David J. Arthur, Intellectual Property Strategy

Aligning Intellectual Property and Business Strategies


Patents protect inventions. Patents can be expensive to get and to maintain. Do patents on your inventions really contribute to your business goals? If so, how many should you have? Do the people getting those patents know how those patents fit into your business goal and what they should be doing to ensure they do fit? How much should you spend on each patent? In which countries should you have those patents?

A patent on a single invention may cost $15,000, or it may cost $1,000,000 or more. Each may be appropriate for certain business goals. But, if you spend $1,000,000 on a patent when a $15,000 patent would do, you have spent on one patent money that could have been spent on getting several additional patents on other inventions. But, if you get a $15,000 patent on an invention for which a $1,000,000 patent would have been more effective, your intellectual property may not be able to work for you the way it should.

Patents are very useful in protecting innovation. They can be used for much more than suing competitors. But they have their limitations. In many circumstances, using a mixture of patents and trade secrets can provide effective and cost-efficient protection for technological innovation.

Let me help you get the most business benefit from your patent budget.