Tech startups desire control over their own innovations. Not only is this the desire of startups themselves, but also of potential investors; patent protection is a must. The arrival of V.O. Patents & Trademarks as an incubation partner of SBIC Noordwijk underscores that need. Patent attorney Jasper Groot Koerkamp explains, ‘Startups deserve the best support when it comes to their patent rights.’

‘It is a good paradigm’, Jasper Groot Koerkamp says, ‘to apply innovations from space here on earth. V.O. would like to contribute to that. ESA is one of the leading knowledge institutes in Europe. That is an environment in which we enjoy working. That suits V.O.’ The company supports startups, SMEs, multinationals and knowledge institutes in optimal use of their own inventions. V.O. is one of the largest patent agencies in Europe and has branches in various European countries.

Office hours at Space Business Innovation Centre Noordwijk
Groot Koerkamp says, ‘Every 2nd Tuesday and last Thursday of the Month we will be at in Noordwijk from 09:00 till 17:00 for all companies in SBIC Noordwijk. You can meet V.O. for a no obligation discussion about the options for protecting your invention. Inventors are sometimes keen to engage with other parties but are afraid they will steal their ideas. That is one of many areas in which we can assist.’ SBIC Director Martijn Seijger is pleased with the arrival of partner V.O. in Noordwijk, ‘Our startups operate in an international market, so it is useful if our patent partner can offer that experience and support.’

Tender Evaluation Board member

V.O. also has a seat in the Tender Evaluation Board where new applications are assessed as to whether they match the incubation programme ESA BIC Noordwijk. Seijger says, ‘If we admit a company, they have an obligation to speak to our incubation partners within a hundred days and that now includes V.O.. This makes sure that they are getting aware of and know how to deal with the subject of patent protection, a subject that startups often avoid. It is very time-consuming and difficult. And if, in consultation with the patent attorney, they decide to postpone the patent issue, they do that after careful consideration and in close consultation.’

Starters deserve support with patent applications

‘It is the energy and dynamism of starters that appeals to me at SBIC’, explains Groot Koerkamp. ‘They are often far more engaged in pure innovation than large businesses. I believe starters also deserve the best support when it comes to patents and the corresponding strategy. That ensures they can enter into discussions with far larger partners well prepared and able to stand their ground.’ Seijger concludes, ‘I am really looking forward to this partnership. We are a good match, and that will provide many benefits for our participating companies. I am confident of that.’