Maria Stout Shares Strategies for Advising Startups With Managing IP

| Maria V. Stout

Knobbe Martens partner Maria Stout spoke with Managing IP for the article, “Start me up: how firms advise fledgling businesses.” The article examined strategies that IP lawyers adopt when advising startup companies.

In the article Ms. Stout, whose practice includes advising small, fast-growth companies on strategic planning and management of IP assets, says that a cost-effective approach is something many startup clients appreciate. This includes, for example, having a client draft much of the provisional application that gets filed to establish an invention’s priority date but doesn’t get examined by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. “In those situations,” she says, “it would be appropriate to send examples to the client and have them do as much of the writing as they possibly can.” She added that in such applications she may advise against including claims that are not required, or spending resources on formal drawings.

Further on, Ms. Stout notes that participating in panels and speaking events—particularly with organizations that bring startups together—can be an effective way to reach a number of startups at once. As an example, she highlighted her recent participation at the Women's Venture Summit about what investors look for in start-up IP: “That’s an hour of my time to delve into some pretty nuanced topics with 12 founders in the room rather than me giving that basic background talk to all of them individually,” she said.

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