Posts Categorized: Patents in Business

Another Use For Provisionals

Provisional patent applications give the inventor the right to label a product “Patent Pending”, which can have enormous business effects. The mere label of “Patent Pending” can be enough deterrent to keep competitors out of a business arena.

Provisional applications can be obtained with very little disclosure. In theory, a cocktail napkin with a figure and a little description may even suffice.

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Use Patents to Protect a Business, Not to Protect an Idea

Are you selecting the right things to patent? It is okay to start with the Big Inventive Idea, but look at the business as a whole to select what actually gets protected.

People come to me with inventive concepts that they want to patent. The engineer or inventor in them relishes the “cool factor” that comes from that incredible moment of conception of the concept. My experience is that the excitement and euphoria over the invention is often palatable years afterward. In fact, there are several of my own inventions that to this day bring goosebumps when I think of that very moment when I came up with the concept.

These concepts are often the ones written up in invention disclosures or used by the independent inventor to start a business.

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Claiming Business Method Patents: Taking Advantage of Long Pendency

I have often wondered the role of business method patents. Today, I was able to attend a very interesting talk by John Doll, the Commissioner for Patents. One thing that the Commissioner pointed out was that there is a 111 month backlog for business method patents. That is almost 10 years worth of backlog. Is this a problem or an opportunity?

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