Tag Archives: EP&C

4 Reasons For Talking To A Patent Attorney At An Early Stage

EP&C Patent Attorney Mark Jolink

This month EP&C, a patent attorney agency, extends their partnership agreement with StartLife. StartLife helps early stage technology startups to validate their business, find investors and achieve their growth ambitions. Patent protection is crucial at this early stage, so EP&C help the young entrepreneurs with this. In recent years, the company has assisted them with patent applications, Freedom To Operate studies and more. And they will continue to do so in the coming years.

Many entrepreneurs, both those starting out and more experienced ones, only realize when it is too late just how important it is to talk with a patent attorney at an early stage. There are several good reasons for doing so. Mark Jolink from EP&C explains.

Reason 1:
We can identify third party patent rights at an early stage

Many entrepreneurs are so busy developing their product, setting up their business and finding investors that they forget about their competitors’ patent rights. You may know who your competitors are, but do you know what their patent rights are? This is a question that investors regularly ask. So you must look into this. You can either do so yourself or have someone else do it for you. However, if you fail to do so, you run the risk of developing a product that infringes someone else’s intellectual property rights. This brings me to my next point.

Reason 2:
It is still fairly easy to tweak the design

The sooner you know about the patent rights of others, the easier it tends to be to make minor changes to a design and work around existing patents so that you can enter the market without infringing them. It is, of course, also possible to do this at a later stage but it is often much more expensive then. After all, it costs a lot more money to change an entire production line than to modify a concept.

Reason 3:
We can discuss R&D results at an early stage

Innovative entrepreneurs often overlook two things in the development process. First of all, they often fail to realize that they are making simple but valuable inventions. Secondly, they sometimes disclose information about new products before they have been patented. In which case, the invention will no longer meet the novelty requirement and they can no longer apply for a patent on it. By discussing the R&D results with a patent attorney at an early stage, you can avoid these pitfalls.

By looking at these things together, we can learn about the inventions that seem obvious to you, and you will not disclose any information you should be keeping to yourself. This will ultimately make your patent portfolio a lot stronger. It will also increase the value of your company and strengthen your position in the market.

Reason 4:
We increase the chance of investment

At StartLife, where finding investors is an important goal, we often encounter that a proposition is much more investor ready after a sound check on intellectual property is done. Thanks to their better understanding of the opportunities and threats related to their intellectual property rights, they come across more professionally and have a better grip on the situation. People are more likely to invest in an organisation that knows what it has already done, or wants to do, when it comes to patents.

Small investment

Talking to a patent attorney at an early stage means more traction on the initial steps of your business. Many entrepreneur only take this step once their technologies are at a more advanced stage. This may seem logical, but it can ultimately cost a lot more time and definitely money. Even a short meeting with a patent attorney can provide you with so much relevant information for your company that it is well worth the small investment.

Learn more about EP&C and how they can help your agrifood startup.

 

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Register for participation in EP&C’s ‘Master of the Future’

Patent agency EP&C is launching an innovation competition for students and startups. In honor of its 80th anniversary, EP&C is giving the new generation of innovators a platform on which to present their innovative idea. The innovation can be in concept form or already be on the market. As long as the innovation is not yet a commercial success, contributes to a social theme and shakes up the established order, it is eligible for the award worth €10,000.

Registration is possible until 19 July.

For more information, see www.epc80jaar.nl

A new partnership: EP&C Patents & Trademarks

EP&C can assist startups in all matters concerning Intellectual Property (IP). IP can help startups protect their products and activities against copycats. Conversely, innovative entrepreneurs do not want to find themselves surprised by IP, of other parties, that may affect their business.

EP&C employs 30 patent and trademark attorneys covering almost all technological fields. As a partner of StartLife, EP&C offers a free-of-charge IP check to assess your IP opportunities and challenges.

Mark Jolink
On Wednesday you will find Mark at the PlusUltra and StartHub buildings. As a Dutch & European Patent Attorney, Mark is specialized in food & nutrition, bio-based product technology, biotechnology & biochemistry, healthcare & medicine, and medical equipment.

He can help assess if you have something worth patenting, or explain what is needed for a patent application and what the associated costs are. He can also look at relevant (patent) rights of third parties. He can look at all this in the early stages of your business, to avoid problems later.

Feel free to come along with any IP-related topic that keeps you busy!

Open walk in:

Wednesday 9-12 am: partner room StartLife, Plus Ultra Bronland 12H, Wageningen.
Wednesday 13-17 pm: StartHub Wageningen, Vijfde Polder 1, Wageningen Campus.

Get in touch with our expert Mark