According to Copperpod, patent troll cases have increased by 500 percent in the US over the past ten years. The average patent litigation process costs between $2.3m to $4m and lasts 1 to 3 years. To avoid costly patent fights, your IP strategy mustn’t fall behind your corporate strategy. Being a deep-tech company that spends years developing proprietary technology, protecting our brand, design and technology is key to our overall strategy and ensures that the investments pay off. Our CEO Arne Øyen shared our best practices on IP strategy at Arendalsuka 2022. In case you have missed his speech, here are the key takeaways:
1. Ensure you have a robust IP strategy
A good IP strategy is characterized by the following:
- Drives a culture of innovation
- Captures innovation promptly
- Supports open discussions with partners
- Communicates value to stakeholders
- Protects the company from competitor copying
- Serves as a deterrent against patent infringement suits
2. Protect your innovations from being copied
- Monitor competitors’ products and IP.
- Ensur that your patent portfolio fully covers your product and is available on time.
- Tightly integrate your R&D and IP team.
3. Protect yourself from patent infringement attacks
- Have a good understanding of your own and your industry’s products and IP.
- Develop a strong patent portfolio that can serve as a counterattack.
4. Balance Freedom To Operate (FTO) and Freedom Of Action (FOA)
- FTO: test before launching a product whether any feature will infringe anyone else’s patents.
- FOA: have enough patents or cross-licenses, so you launch products and are comfortable with the risk of patent infringement.
5. Adapt your patent (strategy) to regional laws and practices
Mainly differentiate between the US and the rest of the world since the former has strong asymmetries in litigation economics that favors patent trolls.
6. Use professional expertise/law firms
Choose firms that specialize in your industry and the different regions/countries you are or will be operating in.