The 4×4 ABCD Patent Tactics (Non-US Edition) – How To Synchronize Non-Incremental R&D With IP

This is where I am coming from: in my 4×4 Innovation Strategy matrix, IP protection is vital, especially for non-incremental innovation projects.

You surely remember that my 4×4 Innovation Strategy (free download of my book here) advises innovators to be ready to pivot or stop at each of the four technology readiness levels (“TRL”s): Idea, Proof of Concept, Prototype, and Product.

It is a no-brainer that in each TRL, and not only at the final TRL stage, some form of IP protection should be established: this protection prevents the innovator from losing novelty by presenting the idea in the market. And presenting the idea in the market is important because non-incremental innovators should pivot their products based on market responses, which means that they alter the initial design of a product if the market does not want that product. The challenge is deciding when and how to file patent applications amidst these pivots.

My 4×4 ABCD Patent Tactics prevent the following from happening: you have filed a patent application sometime during the development of your product but at the time of your final product being ready for sale, your patent is no longer protecting product due to many pivots during development.

Instead of filing one single patent application sometime during the development of your product, according to my 4×4 ABCD Patent Tactics, you file a new patent application for every new technology readiness level, and right before doing a Market Validation. And subsequent international filings are based on these initial applications, claiming their priorities.

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