Cleantech Patents: Common Problems

Dvorah Graeser
3 min readApr 24, 2019


Cleantech is one of the hottest topics trending right now on the startup scene. But, there are a number of concerns in this field when it comes to ideas and patents.

This article shines a light on the most common problems and concerns and helps you to solve these issues.

We help startups to secure their businesses through patents — this is no different when it comes to Cleantech entrepreneurs.

Cleantech Is Hard

Not only is it hard — it’s hardware-heavy. Most clean technology contains hardware elements. Renewable energy, green transportation and electric motors all have hardware solutions.

We are definitely not pretending that developing a clever mobile application solution is easy, but when it comes to production, you don’t need factories and assembly lines for software. Because of the scale of hardware required, entering the cleantech space is hard.

Cleantech is also heavily relying on fossil fuel — at least when it comes to price. The higher the oil price — the more cleantech solutions arise. Now that oil prices are lower, investing in clean technology doesn’t seem as urgent. We see a decline in recent years in cleantech patents, which can serve as an example of this correlation. Also, for better or for worse, cleantech is heavily influenced by politics…

However, this shouldn’t scare you out of the game.

Don’t worry about assembly lines and hardware production. When it comes to patents, you don’t need a working prototype — only a detailed design on your idea. You don’t even need an MVP — only a drawing of your idea. If you can whiteboard it, you can patent it. You can worry about production later when you’ve already secured investors.

Don’t worry about declining investments, either. When it comes to clean technology, investors are already planning for the long term. They invest in ideas not for a quick 5 to 10-year return, but for even longer time periods.

Even if your patent is 1-year-old, you can still secure investments from big VCs, if your idea is viable for production.

Cleantech startups are playing the long game. But, if you want to be in the game, you should think long term, too. Protecting your idea with a patent can help you to stand out from the crowd and appeal to investors.

You have proven your innovative idea with a patent, so they can invest in your company with managed risk.

Cleantech Is Complicated

Most clean technology contains elements that are “already known.” Sure, there’s nothing new to a Lithium battery, but what potential do you have if your idea has known elements?

Fear not, because a patent’s “wow-factor” tends to not come from their shockingly new elements, but because they combine already-known elements in a special, unique way.

Don’t worry about the known elements. Make sure your idea is unique enough to combine already known elements in a new, differentiated manner.

If your idea solves a problem in an innovative way — you can secure your patent.

Green business is booming.

Cleantech is all about thinking ahead and solving energy issues with unique solutions. Patents are the same: thinking ahead and securing your future.

Protect your idea today and worry about it…never! You can focus on the much more serious issues that will inevitably occur later, with the knowledge that your idea is safe.

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Dvorah Graeser

CEO of KISSPatent, providing strategic patent protection for tech startups