Blogger Matt Gorniak offered several reasons why it makes sense for businesses to file for patent protection as soon as possible. In comparing the relatively low cost of filing a patent application with the astronomical median cost of defending yourself in a patent lawsuit, Gorniak quotes GPC's Alexander Poltorak. ("Matt Gorniak: File as Soon as Possible" Wall Street Journal Blogs - October 18, 2013)
Article excerpt: Research supports filing early, too. Filing a patent application with the USPTO can be done for $10,000 to $20,000 if you find a good IP lawyer that specializes in startups.
Contrast that with the findings of Alexander Poltorak, founder and CEO of General Patent Corporation, an IP firm that focuses on IP strategy, valuation, licensing, and enforcement. According to Poltorak, the median cost of defending yourself against patent litigation later if another party claims that you infringe their patent is a staggering $5.5 million.
...The bottom line is that startups should work with an experienced IP attorney to develop and implement an IP protection strategy as soon as they have the conviction to build a business and have sufficient proof of demand. If you wait too long, your costs will rise and your ability to protect your IP will diminish.