Patents and tech start-ups

The environment of a tech start-up

In most cases, tech start-ups have to assert themselves against established companies. As a rule, these companies have extensive patent portfolios. In addition, they continuously apply for many patents. The following graphic from the DPMA illustrates this for the year 2022. 

Fig.1 - Current statistics: Patents¹

The large number of patents makes it difficult for start-ups to access the market. In addition, the probability of being sued for patent infringement is greater for small companies. 
No reason to throw in the towel straight away. Instead, you should Startups a few key points and prepare thoroughly for market entry. 

Startup - Roadmap

Startups should prepare thoroughly for market entry and not take an overly passive approach afterwards. Here are some important pointers: 


  • Market entry blockades can be circumvented in various ways, for example through the purchase or licensing of patents or your own defensive publications
  • In contrast to large companies that secure their market share through large patent portfolios, startups focus on individual patents. These should be carefully checked for validity and enforceability.
  • It also makes sense to work with law firms or lawyers who have experience in enforcing patents
  • The state of the art as well as the developments of the competitors should be analyzed carefully. The more your own patents stand out from the state of the art already disclosed, the better.
  • If competitors infringe the Startup patents, this can result in lucrative license agreements and collaborations. In addition to their own registrations, startups should also keep an eye on the registrations and products of their competitors. 

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