Updated November 26, 2020:

A patent marketing strategy is an important step in the success of your business. According to Forbes, "about 70 percent to 80 percent of a company's market capitalization comes in the form of intangible assets, which include intellectual assets such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other business knowledge and know-how. Patents are moving from a legal role to a strategic management one, and company leaders must be prepared.”

What is a patent anyway? A patent is an intellectual right given to an inventor by the federal government that prohibits others from using their patent for a specific amount of time. The patent must also be published. A patent not only enables your business to have legal protection, but it also plays an important role in your marketing strategy.

Who Benefits From a Patent?

A patent can change your business relationship with three different parties:

  • Your customers
  • Your competitors
  • Your partners

Primarily of interest, owning a patent may profoundly impact the way your customers and potential customers view your company. The word "patented" and the phrase "patent pending" signify to your customers that your company offers something that no other company can. This adds loyalty and value to your product or service, especially in high-tech fields.

In addition, it lends you more credibility and defines you as a leader of innovation in your field. After all, the high-tech field is always growing, and consumers know they can benefit from using the most advanced and innovative technology available.

Your competitors are also affected by your patent status. If another party copies your idea, you'll legally be in the right to take legal action against them. However, it also ensures that you'll probably never have to, as the possibility of a lawsuit will deter many businesses from trying to copy your invention. Who wants to be involved in expensive and time-consuming litigation, especially when it's likely they will lose the case?

Your partners will also benefit from the reputation you've earned with a patent. This could lead to creative innovation, collaboration opportunities, and more possibilities to connect with others who know about and are interested in your ideas. In addition, you can decide to license or sell your inventions. It's up to you.

Trademarks, Service Marks, and Collective Marks

The success of your small-to-medium enterprise (SME) is partly dependent on a well-crafted trademark or service mark. As such, it can be a definitive tool for your company. The right mark will allow customers to identify products and services from your company and distinguish them from those of your competitor. Your product's positive qualities will be associated with your mark, and thus, your company. Plus, it may also add to your company's ability to tap into a new market, particularly if attention was paid to the design of your mark so that it is attractive to your target market.

It's important that you look for conflicting marks and make sure they do not pose a legal risk. Do this before you fill out an application or use a new mark associated with your products or services. You might want to hire a competent attorney or agent to proceed with this task. This could defend your SME from significant expenses if an identical or conflicting mark already exists.

A collective mark identifies a cooperative or association of businesses and lets member SMEs benefit from an acquired collective reputation generated by shared characteristics. When the origin or another shared characteristic is a significant indicator of quality or good taste, this can be an especially productive tactic. In addition, a collective mark could support cooperation with other members SMEs, and all members may be able to take advantage of shared resources.

Why Develop a Patent Marketing Strategy?

There are countless reasons to develop a patent marketing strategy. A few of the primary reasons are:

  • Your company will be able to develop its market share and margins.
  • Your patent will protect your market share from competitors and infringers.
  • Your research and development will benefit from patent research.
  • Joint ventures, partnerships, and acquisitions will be enhanced with successful patenting.
  • Your company will be able to more easily secure financing and develop new revenue sources.

If you need help with a patent marketing strategy, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.