Patenting is important activity for all businesses who are innovative. Startup businesses who are planning on adopting a disruptive technology strategy and are innovative by definition. To protect startup businesses from copying, business founders need to develop and adopt strong intellectual property strategies that protect at least their core business from extensive reproduction by later entrant businesses.
Whilst the patenting process may be initially expensive for startup businesses. The benefits usually outweigh the costs. Patents provide a legal monopoly to a process or system that often underlies the core strategy of the business. Patents allow the owner to take action against potential infringers and increase the barriers to entry for businesses following the innovation leaders.
Many businesses discover after their successful reception in the market that they should have applied for patent protection prior to publicly disclosing their idea or concept. Generally, you should apply for patent protection prior to any kind of public disclosure. In Australia, there are some grace periods that may be used in the case of inadvertent disclosure. However, this grace periods are very limited in terms of protection and use and should not be relied on in first instance. Also, many countries will not accept the applications made under the Australian grace period provisions and this could lead to invalidity occurring.
The main cost of patenting to startup businesses is the monetary cost and time needed to build the application. It is highly recommended that you discuss your startup business needs with a trained professional patent attorney is likely to be of great advantage.