So you’re a freshly started entrepreneur and you have a brilliant idea that is going to solve a major world problem with technology from space. You probably want to shout it from the rooftops, right?

Best not.

Patent attorney Lisa Williams (c) Haseltine Lake

“One thing that companies may not realise is that they should not disclose their innovation before they file for patent protection and that they should talk to a patent attorney first,” says patent attorney Lisa Williams from Haseltine Lake. As a partner to ESA BIC Noordwijk, Haseltine Lake advises startups in the ESA BIC program on matters related to intellectual property (IP). Once a month Lisa or one of her colleagues host an open consultation in Noordwijk for ESA BIC incubatees.

“We can advise on how to best protect your innovation, the design of your product, and even your brand and company name. This is important for startups, because you don’t want to work hard on building a reputation and then find out that your company name already exists.”

“We can also perform various searches and market analyses. In an early stage, startups might not be aware what the competition does or if their innovation is truly new. Using our HL Analytics searching service, you can find out if you are free to operate and whether your innovation is patentable.”

Even though patenting an innovation might seem difficult and can be quite costly, as a patent attorney, Lisa sees many advantages. “With a patent, you can take action to stop your competition if necessary, or your competition could take a licence from you under the patent and you could make money by receiving royalties.”

Haseltine Lake’s attorneys all have different technical and scientific backgrounds, which helps them to truly understand their clients’ technology and draft strong patent applications. Lisa, for instance, has a Masters degree in physics with a focus on astronomy, which makes for an excellent match to the companies in ESA BIC

Noordwijk. “It’s great to see space technology being transferred to non-space sectors.”

Haseltine Lake is a partner of ESA BIC Noordwijk. Lisa Williams (or another patent attorney) from Haseltine Lake is present in Noordwijk one afternoon per month for an open consultation with incubatees.