Business Case for Patents

Write A Business Plan Before Thinking About A Patent

The best piece of advice I give inventors, both independent inventors and business managers, is to do at least a cursory business plan before seeking a patent. Not only are patents expensive, but they teach your competitors a lot about your strategies, technologies, and plans for the future. There really needs to be a good business case for disclosing your trade secrets before you do so.

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Working Within a Budget

Along the lines of the embedded patent attorney concept, I often work with my clients to develop a budget for patent protection, then map a strategy to get the best bang for the buck.

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Small Companies Understand Patents – Mostly

After walking the Hardware Show last week and talking to many different people, the conversation often turned to patents and patent strategies when I handed them my business card. I am a sucker for a good inventor-makes-good story, and there were lots of them at the show.

On the whole, I was quite impressed with the basic understanding of almost everybody with regard to patents. Almost everybody understood the basic concept of protecting their intellectual property and the basic business strategies that go along with it.

However, after the basics were covered, many people had some rather fundamental questions, such as misunderstanding a PCT filing, improperly marking their products, and not knowing when and if they should file new patents to cover new ideas.

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