Companies looking for valuable patents should reconsider whether technical credentials are the best way to select a lawyer. Patents should be viewed as business documents first if the goal is to protect valuable innovation investment. When you engage a patent professional based on technical skills, you may end up with what I call the “mind-meld” that follows from two teams that share the same expertise. While the lawyer will bring legal skills that the client’s technical team does not possess, it can be said that the overlap of skills not only makes one of the persons redundant, the commonality of interests often silos the effort in the technical aspects of the effort.
Notably, customers select a product because it solves their problems, not because it’s cool technology. This means that patents covering valuable innovation may fail to adequately protect the what the customer is buying if the focus of the patent is on the technology itself, as opposed to the functional value that the customer is buying—that is, those aspects of the innovation that solves their problems.
This detailed article discusses how companies that seek to generate patent value can do a better job by reassessing how they staff their patent matters. In short, when you focus on IP Strategy, a lack of deep technical experience in the subject matter of the innovation, may be a “feature, not a bug.”