Many of today's entrepreneurs have grown accustomed to a rather frenetic pace of business, but this can set them up for a fall when venturing into the world of intellectual property management for the first time.
The U.S. patent system has become increasingly progressive in recent years, but filing applications and gaining protections is still a deliberate, detail-oriented pursuit. As a result, online education executive and Fast Company contributor Tarek Fadel suggested that eager entrepreneurs observe a few key lessons that will help them ground expectations in reality and pave the way for future patent-related success.
Fadel's first bit of advice was a plainly stated reminder that the patent approval process is often long and expensive. Between differentiating products and services from existing inventions to incorporating feedback from a patent examiner's initial review, patent protection is never won overnight. However, by partnering with an attorney familiar with an upstart's industry and operating models, a number of unnecessary hurdles and redundant work can be eliminated.
Aside from incrementally accruing a patent portfolio that aligns with initial business interests, Fadel also advised entrepreneurs to analyze the long-term risks their early actions may invite. For example, his firm narrowly avoided an expensive licensing burden after a failed application revealed that his team's proprietary software was very similar to a previously patented system.