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Patent Strategy Could Be Essential to Your Private Equity Business Plan

A friend of mine recently joined a small, privately-held consumer product company as its innovation manager. The company, which I will call "Cool Stuff," is owned by a private equity firm. The private equity firm purchased Cool Stuff about a year ago. Cool Stuff was essentially an established “mom and pop” company with a core product line. Cool Stuff has a couple of manufacturing facilities, but the primary value of the company is its relationships with existing customers (such as department and grocery stores) that will make it possible for new products to gain shelf space in department stores. The private equity company's payback model centers on growing the sales of Cool Stuff by introduction of several innovative and differentiated new products (hence, the reason for hiring my friend). After these products are shown to provide sustainable profits for Cool Stuff, the private equity firm plans to sell Cool Stuff and