How Startups And SMEs Can Be Beneficial From Patents?


“Intellectual Property is the oil of the 21st century”

You must have heard this quote by Mark Getty, chairman of Getty Images, one of the world’s largest Intellectual Proprietors who also happens to be the grandson of the famous petrol-industrialist J. Paul Getty.

And while he has built an entire empire on Intellectual Property, other industries are learning it’s importance too.

Did you know that a study found that SMEs in high-tech industries that have filed a patent are 110% more likely to experience high growth? What’s better is that in low-tech industries, the figure is 172%.

More and more senior executives of companies are realizing the important role of technology and IP plays in their business and how important it is to patent and preserve their company’s ideas and innovations.

How to patent an idea is not a mystery nowadays. Any company with some help from a patent attorney and a patent search firm would able to get patents in the required time.

Getting a patent not just reserves your right to stop any company to work on your idea without your consent but it will also increase the value of your company.

There’s a lot that goes on in the world of patents. Not only do you need to know if you’re infringing on patents, but also that no one else is infringing on yours.

And if they are, or they wish to use it, then you get to monetize on them.

But does ‘more patents mean ‘more money?

Sadly no. it has been seen that a lot of patents are valueless when analyze. And paying the maintenance fee for a patent of which you don’t use AND holds no monetary value is just a waste of company resources.

And while it all seems like a big hassle, Senior Executives now understand how patents are an intangible part of their companies.

That’s why it comes as no surprise that major companies such as IBM, Qualcomm, and Microsoft their own in house teams dedicated to their Intellectual Property.

SMEs and Patents

But what doesn’t come as surprise is that now SMEs too have a sizeable patent portfolio. It does not help them protect their ideas. But also helps them establish credibility for acquisitions.

But even apart from acquisitions, a new study shows that an SME with higher IP activity (such as patent, trademark and design applications) is more likely to succeed than their counterparts that don’t. The study claims that-

  • SMEs that have filed at least one IP right are 21% more likely to experience a subsequent growth period, and 10% more likely to become a high growth firm;
  • SMEs that file for IP rights at European level have an even greater likelihood (17%) of becoming a high growth firm;
  • The chance of an SME becoming a high growth firm increases by 33% if it uses “bundles” of trademarks, patents, and designs, instead of one single IP right category.

Apart from protecting your company’s ideas and innovation, patents help you with monetization and they actually help you grow your business!

Role of Patents for Startups

Patents not only increases the value of startups but also work as a defense from many Patent Trolls. Patent Trolls don’t target startups since their goal is to make big money which they can’t get from startups but still, there are cases when Patent Trolls became a reason for a startup’s demise.

Here’s an article which clearly tells about startups’ condition in the patent world. However, time by time, there comes startups who fight to these trolls and emerge victorious mostly due to their patents.

Further, patents play a big role when a big company goes for startups acquisition. As a big player knows the value of patents, they surely want to acquire a startup with a few intellectual properties in its hands.


The patents proved a great source of income for even a big company like IBM. Even after bankruptcy, the patent portfolio provided a company more than a billion in return. These are the facts that show the patents are like property and with proper investment. It can give you a great ROI even for startups and SMEs. So, it’s safe to say that all that hassle for your company’s IP, in the end, is worth it.

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By Sidharth

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