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Determine what is worthwhile to patent.

A patent application should not be filed until the commercially relevant features of the product can also be protected.

Before filing the patent applications, members of the business team should sit down and think through design-around exercises and ask themselves questions such as:

  • "what is the most important aspect of this product?" "what aspect is absolutely crucial to the advantages by this innovation?"

  • "how will competitors try to knock us off?"

  • "If I were a competitor - how would I work-around this patent?"

These questions and this excerise will increase the importance of examining the patent application from a self-critical perspective and if done right - allow broader protection to be obtained. Broader protection is crucial to increasing your leverage by making it more difficult for competitors to copy your innovation. The increased leverage will be useful in any negotiations or in selling your product.

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