HypnoVR obtains a European patent for its digital pain and anxiety management therapy.

After becoming the first company in France to obtain a patent for its digital pain and anxiety therapy combining medical hypnosis and virtual reality, HypnoVR has just been granted a European patent by the European Patent Office (EPO).

While this award rewards the innovative dimension of HypnoVR’s solution, it also reflects a strong choice made at the outset of HypnoVR’s adventure…going back “a few” years.

The obstacle course: Patenting for medical device startups

HypnoVR, a certified hypnosedation solution for medical use
HypnoVR, a certified hypnosedation solution for medical use

In the dynamic world of startups, and specifically in the medical device sector, obtaining patents is a crucial milestone. For an innovative company like HypnoVR, the process starts with a unique invention as early as 2016, followed by in-depth research to ensure its novelty. The next step involves drafting a patent application, a meticulous technical and legal document detailing the invention.

Once an application has been filed, the Patent Office examines its validity on the basis of criteria such as novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability. This process can last several years, during which regular exchanges between the inventor and the patent office are necessary to clarify or adjust certain aspects. Once a patent has been granted, it gives the startup exclusive rights to its invention. A striking example is Medtronic, whose patents on innovative medical devices have made it a leader in its sector.

This obstacle course is as complex as it is time-consuming, and startups are often ill-equipped to deal with the expertise of the patent office. In this context, the right support can help you go further. At HypnoVR, we have been working with ICOSA for many years to protect our patents.

Protecting ideas : From patent to intellectual property strategy

After 5 years, the innovation developed by HypnoVR is now recognized and protected not only in France, but also in Europe. HypnoVR becomes the first European player in its field to have its innovation protected at European level,this is a guarantee of confidence and security for HypnoVR’s hospital and clinic customers, industrial partners in the deployment of its solution, and current and future investors, for whom intellectual property is a major issue.

While patents are a cornerstone of innovation and idea protection, they are also one of the pillars of an intellectual property strategy designed to protect all the intangible assets developed by HypnoVR. These include, of course, the trademarks in which the company invests to develop its business and products, the computer code on which the software it develops is based, and the drawings illustrating the actual design of its products and services.

Given the long time it takes to obtain a patent, it’s legitimate to wonder about the value of this investment in view of the often short lifespan of start-ups, which risk disappearing before even benefiting from this protection. Industry plays a crucial role in the development of an intellectual property strategy. In the case of HypnoVR, for example, which specializes in medical devices, this strategy has gradually developed into a major intangible asset for the company. In particular, it has enabled HypnoVR to effectively defend its rights against a European competitor attempting to use its trademark in other countries.

Intellectual property for startups: A lever for financing

For startups, especially in the medical device sector, intellectual property is an invaluable financial asset. Patents and trademarks are not only legal protections, they are also indicators of value and innovation for investors.

Investment funds scrutinize these IP assets as evidence of a startup’s viability and potential. A robust IP portfolio can significantly increase the chances of attracting financing. For example, biotech start-ups with attractive patents have often been the target of lucrative takeovers by big pharma. What’s more, patents can be turned into revenue streams through licensing. A famous case in point is CRISPR Therapeutics, whose patents on gene-editing technology have attracted major investment and generated substantial revenues through licensing agreements. In this way, IP becomes an essential tool for negotiating with partners and investors, giving startups like HypnoVR a major competitive edge.

For HypnoVR, the patent adventure and the development of our intellectual property strategy are a reflection of our entrepreneurial adventure:

It’s important to get started early, but at the right time, otherwise you risk investing scarce resources in the wrong way. Yes, protecting your intangible assets has a cost, or rather represents an investment;

– Being well supported is a major contributor to success. We have been supported by different firms depending on the phases and subjects, and beyond the technical skills, the human relationship is also important;

The value of the investment is always important, and we have abandoned certain protection projects in view of the balance between the value of the asset and the cost of the investment.

Nicolas Schaettel, CEO d’HypnoVR

Join the movement!

More than 500 institutions are already using HypnoVR to improve their patients’ experience of care.