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A patent is the right to exclude others from making or using your ideas for about 17 years (even excluding them from using their own products in some situations). 

General Benefits Of Patents

Reducing the number of competitors in the market
Revenue from licensing
Cross-licensing, joint-development, or joint-marketing for needed technology or marketing resources
Confidence for venture capitalists or other investors
Increase the value of the company
In the case of liquidation, can sell the IP portfolio separately

Napa Consulting can assist you in virtually every aspect of intellectual property management.  We can help you identify patentable ideas.  We can help you with proper identification, writing specification, research, and filing.  Napa Consulting's patent affiliates can provide recommendations relative to how and when to file for a patent before private placement, sale, or public disclosure. 

We understand your technology and the U.S. Patent Office process.  Napa Consulting’s senior patent manager has worked for U.S. Patent Office for over five years where he was primary patent examiner.  Our patent team has 80 publications and more than 15 patents relating to internet security, watermarking, hash function, digital rights management, and semiconductor.

Ideas That Can Be Eligible For Patent

§         Machines
§         Articles of Manufacture
Business Methods
Software-Related Ideas 

New algorithms, data structures, new applications, business procedures, and new technology can be patented.

Cannot Be Patented

Abstract ideas or pure mathematical formulas, for example: 2+2=4
§         Natural phenomena, for example: an electron

Helpful Tips
In the United States, one can file a patent application before (or during the one year after) public disclosure or offer of sale.  Thus, there is a one-year grace period for filing the application. However, in foreign countries, there is no grace period. One can take advantage of a U.S. filing date for foreign applications, if it is filed within one year of the U.S. filing date.

Patent Strategy

Defensive patents: to defend the company's use of a technology or idea, if a competitor sues to stop such use
§         Offensive patents: to maintain use of a technology or idea and prevent competitors from such use 

A strong patent portfolio includes both defensive and offensive patents, designed around a given technology, process, or product. There may be some overlaps in the coverage or scope of claims.

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