Patent Strategy 101 with Davis Wright Tremaine and Echo Health Ventures

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Last week’s Lunch & Learn, featuring Dylan O. Adams from Davis Wright Tremaine and Kurt Sheline from Echo Health Ventures, highlighted the value a patent portfolio can provide when pitching to an investor. Whether you have experience with the patenting process or you’re just starting out, check out some of the highlights of the event below, beginning with the most basic question of “Why should we care about patents?”

Why entrepreneurs and startups should care about patents:

  • Patents allow you to exclude competitors from the space
  • With a patent, you can sell products or services and they can even be used as collateral to get loans
“Any collaborator is going to be seen as an innovative company if they have a patent portfolio” – Dylan O. Adams

Where to find a patent attorney:

  • Make sure you find a patent attorney with a practice that focuses on the patent application process and understands your technology or your field of work. The individual must be a registered practitioner  to represent you before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. More information on finding a registered practitioner can be found here.

Whether to file foreign patent protection:

  • If your startup doesn’t have a defined foreign market or niche market, keeping it local is a great place to start

A note for startups from the experts: it is okay to begin the patenting process with an outline of a product (even a scribble on a cocktail napkin, according to Dylan O. Adams!), and the product or technology can continue to change. Patenting is an ongoing process, but once you have the issued patent, there is little to no maintenance required.

A venture capitalist’s take on patents:

When it comes to a VC perspective on having one patent or a diverse patent portfolio, Kurt Sheline shared the importance of first and foremost having a strong business model, that is then supported by a patent portfolio or a patent IP strategy.

“You need a right mixture of truly showing your product market fit and matching that with your product portfolio. There needs to be synergy between the patent portfolio and business model.”

Cambia Grove Lunch & Learns, presented by Echo Health Ventures, is a series offering opportunities for entrepreneurs to network over lunch with subject matter experts while learning about high-value health care topics. We hope to see you for our next Lunch & Learn at Cambia Grove. Video recap of this Lunch & Learn coming soon on our YouTube channel.