Crafting Life Sciences Patent Portfolios: Strategies for Comprehensive IP Protection

Crafting Life Sciences Patent Portfolios

Innovation is the key to success in the very competitive life sciences sector. Ensuring the safety of your groundbreaking discoveries and cutting-edge technologies is crucial. A strong patent portfolio serves as your most powerful shield. At Stevens Law Group, our experienced team of patent professionals is committed to assisting you in understanding the intricacies of intellectual property law. We ensure your innovations are protected and your competitive edge remains razor-sharp.

Building a comprehensive patent portfolio may seem like a daunting task. However, with strategic planning and expert guidance, it can be a seamless and rewarding process. Our approach goes beyond simply protecting your current inventions. We stay ahead, foreseeing future changes and keeping your intellectual property safe as your research and technology progress.

Maximize the Value of Provisional Applications

Provisional applications are sometimes viewed as simply stepping stones before utility filing. However, at Stevens Law Group, we recognize their immense strategic value as the first official disclosure of an invention. A meticulously crafted provisional application can pave the way for a smoother prosecution journey across multiple jurisdictions.

Establishing a priority date is paramount. The date determines the scope of prior art that is cited against subsequent filings. Our attorneys ensure thorough written support and detailed descriptions of inventive concepts and features. This bolsters the priority claim and fortifies the patent family’s position.

We also provide thorough studies of patentability at the provisional stage, including state-of-the-art assessments and IP landscape analysis. This proactive strategy offers priceless insights into market trends, rivalry, and prospective joint venture prospects. Additionally, it makes risk assessments easier, which makes strategic decision-making for long-term success possible.

As new data emerges, our team remains vigilant, working closely with inventors to file timely follow-up provisional applications. This preemptive approach is particularly crucial when disclosures, such as conference presentations or third-party collaborations, are on the horizon.

Identify and Protect Inventive Concepts Early and Often

Patent Portfolio

A well-written patent application should highlight the invention’s novelty and non-obviousness by outlining the technical issues it solves. Our lawyers carefully lay out the creative ideas, explaining how and why the invention is worthy of a patent.

Recognizing that terminology can evolve, we adopt a flexible approach, describing patentable features using diverse terminology from relevant publications and industry parlance. This versatility not only enhances written description support but also fortifies patentability arguments during prosecution.

Moreover, our team conducts comprehensive landscape reviews, employing multiple search strategies to uncover potential competitors or patentability risks that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Leverage Data Strategically

Contrary to conventional wisdom, negative experimental results can sometimes prove advantageous in the patent prosecution process. Our attorneys understand the value of selectively incorporating “unsuccessful” experiments, as they can highlight the inventive or non-obvious nature of the successful invention.

For instance, in the realm of combination therapies for cancer treatment, the inefficacy of certain drug combinations can bolster the argument for the novelty and superiority of the claimed combination, positioning it as an unexpected and patentable result.

Prioritize Organization and Systematic Processes

A successful patent portfolio is built on precise management and systematic methods. Our firm leverages a suite of best practices to streamline invention capture and ensure comprehensive coverage:

Consistent utilization of invention disclosure forms across the organization, capturing detailed descriptions, and background information, and identifying key contributors to facilitate downstream inventorship determinations.

Rigorous tracking of potential disclosure events, such as scientific conferences or business development meetings, provides a clear timeline for timely application filings.

Regular meetings with scientific teams to identify ongoing research with patentable potential enable proactive filing of new or follow-on applications.

Craft a Multifaceted Patent Portfolio

Our strategic approach recognizes that different patent families serve distinct purposes within a holistic IP portfolio. While some families are tailored to protect current R&D efforts, others are designed to establish a foothold in emerging technological spaces, safeguarding inventive features as they evolve through further research and commercial development.

Notably, we prioritize the creation of patent families centered on innovative concepts that may have strategic significance in joint venture discussions or other collaborations. We fully defend our client’s intellectual property interests by filing applications before such discussions.

At Stevens Law Group, we know that creating a strong patent portfolio involves many different aspects. It needs careful planning, technical skills, and a strong dedication to safeguarding our clients’ innovative goals. Our seasoned attorneys leverage their extensive experience and industry-specific insights to craft tailored IP strategies that position you for sustained success in the highly competitive life sciences arena.

Unlock the full potential of your innovations by partnering with Stevens Law Group. Contact us today to start on the journey of building a patent portfolio. This portfolio fortifies your competitive advantage and safeguards your groundbreaking discoveries for years to come.

Intellectual Property Basics for Startups: Patents

Patent Portfolio

What is a Patent?

A patent is a type of intellectual property that protects inventions that are new, useful, and non-obvious. It can cover various inventions, including electrical, biological, mechanical, chemical, or business processes. To obtain a patent, a startup must apply to the government in each jurisdiction where protection is sought and comply with the jurisdiction’s legal criteria. In the United States, a patent has a term of 20 years from the filing date, which can be extended under certain conditions.

Importance of Patent Ownership

Startups must own or have a license to the intellectual property rights developed by their founders, employees, or consultants. Failure to do so can lead to costly and potentially fatal issues when seeking investment or being acquired. For example, a disgruntled founder or employee can hold the startup hostage until the company revises the product to remove their contributions or makes a deal to obtain an assignment or license of the rights.

Sample Agreements

To document the assignment of a patent to a company, startups can use sample agreements such as:

  • Founder Stock Purchase Agreement: This includes a form of assignment agreement for founders assigning intellectual property, including inventions before a company’s formation.
  • Independent Contractor Agreement: Used by companies hiring contractors who may create inventions for the company.
  • Employee Proprietary Information and Inventions Agreement: Used by companies with employees to ensure they assign their inventions to the company.

Alternatives to Assignment

If an outright patent assignment is impossible, startups can consider obtaining a broad exclusive, perpetual, and irrevocable license. This license can be royalty-bearing or royalty-free, providing a viable alternative to full ownership.

When Do You Need a Patent?

Most products and services can be protected by a combination of intellectual property rights, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. Patents, copyrights, and trademarks are examples of ways to protect computer software. Microsoft protects certain functions of its Windows software with patents and uses copyright to protect the software code.

Examples of Successful Patent Licensing

Patent Portfolio

Here are some examples of startups and established companies that have successfully licensed their patents, with details about their patented technologies and licensing strategies:

EcoTech Innovations

Patented Technologies

Wave energy converters, and advanced energy storage systems (e.g., flow batteries, compressed air energy storage).

Licensing Strategy

EcoTech initially focused on licensing its wave energy patents to larger energy companies with the infrastructure and resources to implement and scale up the technology. They offered exclusive licenses in specific geographical regions to incentivize these companies to invest in the technology. As EcoTech became more well-known and credible, it began to license its energy storage patents as well, focusing on technology and energy businesses searching for cutting-edge solutions.


Qualcomm Logo

Patented Technologies

Wireless communication technologies (e.g., CDMA, LTE, 5G), mobile chipsets, and semiconductor designs.

Licensing Strategy

Qualcomm established a robust patent licensing program early on, securing licensing agreements with virtually every major mobile device manufacturer worldwide. Their strategy involved patent and technology licensing, offering manufacturers access to their patented technologies through chipsets and royalties. This approach generated significant revenue and established Qualcomm as a leader in the wireless industry.


Theranos Logo

Patented Technologies

Microfluidic blood testing devices, blood testing assays, and proprietary algorithms.

Licensing Strategy

Theranos initially pursued a hybrid strategy, seeking both partnerships and licensing deals with pharmaceutical companies. They licensed some of their patents to these companies, allowing them to use Theranos’ technology for research and development purposes. But Theranos’ attention turned to developing its testing infrastructure, which ultimately played a role in the company’s demise.

Kite Pharma

Kite Pharma logo

Patented Technologies

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy for cancer treatment.

Licensing Strategy

Kite Pharma primarily focused on developing its CAR-T technology and obtaining regulatory approvals for its therapies. While they did not extensively license their patents, they engaged in strategic partnerships and collaborations with larger pharmaceutical companies to facilitate clinical trials and commercialization efforts. This culminated in the acquisition of Kite Pharma by Gilead Sciences, demonstrating the significant value of their patented technology.

These examples highlight different approaches to patent licensing, with companies choosing strategies that align with their specific technologies, resources, and market goals. Successful patent licensing often requires a combination of technological innovation, strategic partnerships, and a robust intellectual property framework.

Collaborating with Stevens Law Group will help you realize the full potential of your discoveries. Get in touch with us right now to begin developing a portfolio of patents. Your competitive edge is strengthened, and your ground-breaking discoveries are protected for years to come with this portfolio.

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