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A shield and a sword: developing a successful patent strategy


Brad Close

A shield and a sword: developing a successful patent strategy

Brad Close explains why you shouldn't sit on your patent rights.

Patents are a one-size-fits-all legal right for inventions across every technology field. The varied fields create different legal necessities, so that diverse industries are often at odds over what they attempt to accomplish with patent rights.

This is demonstrated by comparing the industries of bio/pharma with mobile telecoms. With bio/pharma you have the requirement of massive, long-term, front-end investment to develop a few long-lived products that require minimal numbers of patents to protect, whereas mobile telecoms are characterised by an ever-changing environment in which a single product, like a smartphone, can incorporate inventions that are covered by hundreds, if not thousands, of patents.

It is therefore no surprise that strategic licensing plays out differently across different technical fields. With bio/pharma companies, patents tend to be used to exclude all competition on a blockbuster drug. In the mobile telecoms space, however, the “right to exclude” approach is rarely feasible.

Patent, Patent litigation, bio, pharma, Motorola,


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