The last decade has offered software manufacturers plenty of case studies on the risks and rewards that surround patent management. But while the technologies and legal statutes surrounding this segment may be growing increasingly complex, companies should not lose sight of all the fundamental steps they can take to protect their interests from the beginning so that they may monetize their assets down the line.
One of the first intellectual property considerations that must be made in any product planning process must be a patent search. According to IP Watchdog, even an elementary exploration of the field could reveal prior art that is too close to what engineers had in mind, or an untapped area of potential interest. Either way, this preliminary review of the competitive landscape will help inform decisions on how broad an application can or should be and how quickly it must be filed.
Once a patent has been awarded, the job has really only just begun. According to Software Development Times, the task immediately turns to classifying the strategic value of the intellectual asset and informing the proper parties throughout the organization. This communication will be crucial in eliminating the momentary mishaps and breaches that can compromise years of research and development.
After patent portfolios have been adequately secured from the inside, defending against external attacks will have to become a continuous priority. Aside from the possibility of traditional infringement, there is also a heightened risk of more clandestine threats. According to the news source, software firms must be aware that their competitors may well have the advanced technical capabilities to infiltrate unprotected databases and exfiltrate valuable trade secrets.