For many global entrepreneurs, patents may be viewed as an important part of Intellectual Property and of great value to the entrepreneur. In the Nordic, we have heard that a patent ‘ensures a 20-year monopoly’. However, in Silicon Valley, a patent is simply a document of how something could be created.Success comes from acting on the idea and patent to build a product, customer base, revenues and hence a company to turn the idea into reality. Another question is the market need for and acceptance of the product developed from the patent. There are many examples of great ideas, technologies, and products that were simply ‘before their time’.

As an example of this, Silicon Valley-based Next Step recently discovered information on granted patents in auto and logistics tech from IBM, Ford, Uber, and Google. Ford was granted a patent for a spring-loaded vehicle charging system for electric vehicles. It is only now much more than 20 years since the patent as granted that electric vehicles are mainstream across the world.

So while it is great to receive a patent, real success comes through market understanding, dedication and success in building a product and company to meet market needs and timing.

This article was recently published in Innomag.