It is common knowledge among startup founders that patents are a good way to protect key assets and processes of your company. However, in addition to protecting Intellectual Property (IP), different patent portfolio types can have varying benefits for your startup’s IP strategy. Here are 6 different patent portfolio types and how they can help your business:

  1. Defensive
    • Help companies protect their offerings against external competition without necessarily excluding competitive offerings
  2. Offensive
    • Describe offerings likely to be useful to competitors and are complementary to defensive patents
    • Create value from licensing and/or from strategic alliances in addition to product sales.
  3. Revenue Generating
    • Patents provide for a better negotiation positions 
      • For example in licensing agreements with suppliers, partners and even competitors, complementing patents promoting Corporate Image and driving employee behaviors.
  4. Corporate image
    • Patents bolsters the Firm’s brand as a technologically strong enterprise
    • Useful in supporting certain kinds of business models; go to market strategies, value propositions and for reinforcing trademarks and copyrights.
  5. Negotiating Leverage
    • Exists when the patent interferes with a competitor’s plans, motivating them to seek a license, or to buy the patent outright, and when the owner of the patent wants to influence the market’s dynamics in a manner that is favorable to them
      • for example, a Firm uses their patent estate to obtain preferred pricing on a raw material given their patent prevents any other firm from using this material
  6. Employee Creativity
    • Patents which recognize inventors for issued patents
    • Forms of recognition are tokens. For example, certificates showing the first page of the patent and the names of the investors displayed in visible areas of the firm.

Patent protection is a decisive tool for securing sufficient payback for R&D investments, especially in an environment of increased national and international technological competition, warranting aggressive patent filings. The best way to achieve this is to encourage employees to assume anything they do is patentable until proven otherwise.

To learn more about Creating a Competitive Advantage with Intellectual Property Strategy visit