Protecting Your Startup: Everything You Need to Know about I.P. but Were Afraid to Ask


Thu, April 2, 17:30 – 19:30


Knobbe Martens Olson - 2nd Floor Conference Center, 2040 Main St - 2040 Main St - Irvine, CA 92614


If you develop a product or method that has commercial value, you probably don’t want someone to sell copies. You probably also want to be able to block the entry of competitive alternatives. That way you can control pricing and quality in a relevant product marketplace. You may also want to raise capital, from investors who have expectations about the certainty of future revenue streams. For many technologies, a strategically developed patent portfolio is the only way to reach these goals. The details get complex. But demystified, there are really only three fundamental issues in patent law. Our panel of experts will consider them one at a time, and invite real time questions from the audience via a twitter platform.

The first issue is whether you own the technology. Inventions are initially owned by the true inventor. But there are many ways that the inventor can give title away, sometimes without realizing that until it is too late.

The second is whether you can patent it. Not all inventions are patentable, and patentability is evaluated against a body of prior art that is vastly more comprehensive than products that you see in the marketplace.

The third and maybe the most important is whether you have freedom to operate without infringing upon the patent rights of others. The fact that you may have your own patents, and that you developed the idea by yourself, don’t matter.

You might want to understand all three as well as you can, before investing time, money and emotional energy developing your idea.

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