Like marketing and competition risks, products can also be associated with patent risk. If a product is patent-protected by a third party and you happen to commercialise it, the patent owner can take legal action against you for patent infringement. There are several ways you can minimise patent risk for your product:
1. Conduct a freedom-to-operate (FTO) patent risk assessment:
Before you start developing or commercialising your product, it’s important to conduct a thorough FTO search to determine if your product or any of its features are already covered by existing patents. This will help you identify potential patent issues and design around them. An FTO opinion is a legal opinion that assesses whether your product is likely to infringe on any existing patents. Obtaining an FTO opinion can help you identify potential patent risks and take steps to mitigate them by avoiding patent infringement.
2. Consider obtaining patents for your product:
If you have developed unique and novel features for your product, you may want to consider obtaining patents to protect your intellectual property. This can help deter others from copying your product and can also provide you with a competitive advantage. Additionally, patent protection creates a market perception that your product is research based and not simply copied.
3. Use licensing agreements:
If you are using technology or patented products in your own product, you can minimise patent risks by entering into licensing agreements with the patent owners. This will allow you to use the patented technology or products in your product and can also provide you with some legal protection.
4. Work with an experienced patent attorney:
An experienced patent attorney can help you navigate the complex world of patents and assist you in understand the intricacies of patent risk management. They can help you conduct a patent search, assess potential patent risks, and advise you on the best course of action to take to protect your product.
Hope this article was useful in understanding ways to mitigate patent risks. Do comment below if there are any additional ways you use to minimise patent risks.