

These are some of the basic mistakes that many start-ups or the applicants make unintentionally. It might lead them to many unpredictable situations. However, an applicant may obtain a hassle-free patent right if he keeps the above factors in mind. Filing patents with utmost sincerity is the key to a patent grant.

Also read:  how much it would cost for patent registration in India.

Filing Patents Perfectly with Your Patent Team:

Your Patent Team is a leading IP firm with more than 250 techno-legal experts that cover technical and legal subject matters. YPT is a trusted firm among many companies, government organizations, fortune 500’s, etc. Also, we have a presence in more than 90 jurisdictions to get protection worldwide.

Moreover, we provide our clients with the broadest and strongest protection with the most optimum cost.

Our services do not end with the patent grant; we also provide post-grant services to 100% satisfaction of the customer. To know more about our services, do visit Your Patent Team.

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