Role of the Patent: Silicon Valley vs. Norway

Patents may be viewed in Norway as an important part of Intellectual Property and of great value to the entrepreneur. It has even been stated that a patent ‘ensures a 20 year monopoly’. However in Silicon Valley a patent is simply a document of how something could be created.

Success comes from acting on the idea and patent to build a product, customer base, revenues and hence a company to turn the idea into reality. Another question is market need for and acceptance of the product developed from the patent. There are many examples of great ideas, technologies and products that were simply ‘before their time’.

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As an example of this, Silicon Valley based Next Step recently discovered information on granted patents in auto and logistics tech from IBM, Ford, Uber, and Google. Ford was granted a patent for a spring-loaded vehicle charging system for electric vehicles. It is only now much more than 20 years since the patent as granted that electric vehicles are mainstream both in Silicon Valley and Norway.

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So while it is great to receive a patent, real success comes through market understanding, dedication and success in building a product and company to meet market needs and timing.

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