Top Twelve Things an Investor Needs to Know About Intellectual Property

William P. Dani

1. Inventors Often Do Not Understand Intellectual Property.

  • You may want to take an active role in managing intellectual property issues
  • Strong protection can be important to the success of a business venture
  • It is easy to make a mistake that will irrevocably damage your intellectual property position and likelihood of success
  • If you are not prepared to provide oversight and guidance, you are taking a substantially greater risk

2. Patents Are No Assurance Of Success.

  • Be careful not give too much credit to the existence of a patent
  • It is true that a strong patent may make it very difficult for a competitor to get a foothold
  • A weak patent, however, may provide protection for only an insignificant feature that does nothing to protect against competition
  • You can have the strength of a patent reviewed prior to investing

3. Even a Strong Patent Is No Assurance Of Success.

  • Remember that a strong patent is not a guarantee of success
  • Typically, a good business plan is required for success
  • You cannot rely on a technology to sell itself or to automatically run a good business
  • Most patents can be designed around in time

4. A Patent Provides No Protection Against An Infringement Claim.

  • A patent does NOT represent a Patent Office determination that there is no infringement
  • A patent infringement claim can destroy a business plan
  • A patent gives the right to prevent others from using a patented invention, but provides no defense against an infringement claim
  • The risks are typically greater when the technology is an improvement in an existing field
  • You can attempt to identify infringement risks before investing

5. Patents Have A Geographical Scope.

  • Patents must typically be obtained on a country-by-country basis
  • There are a few exceptions:
  • EPC (European States)
  • ARIPO (Former British Colonies)
  • OAPI (African Countries)
  • Eurasian (Former Soviet Block Countries)