Building a strategic patent portfolio is crucial to success for a medtech startup.
David J. Dykeman, Greenberg TraurigWhen it comes to starting and building a medical device company, a strong patent strategy tied to business goals can be the driving force behind venture capital investment, strategic collaborations, and mergers and acquisitions.
In order to safeguard its intellectual property (IP), every medtech startup should consider these five tips for protecting and leveraging its innovations.
1. File early and file often
Fundamental to a strong patent portfolio is establishing solid patent protection for a company’s core technology. First, one or a series of patent applications should be filed providing the broadest possible patent protection covering the core technology. As the core technology evolves, incremental improvements and varying applications should be patented to form a “picket fence” of protection around the core technology.
Medtech startups should file patent applications as early and as often as their budget permits. This has been particularly true since the passage of the America Invents Act in 2011, which brought the United States into conformance with the rest of the world as a first-to-file country. Thus, a key is to file patent applications before any public disclosure that could limit patent coverage. To ensure both U.S. and international patent coverage, a patent application should be filed before the invention is first published, disclosed, used or offered for sale. Savvy companies file patent applications early and often.