For One Small Device Company, A Big Company IP Strategy
This article was originally published in Start Up
Unlike many small medical device companies, Arthrocare insists it can implement an aggressive IP enforcement strategy because it has built a strong patent network around fundamentally new technology. Not only do the lawsuits stop patent infringers, they also give Arthrocare leverage it needs to initiate cross-licensing and licensing deals, gaining access to other important technologies. But inherent in this approach is a risk: uncertainty.
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Therapeutic hypothermia companies have largely been disappointing for investors who poured in -- and lost -- fortunes investing in promising cooling technologies. But while many first-generation start-ups no longer exist, the technologies they developed live on within the large corporations that paid pennies on the dollars to acquire them. Although the pioneers in the field failed to meet their objectives, there is reason for hope. Their corporate acquirers have continued to move the technology down the field. The end zone may not be in sight, yet, but advancement is slow and steady. Meanwhile, medical societies including the American Heart Association have issued guidelines on how hospitals should employ therapeutic hypothermia in treating patients. Similarly, some decision makers - including the City of New York - are requiring patients be taken to facilities that offer cooling treatments, giving the field the legitimacy it lacked for so long. Finally, innovation is beginning to take root again as new start-ups develop a next generation of therapeutic hypothermia devices. Taken together, these developments suggest that patient temperature management may arrive someday soon.
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