Make Sure Your Technology Startup Has a Good Patent Lawyer on Board!
New kinds of technology can get hot very fast, and when you're excited about a development your business startup will be selling, it's tempting to get it on the market as fast as you can. However, if you don't take the proper precautions, you can easily find a bigger company running off with your idea and then beating you with its massive marketing budget. The most reliable way to prevent this is to be sure to patent your new idea before you ever let it hit the shelves.
While a patent for business products won't outright stop others from stealing your idea, it will give you one important thing: legal recourse. If someone infringes on your patent, you can sue them. Such a suit can be for a set sum of money, royalties on every unit the infringer sold, or some combination of the two. Often, punitive damages are awarded to the winners of such suits, as well.
Some large companies may try to infringe anyway, but often, they'll try to work out an arrangement to license your product instead. If such a company approaches your business startup, it can be a good idea to go ahead and license to it. They can then use their marketing might and name recognition to sell millions of units - paying you a set fee for each one of them. Businesses have long recognized the value of licensing deals, and in fact, some make their fortunes simply licensing rights to larger corporations.
Note that your technology startup doesn't need to have a physical product to do this. Software is often covered by patents as well as copyrights. The code of the software is patented, while the user-visible aspects tend to be copyrighted.
You can also get a patent for business processes that are technological in nature. For example, many pharmaceutical companies have patents not only on the formulas of their drugs, but the processes used to make them. This gives them double protection against those who would copy their developments. In some cases, this can be leveraged to effectively extend their position as the sole supplier of a product.
These are just some of the ways you benefit from being sure that your new idea is patented before you bring it to market. To learn more, consult with a patent attorney. This lawyer will be sure to let you know all about the relevant ins and outs of patents, how they pertain to your industry, and how they help protect your innovation.