7 Things C-suite Executives Need to Know About Patents

By Gene Quinn
May 16, 2016

knowledge-is-powerExecutives that have decision making capacity within any innovation based organization, whether a young startup or a Fortune 500 corporation, almost universally have little or no familiarity with patents from a legal perspective. Patent practice, patent law and the maze of decisions, pitfalls and opportunities that permeate the sometimes bizarro world of patents can easily remain a mystery. Yet for many, if not most or even nearly all, innovative companies the value proposition lies with the patents and trade secrets owned.

It is critical to understand that the goal of an innovative entity is not simply to get patents, but rather the goal is to leverage the innovation commercially. There is a substantial difference and having at least some knowledge, even just enough knowledge to ask the right questions, pays enormous dividends.

CEOs, CFOs, CTOs and General Counsel are typically very good at making decisions when they have the relevant information, but how often do they have the relevant information when making decisions regarding patents and innovation?  Even worse, when decisions are being made the Chief Patent Counsel is frequently not even in the room.

[Patent-Business]

What if you were in the room when patent and innovation related decisions were being made? What if your CEO were to want a tutorial on all matters related to patents and innovation? Here are the things I’d convey.

  • What should be patented.
  • When it is appropriate to keep a trade secret rather than pursue a patent.
  • Why the PCT is helpful from a commercial perspective.
  • Prosecution traps that can needlessly waste financial resources.
  • Costs associated with chasing bad patents.
  • Licensing your patent portfolio doesn’t make you a patent troll.
  • Why patent reform matters.

On Tuesday, May 24, 2016, I will host a free webinar to discuss this topic. The goal of this webinar is to address those things every CEO, or more generally ever C-suite executive, should understood about patents. I will be joined by James Pooley, an attorney with 37 years of experience as a litigator, a member of the IP Hall of Fame, and the former Deputy Director of the World Intellectual Property Organization, where he was responsible for the international patent system.

This webinar will focus on the business implications of patents and innovation, with an eye toward the information decision-makers need to have and why. In addition to your questions this webinar will address the following. To register please visit Patent Strategies: Things Executives Need to Consider.

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The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded IPWatchdog.com in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on IPWatchdog.com do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of IPWatchdog.com. Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 1 Comment comments.

  1. Lawrence Schrank July 14, 2016 2:24 am

    I am curious about this concept here in Thailand, it sure seem like a innovative approach, I like the concept of aligning the interest of all the participants in a venture. Definitely the way to go if it can be done here! Also, if you have any recommendations about good patent lawyers here in Thailand, please refer them.