Often it is easy to draft patents that protect a particular embodiment has been developed. For example, if someone develops a new widget, the patent may describe how the widget functions and how it is assembled. This is run-of-the-mill patent writing.
I try to focus on the problem being solved by the invention and to include every possible embodiment that could be used to solve the problems of the brand new field. In the widget example, it was invented to solve a particular problem. In a crowded field, the problem may be pretty narrow. For example, if the invention was a lower cost version of a common item, the problem solved is cost reduction. By looking at the invention from a ‘problem solved’ standpoint, I can more easily identify other solutions to the lower cost solution. These other solutions give the patent much more commercial value, since it cuts a much wider swatch to protect the basic concept, which is cost reduction.
With the inventors, we brainstorm every way someone else could solve this problem. Some of the ideas are better than others, of course, but they all serve to develop a wider, stronger patent that will potentially cast a wider net for infringers. This makes any license much more valuable, as well as being a stronger business tool.