Angel investors and venture capitalists invest billions of dollars each year in private placements to fund new and innovative technology projects and companies. And, in many cases, they do so based primarily on the project’s or company’s intellectual property, including its patents.
Frequently, however, they invest without first undertaking even the elementary due diligence necessary to determine the degree to which that property can be protected from infringement.
Before investing in any private placement, it is important that an investor discover, and fully understand, what has been done before and what is already on the market. For example, are there:
— Past or present U.S. patents covering similar products?
— Past or present international patents covering similar products?
— Unpublished but pending patent applications for similar products?
— Similar non-patented products being sold in the U.S. or elsewhere?
A detailed search provided by SearchQuest™ Patent Search can give an investor the critical information he or she needs beforehand in order to make an informed decision about whether or not to invest in a project. It will reveal whether of not the project’s underlying intellectual property or products may be infringing on prior art or someone else’s IP, either here in the U.S. or abroad.
Knowing the answers to these questions is an indispensable critical first step that every investor should take before deciding to invest.