Medical Device IP Strategy Often Depends on Exit Strategy

2 minutes

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Picture of Andrew Rapacke
Andrew Rapacke is a registered patent attorney and serves as Managing Partner at The Rapacke Law Group, a full service intellectual property law firm.

Strategy plays an important role in achieving success as a business because thoughtful planning can go a long way towards ensuring that your company heads in the direction that you want it to go. Smart companies employ multiple strategies on multiple fronts (e.g., the company has a marketing strategy, commercialization strategy, business strategy, intellectual property strategy, etc.) and these strategies often run in parallel with the aim of reinforcing various aspects of one another. There are two key strategies in particular that often heavily influence one another: business exit strategy and intellectual property strategy.

Exit Strategies Influence IP Strategies in the Medical Device Realm

There is a common expression in business that you should “always start with the end in mind,” meaning that it is important for a company to have an idea of what their business exit strategy will be in the future. Strategizing an exit plan in the early stages of developing and growing a company can influence how the company should budget time, money and resources. By extension, planning a business exit in advance can also impact how the company will go about protecting and securing intellectual property rights.

Innovative new medical devices and healthcare technology can save lives, improve the quality of patient care and enhance usability, accuracy and efficiency in the administration of care. When valuable contributions to medical device designs are made, or new medical devices are invented, it is important for companies to secure the appropriate intellectual property rights to protect their investments made for research and development.  

However, medical device companies often lack unlimited funds and an abundance resources to dedicate to securing every possible type of intellectual property that can be obtained. Rather, many medical device companies opt to select IP protection routes that are in alignment with their business goals. A company’s business exit strategy often heavily influences the company’s intellectual property strategy because IP assets can be used as a tool for achieving desired business exit outcomes.

Common Exit Strategies And The Roles That IP Plays

For a company that is planning on remaining in business for many years to come, it may be prudent to seek a wide assortment of intellectual property rights in order to carve out an area of legal protection around the company’s leading medical device products. Comprehensive yet focused IP rights creates a barrier to entry for potential competitors, gives the company a competitive advantage and keeps unlawful copycats at bay. Since the company has no immediate plans to wind down its operations, the company is likely to see a return on its IP investment dollars that is worthwhile.

On the other hand, medical device companies that have planned for exit have other considerations to think about. For instance, if a small medical device company has a business strategy that ends with the goal of the company being acquired by a larger, more specialized medical device company, the small medical device company could hone its IP strategy to develop an IP portfolio that will make it an attractive acquisition target.

At The Rapacke Law Group we understand the important role of strategy in the success of your medical device business. We take the time to get to understand our clients’ business goals and objectives so that we can help our clients develop an intellectual property strategy that will have maximum benefit. Why not see what we are about by scheduling a free initial consultation with one of our IP attorneys today?

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