Sarath Malepati through personal experience shared with us some wisdom and insights into strategically protecting IP to further the success of your business. His work has focused on projects that will improve the human condition and is a firm believer in the open source concept and collaboration in order to improve society as a whole. That said, he has experienced and dealt with first hand the importance of being careful who you are talking with and how to setup mechanisms to safeguard your ideas. He shared with us the importance of being vigilant in the early stages of your idea, and to not assume that larger companies are not potentially a threat to the success of your business.
His strongest advice was around the importance of establishing your IP strategy before market deployment. He explained that this strategy needs to consider your goals, risks, and should involve good IP council. He mentioned how it was important to know what levers are at your disposal before releasing your idea into the market, and to try and stay below the radar while pursuing early customers.
He encouraged the group that throughout this process you have to maintain self-discipline while being patient and focusing on the long term. He stressed the importance of remembering that no one knows your product better than you, and to keep your focus on customers, not competitors.
Good thoughts from someone that has been through the trials of IP protection first-hand!