In some cases, defending intellectual property rights can present a significant administrative and financial burden. However, with a clear understanding of regulatory frameworks and market conditions, companies may be able to protect their intellectual assets more affordably.
According to legal experts from McDonnell Boehen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP, companies must begin with a judicious assessment of which innovations merit IP protection.
"Some developments may not be patentable because of prior art or other issues, or may not be worth the expense of applying for patent protection," the analysts explained in a recent whitepaper. "In such instances, these developments are better kept as a trade secret or published defensively to prevent third parties from patenting the developments."
However, when a business does decide to move forward with a patent application, it would be wise to conduct preliminary searches for potential complicating factors or market competitors. Companies must also bear in mind that each step of the patenting process will have its own unique range of applicable fees.
IP Watchdog has previously estimated that the attorney fees for patenting the simplest inventions may cost a minimum of $5,000, while highly complex innovations in the technology sector, for example, may cost companies more than $15,000 during the initial filing process alone.