When cultivating an entirely new startup, from the ground up, intellectual property is an important subject that directly or indirectly affects and fosters growth if acquired. I’m talking about trademarks, copyrights, and patents.

A patent adds a degree of safety between your idea and  the competition (if any exist), as well as adds value. It may also introduce a barrier to entry to others for your specific industry/market.

Acquiring a patent requires details and paperwork, naturally. Details are needed to put onto paper the scope, business model, drawings, and other facts and processes. This is by far the most crucial part of an inventor’s decision-making process when going through the discovery phase.

Hiring a lawyer to acquire a patent can get quite expensive. if you are a self-starter and motivated microstarter, you are surely up to learning how to bring patents into existence. It is important to create a patent that does not infringe on preexisting patents. Also, if someone infringes on your patent, it needs to be detailed enough so as to hold up in the court room. Therefore, effort into research and development is greatly required. From engineered drawings, to wiring diagrams and software code, there will be a review process. Typically in the startup and tech industry, one can ask for an accelerated review. Also, one can file for an informal patent, which protects your ability to patent an idea/product for up to a year.Questions to assist with research:

1. What makes an idea patentable subject matterPatentability.2. Who are the inventor(s)?

3. Is it a Utility patent or a Design patent?  Types of patents; Utility, for use. Design, for art.

4. Is it a non obvious improvement on previously existing patent and/or art?

Search the USPTO for previously existing patents here.