Overview – You are advising a Startup Company in Intellectual Property (IP) Matters
You have chosen a very ungrateful task.
Advising startup companies is one of the most difficult areas in IP.
My webpage provides you with materials for a holistic approach, covering all aspects of the problems of companies in such an early stage. Often you will have to look into bare survival issues before you can look closer into IP issues.
What Makes a Successful Startup Consultant
Before you teach others, look at yourself. Are you the right person to work with startup companies as a professional consultant? And can you work together with other consultants that work for the same startup company?
Here is an article about patent attorneys and startup strategists https://ip-lawyer-tools.com/how-patent-attorneys-represent-startups-and-small-companies-a-review-of-practice-types/
What is said in the above article also applies to other professional consultants, such as accountants, general law practitioners, HR experts, IT experts, etc. etc.
Why Startups Usually Fail
Before you start advising in this area, find out why startups usually fail. Take this course here: https://ip-lawyer-tools.com/course/why-start-ups-usually-fail/
After watching this course, please read my free “4×4 Innovation Strategy” book, here https://ip-lawyer-tools.com/the-4×4-innovation-strategy/
My book “4×4 Innovation Strategy – How to Turbocharge your Inventions (And Make a Successful Product)” shows you how to avoid the most important mistakes that are made when developing a new product or service: to not think about Freedom-to-Operate and about Intellectual Property protection at a very early stage of the development. And the most deadly mistake is to not test the market response immediately after launching your idea, and a long time before it becomes a final product or service.
The same message is transported in my talk here:
Innovation Strategy – Avoid Going Bankrupt With Your New Business Idea. Public Talk at the Hygieia Gym Singapore
Here is an article that explains how to collect Letters of Intent (LoI´s) from potential customers and cooperation partners: https://ip-lawyer-tools.com/inventors-dont-waste-your-time-and-money-here-is-a-true-story-how-to-test-the-market-response-early/
What Makes a Successful Entrepreneur
Find out more about the personalities of the respective startup founders. Not everyone can be an Entrepreneur. A short introduction is found here: https://ip-lawyer-tools.com/the-entrepreneurial-mindset/
Here is a video that tells you why creative people are often miserable. Tell them about it when they seek your advice: https://youtu.be/Fyb7vj4LGXk
From the video:
“If you happen to be creative: find a way to make money and then practise your craft on the side. Because you will starve to death otherwise. For some of you, that is not true. But that is a tiny minority. The best way is to find a job that keeps body and soul together. And parse off some time to pursue your creative thing.”
Here is one extreme example that you need to spot at an early stage: someone who is not going into a business because of his love of the business. https://ip-lawyer-tools.com/why-so-few-people-become-entrepreneurs-and-shouldnt/ He is trying to get out of a life in which he is subordinate to a boss. He doesn’t like the hierarchy he is in, despite the fact that it rewards him handsomely for staying in. He does not understand what entrepreneurship is about, namely, the ability to make customers happy. He is not focused on customers; he is focused on the techniques associated with the business.
The bigger part of the success of a startup is determined by its successful marketing. You can provide the best product or service in the world, it does not help if nobody knows it. Your advice, no matter in what area, must be aligned with the startup’s marketing. An introduction into the area of marketing is found here https://ip-lawyer-tools.com/course/marketing-sales-bootcamp/
How To Protect Your Client’s Startup from Going Under
You would be surprised, but having a Freedom-to-Operate (FTO) is more important than owning IP rights. Check out this course https://ip-lawyer-tools.com/lesson/what-is-ip-2/ and find out more about FTOs.
Also, learn why non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) seldom work in practice: https://ip-lawyer-tools.com/category/members-only-articles/ndas/
IP is There to Protect Your Startup from Ideas Theft
Learn more about the tools in an IP lawyer´s toolbox. You find a short introduction into IP rights here https://ip-lawyer-tools.com/course/ip-boot-camp/
And here is how a Patent Attorney can add value to a business https://ip-lawyer-tools.com/what-is-a-patent-attorney-and-how-can-a-patent-attorney-add-value-to-your-business/
Please note that IP must always be synchronized with the marketing efforts of a startup company. Course #10 of my Patent Strategy Basic course explains this for the area of patents. What is said there about patents applies in principle to all IP rights.
And here are two of my public talks that go deep down into successful innovation. You can set the speed up to 1.5 or 2 in order to save time when you watch them
And here https://ip-lawyer-tools.com/you-probably-cant-sell-or-license-your-patent/ is an article that explains why IP is usually worthless. Try to avoid what is said there and get your IP strategy right.
Don´t Be Shy To Send Inventors Away
My recommendation is to send them away if they have no intention whatsoever to actively turn their ideas into money. Here is an example from my own practice: https://ip-lawyer-tools.com/when-to-send-away-an-inventor-the-4×4-innovation-strategy-applied/
You can easily test your new inventor on his own motivation: do they want you to do all the work when it comes to patenting their invention, and are they willing to pay you for doing so? Or do they enjoy learning new things, such as what is necessary when patenting inventions? Believe me, it is far greater fun to work with informed inventors. Let them learn to do a prior art search and send them a much-improved search result in no time, by using my B/F Search widget. I have written an article about that: https://ip-lawyer-tools.com/prior-art-search-how-to-teach-a-newbie-in-only-two-2-minutes-to-do-a-google-patents-search/
Never work for sole inventors before having carefully screened them. That will make sure that you don’t waste your valuable time. Working mostly for successful clients will also promote your own reputation.