Can it prosper without one?
Is the invention key to building a profitable organization?
Will the new idea generate a sufficient return on investment?
Are there other strategies that might be pursued to secure a competitive advantage?
Are there sufficient funds to research patent eligibility and patentability?
Are there funds to obtain the patent and potentially defend it?
Even with a patent, could a competitor prevent the invention from being made and sold?
Can the organization wait until a patent is issued?
Can the company engage an experienced patent attorney for assistance?
Is there someone in the organization who can manage the patent process?
These are critical decisions to make at the outset of the product or company launch. As Marty has noted, finding and engaging the right legal resources is key.
What has been your experience in the realm of finding and securing U.S. patents? Do you have words of advice or opinions to share? I welcome your thoughts, either through this column or via my personal website at www.alanehall.com.
This article originally appeared in Alan's Forbes column.
Alan E. Hall is a cofounding managing director of Mercato Partners, a regionally focused growth capital investment firm. He founded Grow Utah Ventures, is the founder of MarketStar Corp. and is chairman of the Utah Technology Council.
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