Gauging Start-Up Readiness

By Debby Winters

As an Intellectual Property attorney and an investor in start-up companies, I am always looking for indications that start-ups are ready, but the question is “ready for what?” And somehow that seems hard to answer.  I recently read an article entitled Is This Startup Ready For Investment? that I thought had some good points to make and answers to consider. Check it out and let me know what you think.


Should you get a design patent?

By Debby Winters

With the backlog of up to 4 years or longer at the patent office, many people ask if they should try to get a design patent when they have an invention that relates to the configuration or shape of an article. Design patents frequently can be obtained in as little as 6 to 8 months so they should not be ruled out in building a patent portfolio if the invention allows for one. Remember that any patent is frequently better than no patent. In building a patent portfolio, a series of design patents can sometimes be very powerful. Many times a design patent, although thought to be weaker than a utility patent, can still be used to scare away competitors, particularly if your competitors a small entities. Because design patents protect the way something looks rather than the way something functions, often a portfolio of design patents are used to build a strong wall around the invention. You should also consider a strategy of obtaining several design patents while your utility patent is pending. A combination of utility and design patents make an excellent team in protecting your intellectual property rights.