Perhaps the most important consideration for innovators.

Why develop a patent strategy?

In most cases, innovation comes against a high cost in terms of research and development. To obtain return on their investment and keep a competitive edge against their competitors, companies rely on patent protection. At the initial stages of the patenting process, there are a lot of uncertainties, like whether the invented product or process will lead to commercial success, will the patent application survive the prosecution at the patent office, etc. So often, companies try to save on the patent cost while a well drafted patent application is fundamental for a strong patent protection which can last up to 20 years.

A key component of a good patent strategy is to monitor the activities of the competitors, on the one hand to detect possible patent infringements and on the other hand to ensure your freedom to operate. Often, a company’s patent activity precedes their commercial activities, so a lot of strategy can be derived from patent monitoring. In this way, risks can be determined early-stage and also opportunities for commercial collaboration can be identified. But many companies lack the time and resources to monitor the IP activity of their competitors.

So taking the right informed decisions at the right time is essential, as this will help you in maximizing your return on investment in the long term. Indeed, the upside can be massive: higher margins for products, passive income license fees from third parties, and – in many jurisdictions – significant tax breaks.  


Patent protection with long-term value and as a source of income

Our view on building a strong patentportfolio while keeping costs at bay entails the following components:

- pre-filing patent feasibility study to assess patenting opportunities and FTO risks, so that you can take informed decisions whether or not to file patents and what to include in the text (which will in the end become public);

- quality patent drafting to build in room for changes during the prosecution process before the patentoffices, not only in view of prior art but also in view of potential infringements;

- patent filing strategy in line with your business strategy, with opportunities to save or postpone costs;

- use of IT tools to efficiently manage your patent portfolio and monitor your competitors;

- make optimum use of opportunities for cost reimbursement by making use of government funding and tax deduction schemes

The drafting of a patent application involves preparing a set of claims with a description and drawings to support the claims. This has to be done with proper care, because the very first patent text is the fundament of your patent protection for the next 20 years. Therefore, we strive to provide a strong and flexible patent text which can survive invalidity attacks and offers flexibility for new claims to cover possible future changes in the covered product or process and/or to be able to react to actions of your competitors.

In other words: more than just “technical” elements to be considered, in which we can provide a 360° guidance.


Experienced patent attorneys and IP professionals

By relying on our technical, legal, tax and business skills, you will gain deep insights of the benefits and downsides of each of the different scenarios. 

More than traditional IP attorneys or tax experts, we will be looking at the full picture, and focus on the elements that matter most for your organisation.This allows you to focus on all key elements from each of the above perspectives whilst relying on our experience and expertise in these domains. 

Our patent attorneys are experienced professionals who have worked in private practice and/or in-house and have been involved in patent strategy or litigation work in many countries around the globe.

Our approach is creative and client-focused. We dare to question if it is even a good idea to go for patent protection and if so, our creativity brings an added value to the patent protection. At least, that is what our current clients tell us!

Moreover: if we are convinced of the technology you would like to patent and the business approach you are taking, we could even look into alternative fee arrangements in a true 360° approach.

Stephanie Sarlet
European and Belgian patent attorney


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