How can I protect a business model for a startup without money? 3 Answers as of March 30, 2011

The patent fee is pretty high for a startup. However, we don't want to be in a situation that we are not protected when we grow up. What options do we have? Thanks a lot!

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DANIEL NESBITT | Hasse & Nesbitt
IP rights are often a company's most valuable and sustaining assets. And the patent right value can grow with the value of the company. Investors may be willing to lend funds if the investment is secured by the patent rights. Also, some attorneys may barter services for a part of the company or other interest in the fruits.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 3/30/2011
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
Unfortunately if you dont file a patent within 1 year from your first disclosure/offer to sell you loose the right to file it ever. I would suggest trying to file a provisional patent to extend the time clock for 1 year. I would do it myself and save the money. There is a good book called "Patent it Yourself" by NOLO Press buy it.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 3/28/2011
Young Basile
Young Basile | Denise Glassmeyer
It is a real challenge to obtain meaningful patent protection without spending money. It is possible to obtain strategic protection in an economical manner. Typically what you will be doing is defer the costs of intellectual property protection by using mechanisms such as provisional patent applications and exploring trademark and copyright options. Please be aware that any public disclosures, sales or offers to sell can affect when and what you can protect. While it is possible for an individual inventor to prepare, file and prosecute his or her own patent application, my experience has been that the sua sponte applications do not have the claim breath or detail found in applications prepared by most patent attorneys or agents. The most important element for many start up companies is their intellectual property. It should be well protected.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/28/2011
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