Startups should consider the need for international protection of their patents

Sometimes it’s difficult for a start-up company to imagine an international presence, especially when just getting a foothold domestically is such a challenge. If long range planning calls for international options, IP owners should consider filing an application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

The Treaty makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in each of a large number (now 146) of countries by filing an "international" patent application.

Part of any IP valuation checklist today is a thorough review of protections acquired and maintained. Analysts should examine management’s long-range plans and inquire about steps made to protect inventions internationally.