For a start up, industrial property is an important issue. On one hand, because it is always its only asset, and on another, because it can't relatively afford much for patent registration, trademark or design right. We are going to explain you how a start up uses the industrial property in three key steps: at its beginning, during its first months or years of development and during its growth and fundraising. When it starts, or a few months before it starts, the questions that a project leader must ask himself are about his strategy policy of industrial property. For this, it is important to know the landscape of intellectual property, in other words: what do the main actors of his field of activity do? Who registers patents? What are those patents about? What trademarks are registered by a third party? In order to identify what his strong points are, what his points of differentiation are compared to what the compatitors have, also in order to determine what the risks are, in terms of freedom of exploitation, in order not to enter ways which are blocked by patents of a third party and it is also a good opportunity to understand the industrial property policy of the main actors of his sector, and, from this point, formalise his own intellectual property policy. It is also the right moment to secure his trademark, his domain names, at a moment when the issue is not yet present, in other words if you choose a trademark that turns out to be already registered by third parties, it is not very complicated to change the name, it will be much harder a few years after when you start to build up a reputation. To register a domain name doesn't cost a lot at all, a few dozens of euros, but if you do it as soon as possible, it prohibits someone else from getting the place and blocking the use of an attractive domain name in relation to your trademark. It is also the moment when it is essential to clarify your rights towards the university, your employer, a public research centre where you developped a part of your technology, by setting valuation agreements which will secure your future project. Then, you will enter a time where the start up will start producing results and you will have to ask a few questions to protect your savoir-faire: to register or not to register patents for your inventions which are critical compared to your technological choices, also questions about the traceability of the software components and the awareness of the existence of different types of so called free licences, but which actually are constraining. In order to make computer developments compatible not only with the several licences which are applicable to the integrated components, but also with the future projects of the company. It is also the moment when you must settle the management tools for the industrial property of human ressources, inside the company, as the French code of intellectual property anticipates the fact that the company makes extra payments for the employees these aren't excessive payments, it can be a few hundred euros, but it is important for the employees to be motivated and to follow the innovation policy and the industrial property of the company. It is also the moment when you must organise relations with your partners from a contractual standpoint, it can be partners for technological collaborations, suppliers, for example for the development of a website or the creation of a logo. Then, an important step is when the start up calls in investors to raise funds and during the fundraising, inevitably, questions of quality and strength of the industrial property policy will be raised. Usually, due diligence arrives at a late state of a fundraising process, a few weeks before the closing. It is important to be well prepared about it so you don't have to handle this in emergency. To be prepared, six months before the closing, proceed to a blank due diligence to organise your industrial property policy really well, to identify strengths and weaknesses of your industrial property budget, to settle remedial actions so you won't be blocked by this question at the end of the fundraising. It is also the right time to clarify and formalise the financial value of your intellectual property rights. Generally, the method employed is based on the future cash-flow, taking into account the future incomes, balanced by the quality of the industrial property. The value given by the investor to the company will be based on its capacity to generate future incomes. And the intellectual property will be taken into account, as it guarantees that these future incomes help the company and don't disappear in favour of the competitors. Finally, it is the moment to raise the question of international protection: will you register patents in China, in India, in the United States? This depends on the international ambition of the company. To summarize, the industrial property policy is not an end in itself. It must be dedicated to the company project. In order to lead this intellectual property policy in a coherent manner, you must anticipate and ask the right questions, at the earliest possible moment, so that you don't have to correct the mistakes and be slowed down because of decisions which haven't been taken at the right moment. Here are a few mistakes to avoid. For those who watched the movie 'The Social Network', you noted the problem of inveiglement (either legitimate or not) of a project initiated by a third party. Be careful with a project you start which is based on works that have been led in a laboratory, which could possibly pretend to have pre-existent rights. Here is another mistake not to do: to base your company project and your business plan on patents, trademarks which can't be used because pre-existent rights exist and are held by third parties who could protest if your company grows. Also, make sure not to oversell the industrial property. Don't imagine that the industrial property will allow you to seize an idea, a concept, to have a monopoly on a conceptual idea. Also make sure not to spend too much money for the industrial property and not to get a patent, trade mark or design right fever, this will cost a lot of money and you are not sure that it will actually benefit the company and its development. Finally, as I already said, don't forget about the contractual organisation of industrial property rights with your employees, your sub-contractors, your partners and your costumers, in order to secure the business model of your company.