Patent Protection: A Valuable Startup Asset

A necessary component to maintaining a strong innovation economy in the United States is insuring the widgets and intellectual property (IP) developed by entrepreneurs is protected with patents.  The US patent system is complex, but the following study found that C-suite executives believe patents are the the blueprints of future technologies.

A recent survey collected insights from more than 200 CEOs, CFOs and CTOs.  Here’s what they found:

  • 70% of respondents viewed patents as beneficial to innovation and nearly half believe business is better of with patents.

  • 78% believe people should pay a license fee to use technology that is patented and 87% say that patent rights need to be respected.

We caught up with Venture Partner Alan Ying to discuss how protecting IP is crucial for startups to remain relevant and competitive in the fast-paced technology industry.

Q:  Must a company have a patent on a technology for a venture capitalist to consider investing?

Alan Ying:  It certainly is something all VCs look at when doing their due diligence.  Venture capitalists want to know where an invention or innovation fits in the marketplace with reference to existing and potential competitors.  Most VCs want to work with companies that have exceptional intellectual property and are in a position to achieve fast growth — something difficult to do without their intellectual property protected.