Our patent journey in the USA: From zero to 100

Milda Jokubaitė

August 3, 2023


0

As cybercrime continuously evolves, so does innovation in the cybersecurity industry. Since 2010, more than 2000 patents have been created in this field, with most cybersecurity patents registered in the United States. \n\nHaving recently got our 100th US patent granted, Nord Security now holds the highest number of US patents in the Baltic States.\n\nCurious how we managed to achieve this so fast? Watch the video featuring Aušra Diliautaitė, Head of IP and Business Operations at Nord Security, and Karolis Pabijanskas, Staff Engineer, R&D at NordVPN, or read below to find out.

What is a patent?

A patent is a government-granted right that gives the patent owner the exclusive right to make, use, sell, or offer to sell the invention for a limited period of time.

To be granted a patent, an invention must meet essential criteria – it must be novel, useful, and non-obvious.

Applications for patents can be submitted to national patent offices, such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the European Patent Office (EPO), or international organizations like the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for protection in multiple countries. Patents can help businesses protect their inventions and generate revenue.

The areas of most patents

Today, Nord Security has more than 100 US patents dedicated to the cybersecurity domain. They encompass a wide array of areas, including virtual private networks, data encryption, files and access management, password protection, malware detection, and beyond.

According to Aušra, the highest concentration of all patents at Nord Security are shared between its flagship product NordVPN, the leading password manager of 2023, NordPass, and the recent acquisition of AtlasVPN.

“The latest US patents are related to the features of NordVPN, the best-known product of the company, including the software functions of a virtual network called ‘Meshnet’ which allows direct access to devices located anywhere in the world through encrypted private tunnels. ‘Threat Protection,’ designed to safeguard against malicious software and surveillance tools, also features strongly. <...> Regarding NordPass, recently it developed a solution to securely store and manage passkeys – part of its ambition to contribute to the passwordless future,” shares Karolis Pabijanskas.

Aušra adds that the 100 patents milestone was driven by collaboration between various Nord Security teams and a forward-looking attitude: “The patent portfolio we have today is the result of the collaboration of tech talents from more than 15 teams. Many of them have contributed more than one idea, which has been instrumental in shaping our portfolio. Their efforts have played a key role in our innovation journey.”

The impact of having a patented innovation

We believe in shaping the future through continuous innovation and investment in developing cutting-edge solutions for a safer cyber landscape. To ensure the protection of our innovations, we take strategic measures to patent our inventions.

Besides patent safeguarding inventions, Karolis Pabijanskas adds that they play a crucial role in driving innovation culture.

quotation bubble

Aušra Diliautaitė also adds that people who engage in this patent creation process “acquire a new and quite unique skill set” that is incredibly valuable in today’s ever-changing tech world.

Another positive factor of having patented innovations is that it helps form a positive perception not only about the company’s products but also about the company as an employer: “It attracts top tech talents, supports their growth, and boosts employee engagement. Plus, having your name on a US patent is also influential.”

Aušra Diliautaitė agrees that the impact of having a patented idea is undeniable. It helps promote a company’s products on an institutional level, which is especially important in the B2B sector.

quote bubble

Factors driving patenting success at Nord Security

Combining our focus on innovation with proactive patenting, we strengthen our competitive edge while maintaining a friendly and collaborative innovation spirit at our company. Therefore, our efforts in fostering this are visible at various levels:

  • We have a dedicated online space for fast patent generation. According to Aušra, “Ideas can be swiftly turned into patents with minimal intrusions to the main worklines of employees. This investment also contributed to the growth of IP awareness within the company.”

  • We provide full organizational support for the patent development process. Aušra shares that it involves a dedicated patent department, which “sources patentable ideas across the company,” and multiple teams across the organization, such as Research & Development, Product and Business. They all work together to streamline the patenting journey and ensure that “the patent strategy and its outcome are properly aligned with the company's overall objectives."

  • Our workspace inspires innovation. From hacker and music rooms to silent zones for those seeking quiet, our office is thoughtfully designed for Nord people to foster their inventiveness.

  • We nurture continuous growth with various learning and development programs, helping generate ideas and turn them into impactful realities.

  • We regard every misstep not as a failure but as a learning opportunity and a stepping stone to success. This perspective enables us to cultivate an environment where innovation thrives.

  • We're a team of future shapers, constantly searching for the next big innovation and unafraid to push the boundaries.

This blend of future-shaping ambition, continuous learning, innovative workspace design, a growth mindset, and robust organizational support allows us to tackle the challenge of securing patents head-on and succeed.

7 tips for a successful invention patenting

The truth is that the patenting journey is not an easy one, yet the rewards for protecting our innovations make the effort worthwhile. With an impressive portfolio of 100 patents, our experts, Aušra Diliautaitė and Karolis Pabijanskas, shares some practical tips that can help simplify this process:

1. Don't dismiss your ideas too early: You might think that assembling a bunch of known fixes to solve a problem is only a “hack" and not worth exploring further. But often, it’s these combinations that offer a novel way of solving a problem. A rough idea just waiting to be refined could be gleaming within.

2. Seek challenging problems, and solve them: If you run into a problem that has no clear-cut solution, it might be a perfect candidate for a patent.

3. Collaborate and network across disciplines: The most patentable and impactful solutions stem from problems that cannot be solved alone. Brainstorm with colleagues from various backgrounds and see where the fresh inspiration takes you. Taking an off-the-shelf solution for your task can feel like fitting a square peg into a round hole, while tools from other fields could just fit the bill.

4. Stay updated: Keep yourself well-informed on the latest advancements and technologies in your field. This knowledge might spark fresh ideas and ensures you remain at the cutting edge.

5. Keep detailed records: Maintain thorough records of your ideas. Documentation is crucial when applying for patents, as it establishes a clear timeline of the invention's development.

6. Analyze and evaluate: Conduct patent searches to identify potential areas where your innovation could be novel and patentable. Assess the market demand and commercial viability of your ideas.

7. Consult with the patent team: Seek professional advice to understand the patenting process better and get guidance on how best you can leverage your inventive potential.