Patents and the Quid Pro Quo – How Bad Patents Can Harm A Company

The Quid Pro Quo – How Bad Patents Can Harm A Company

New inventors are often unaware of the quid pro quo that is fundamental to the patent system.

The inventors must show the world their innermost secrets of how to make or use their invention.  In exchange, the government grants a limited right in the form of a patent.

Read more

Avoid Wishful Patents

Avoid Wishful Thinking Patents

Many patents are filed with “wishful thinking”.  This occurs when someone wants protection on a product but does not realize what the scope of the invention will actually be.

For example, let’s say a company is making a fully automated, table top ice cream machine.  Consumers will load up the machine with various ingredients, and the machine will process the ingredients into a fabulous frozen dessert.  The CEO usually tells the patent attorney, “I want a patent on this.”  And the patent attorney goes to work.

Read more

Find A Good Patent Attorney

How to find a good patent attorney: find two attorneys, and have each one evaluate the other attorney’s work.

Here is a simple technique to find a good patent attorney: start with at least *two* candidates. Ask each attorney to give you a sample of their work, and take the sample to the other attorney. It would be best to get an issued patent, not just a patent application publication. Read more

Patent Myths

Getting a patent is the beginning, not the end.

The Patent Bar often gives terrible advice for startup CEOs, but we as patent attorneys have a fiduciary duty to advise the client. Many patent attorneys, especially pay-for-services outside counsel, are giving terrible advice that is purely self-serving. Their advice is only designed to put money in their pocket at the expense of their clients, but masquerades by “helping” the company.

The Patent Bar as a responsibility to educate startup companies about WHY to get patents, not just HOW. By focusing only on HOW to get patents, startup companies waste precious time and resources on worthless patents – and they make bad business decisions because they operate on incorrect assumptions.

Read more

How To Select A Patent Attorney

How to Select a Patent Attorney

Why is it that a patent attorney always seems to want to get a patent for you?  It is not just because he has to put his kids through college, it is because of the liability to which he is exposed.

The best way to select a patent attorney is to get the work product (issued patents) from two different attorneys – then have each attorney review the other attorney’s work.  You will learn so much about patents and patent law, as well as whether each attorney knows their stuff.