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 […]
Getting Patents Fast. Most of the major patent offices of the world, including the USPTO, have programs for getting patents fast. A typical patent may move through the system over several years, and 3-7 years is pretty typical. However, these expedited programs can get the patent very quickly, sometimes within 9-12 months. The USPTO has three […]
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 […]
Focus on Patent Quality First, Then Quantity It has been said that patents are like hyenas. One hyena can be easily defeated, but not a whole pack. When doing multi-million dollar patent negotiations, patent quantity is often more important than quality. A large number of patents, which may be 10 patents in some cases or […]
A Repeatable Due Diligence Analysis Prior to Filing The decision to file a patent is an investment that – if it pays off – will have a huge benefit to a company. The best way to ensure that the decision process is well thought out is to have a due diligence process that helps make […]
Startup Company Valuation Goes Up With Patents High quality, investment-grade patents can have spectacular impact on a startup’s valuation. In the early stages of a company, especially when technology risks and market risks abound, the patents may be the most valuable asset the company has.
Patents need to have real business value. Patents should align with the business they are designed to protect. They need to capture the business’s competitive advantage, period. When they don’t accomplish this, the patents have no meaningful value.
Patents should be understandable and easy to read. It takes far more effort to write a clear, clean, direct, and comprehensible patent application than a giant, incomprehensible “pile of words”. Understandable and readable patents get better examination from the USPTO, which means those patents are much more “legitimate” than those that are poorly written. Examiners find the […]
Should You Write Your Own Patent Application? Writing your own patent is sometimes worth considering, especially for relatively low value inventions where you do not expect to enforce, sell, or litigate the patent. Often, I consult with inventors who are considering writing their own patents or those who have already done so. In general, these […]
Inventors Can Be Their Own Worst Enemies There are times when an inventor can be very myopic. There was one inventor several years ago who insisted on very specific definitions of his invention and would not permit any variation from his vision of the invention. The inventor would not consider any expansive definitions or alternatives […]