The survey results show that patents are more widespread among startups than has been previously reported, while the reasons for acquiring patents differ across industries. Patents are more common and more highly valued in biotechnology and medical device startups than in early-stage software and Internet firms.
“Biotech and medical device startup companies regard patents as key for attaining competitive advantage from their innovations,” said report co-author and Berkeley Law professor Pamela Samuelson. “Software entrepreneurs, on the other hand, find it’s much more critical to move fast in the marketplace and to use copyright and trademark protections. Patents take a back seat.”