I have had a rash of independent inventors calling over the last few weeks, all with very sincere and heartfelt belief in their ideas. My first advice is always to do a business plan, but I also suggest that the independent inventor do as thorough a patent search as possible. The basic advice to a new inventor: learn everything you possibly can.
Posts Categorized: Business Theory for Patents
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.
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.
For licensed patent portfolios, a technology may be broken down into two major pieces with some sub-pieces.
I recently had a three way restriction requirement from the US PTO on an application. The examiner had restricted the invention three ways:
1. An apparatus with features possibly usable outside the client’s business.
2. A special instance of the apparatus directly relating to a product being developed by the client.
3. A method for using either invention 1 or 2.