Previously, there has been an almost 100% focus on patenting as a tool for protecting investments in research and development. While this perspective is correct, it should not be the sole reason for patenting your invention.
Firstly, this narrow perspective would in itself often not justify taking on any costs for patents and other IP systems. Secondly, what is relevant on the market today might be obsolete in 5 years’ time. This could convince many not to patent anything, regardless of the business opportunities relating to technical inventions.
But what if this perspective is too narrow? Your greatest value could be found in development or existing intellectual assets. What if the patent system is the most obvious choice to capture these values and what if it enables you to communicate the value openly, using it as a building block to collaborate with others, and change your business model into one that quickly could escalate in different markets?
Just consider the question of valuation. Spotting valuable intellectual assets in patents may be highly relevant to those valuating your company. Today, these perspectives must be considered when deciding to patent or not, i.e. with reference to evaluating future opportunities – not just potential risks.
When deciding whether to patent or not, a number of different perspectives must be taken into account. The patent’s potential market value is one of them. It is crucial to ask yourself if the patent is valuable to someone and if so; who is this someone and why is it valuable to them, how can the patent be used etc.? In addition, it is vital to track and understand who the potential future stakeholders are. Are they working with the same technology and perhaps are they also looking into patent their innovations? If so, this is where you should initiate your search for guidance and look for answers to your question whether to patent or not.