Patents before product?
Companies are seeking patents earlier in their lifecycle because of a recent shift in regulations to “first to file” a patent from “first to invent,” says James Malackowski, CEO of Ocean Tomo, a Chicago-based merchant bank that does the analysis behind the Eureka Index. Patents also make it easier to raise money and value a startup company, he says. (Read how the Eureka Index is created below.)
Started six years ago, NuCurrent now has 17 total patents. Cleversafe, founded in 2004, has about 200. Both companies began thinking about patents and protecting their intellectual property from the outset, hiring advisers who had worked at large companies, such as Motorola, that developed sophisticated patent strategies over decades.