Why We’re Patent Pending
Last month, the awesome team at Think Outside filed our application for IP protection (Intellectual Property), or as often know as; Patent Protection. We are consequently now ‘Patent Pending’ (ref # P61801771NO00). In short, we have patented the use of a portable radar in/for skis and other transportational means; to image, process and interpret snow layers from the radar data acquired with the aim to identify conditions that may lead to an avalanche.
For a startup such as ours, patenting is one of several ways to increase the value of the Company. Since we’re not in a profitable position just yet, and still developing hard technology (hardware and software), patenting is undoubtedly important and by many investors patent protections are considered a very important milestone. But more than anything, we also want to protect a technology that we develop, and that currently holds no direct competitive solution, thus creating a new market.
Deciding to file for patent protection is not a decision taken lightly. First, it demands use of resources and focus and time from the team. As a startup, we are continuously undermanned and must make right use of our internal resources and time to not lose focus or even worse; fail hard and wrong (as opposed to fail fast and cheap, which startups are pretty good at). Spending a lot of time and focus from key team members with a patent application that could have otherwise have been used on development? What are the alternative costs? We thus looked at pros and cons and found that the potential outcome of not filing a patent was just as convincing as the outcome of filing a patent.
Secondly, there are direct costs related to applying and filing a patent. Most startups have marginal budgets, as do we. Every cost is challenged. Every money spent must be spent wisely and lead to something that brings the Company forward. The entire process of patenting is costly, and we minimized that cost by doing a lot of the work in-house, and having a very good and tight working-relationship with the patent-law agency. Aside from accepting the costs of filing an application and maintaining an IP, we also know that holding an IP opens up new revenue streams, like licencing etc. So, even though there clearly are costs related to patenting, there are also business opportunities related to a patent.
All in all, we believe that filing a patent is a wise investment to help the Company develop and build a strong foundational asset on which to grow for the future.