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Do I need to pay for attorneys and consultants to manage my innovations?

May 25, 2012


Well, eventually answer to this question has to be yes!

Though, this article covers tips on how to avoid unnecessary consulting advice or attorney fees on matters that can be worked in-house. Start-Ups are like a self employed doctor. They initially tend to solve problems of the patient that they can afford to solve using all of their resources which eventually sum up to be the doctor himself. A doctor at his early stage cannot afford to hire a part-time neuro-surgeon for solving problems outside his own scope. Eventually, when he grows the clinic in size, he hires other specialists to solve his own or his patients’ problems. Managing innovations follows the same logic with only differences in life-cycle and the pace of growth.

Technology focused start-ups are confused at the first instance whether their technology is protected by law. If the answer is yes, next question would be how much would it cost and whether it’s worth the investment. Also, if you are a long-term thinker then you might also ask yourself- whether I must install some procedures in place to manage innovations internally and encourage my team to innovate. All of this will require help from a patent specialists and/or innovation managers. It’s not worth a shot to hire these people if you are only 20% positive on these three questions mentioned above. Let us walk through the process as to how can you conduct a preliminary subjective analysis to these questions at hand and be at least 50% sure before hiring them.
1)      Maintain Records and Invention Disclosures – It seems trivial enough, but a lack of discipline to do so cost you lot of time and money at the end. Maintaining all possible inventions within your company by keeping records of invention disclosures. What are invention disclosures? To sum up in a line, it’s your own record keeping document created by you in an indexed format like any other form covering invention description and other related information that might be useful at a later stage by you, your colleagues, your lawyers, or your innovation managers. Just Google invention disclosure forms and you will get tons of samples.

2)       Conduct a preliminary patent search – We can walk through a series of articles covering this topic on searching existing patent documents, but if you need a quick tutorial please visit this document by the European Union or a seven step strategy suggested by United States Patent Office. Patent Documents are neat and clean and well indexed, thus searching them makes easy as well as difficult at the same time as there are so many indexed fields. Get aware of the patent terminology and how to search by keywords and classifications and you will be good. There are free search engines like Google Patents (US Patents Only), EspaceNet (Worldwide Patents), US Patent Office, Indian Patent Office (Indian Patents Only), and many others.

3)      Let them make you self sustainable – Many a times we ask our clients (technology start-ups) as to what have they learned in the process and the answer is that they got exposed to patent terminology and searching basics so they can conduct a preliminary if not an accurate search later on. Ask your consultants to train you in the process of protecting and managing your inventions so that you don’t need to hire them for trivial tasks again and again. A lawyer, consultant, or managers’ job is to help you in specialized tasks and not the trivial ones.

At the end, you cannot avoid hiring them in your business pursuits but you can definitely reduce your costs and prevent re-hiring for same trivial tasks.

About InnovAccer

INNOVACCER (Innovation Accelerated) is an innovation management and acceleration company focused and dedicated to provide high quality innovation management services to accelerate every step of an innovation life-cycle. InnovAccer was founded with a vision of people in the fields of Intellectual Property, Business Innovation, and Technology to change and accelerate the creation of innovation ecosystem in India.  InnovAccer’s team comes from a varied background of engineers graduated from IITs, intellectual property specialists graduated from Franklin Pierce Law Center, USA, analysts, statisticians, and business innovation experts.

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How to Budget Your Patent Process?

March 12, 2012

Previous articles in this category have focused on importance of Intellectual Property (especially Patents) for Technology Start-Ups, and checklist to remember for patenting process. It is ripe time for Indian start-ups to be aware with the patenting process and financial planning revolving around the process. Before kicking off, you must understand why patent and financial planning is important for your business:

1)      Pitch to Venture Capitalists (VC) – First thing a VC will ask you before investing in a technology business is whether you have a patent protection over the technology. Regardless of your answers, he needs to listen to these two phrases – ‘Yes, we have patent(s) filed in India’, and ‘We have also filed an International Application, and with your funds we will aggressively pursue patent protection in global markets.’ If this is the case, you are not only bringing your expertise and technology idea on the table, but also an Intellectual Property which has a value tag attached to it. Read more…

Five Must Know-how’s for Patents

March 3, 2012

Day in an out, we all read news about patent wars going on between big corporations. Diaper, Razor, Drugs, and Smart-Phones, all of these products have been part of big patent wars. Getting an idea excites us to get a patent at the first place and be called inventor by the society. Though, you must know certain things about patents before using its protection mechanism. Many of us know some or the other point in this list of five, but we have observed that startups and medium sized firms miss to act upon at least two of them.

Three requirements for patent – An invention needs to be novel, non-obvious, and useful for government to grant a patent to the inventor. For novelty, the invention must not be published or known anywhere in the world. For non obvious, the invention must not be obvious to the person skilled in the art. In India, we also have two additional alternative criteria for non-obviousness namely technical advancement and economical advantage. This is the trickiest part to ascertain. Lastly, for usefulness, In India we have a criterion of industrial applicability.

Tip: Always conduct a prior art search to search for existing patents before deciding on filing a patent application or even starting a research pursuit in that direction.

Country-Wise patents, no International patent – Patent Rights are jurisdictional in nature, there is no international patent. This implies that if you get a patent in India, the rights of patent are extended only to the states of India. What does this mean? Anyone can make, use, or sell a product covering your patent anywhere else in the world but India without taking your consent or giving you royalty. Though, he or she cannot file a patent in say United States because your published patent has destroyed novelty for his patent application in the United States.

Tip: Always file patent in countries where your manufacturing or sales operations are conducted and also in countries where your possible competitors’ are located. Read more…

How a Brilliant Idea Can Lose Billion-Dollar Opportunity if Not-Protected Well: The Case of NEST Labs

February 26, 2012

With more and more new businesses making it to the headlines every day, the urge of making your big idea to a multimillion dollar business keeps you restless all night – It is time you start putting it into documents and then translate them into a highly successful business.

But wait, is there a step in between that can cause this rosy dream to shatter – The story of NEST – The Silicon Valley Wonder Kid Startup says it all.

Nest Lab

The Nest thermostat, created by the minds behind the iPod and the iPad, and probably the only smart thermostat to create a solid buzz in the Silicon Valley and the technology community globally.

Nest, which was founded by the godfather of the iPod, not only provides an intelligent thermostat for your home but also saves energy as well. For example, the technology will analyze the thermal decay of a house to determine how long it takes for heat to dissipate. An “Auto-Away” feature uses far-field motion detection to assess whether no one is in the house for a few days, perhaps because you’ve gone on vacation. If so, the unit goes into low-energy mode. Read more…

Nissan Plans Electric Car Launch in India

February 18, 2012

Even with all the infrastructural constraints in picture, Nissan is trying to break the barriers by launching its top end electric car vehicles (Leaf –  also formatted “LEAF” as a backronym for Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family car) for Indian Markets.  Playing on their expertise in Electric Vehicle Innovations – their move might just be the push that the Indian market needs to ignite the spark amongst the early adopters.

A Business Standard article quoted Kiminobu Tokuyama, MD and CEO, Nissan Motor India as saying “We are studying the feasibility of introducing Leaf in the Indian market. Nissan is known for innovation. We have aggressive product launch plan in the pipeline. Through our launch we will bring innovations also.”

Source: Autoinfoz

Selling around 21,000 Leaf units in the last year, Nissan is surely on its way to take the Indian Market by storm by putting more eco-friendly vehicles on road for the Indian consumers.

The success of these electric vehicles is dependent on the support (infrastructural or incentive led) the government can provide to commercialization of these eco friendly and innovative products.

To know more about electric vehicle innovations bloginnovation readers should also visit

Can Indian Startups afford to patent their technologies globally?

February 16, 2012

There was a time when Indian legends including mathematicians, physicists, and biologists shaped technological changes in our historical society. But times have changed. Inventors and corporations are taking advantage of filing patents in other countries and protecting their technology globally. India is doing the same, but is slow in the race!


In 2009, Indian residents filed only 21% of patent applications in India, whereas rest came from all parts of the world. On the contrary, a study by Prof. Kerr from Harvard and Prof. Lincoln from Michigan found that 10% of patents filed in United States have at least one inventor from Indian ethnicity.

There are two reasons associated with Indians not patenting their technologies across borders: money and awareness.

Read more…

I Love Innovations

February 16, 2012




A campaign by InnovAccer and to promote Innovation Awareness.

Innovation Report card of 14 Indian public listed companies and 8 Indian technology colleges is displayed on the campaign site.

Vote for the most innovative company and/or college. Voting lines are open till 21st Feb, 2012 11:30 PM Indian Standard Time.



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