Posts Categorized: Patents in Business

What does a patent cost?

A typical US patent will cost about $40,000, according to data from the American Intellectual Property Legal Association bi-annual survey. This is the average cost across the US for a patent on a “high technology” invention, and your mileage may vary. This price is highly variable – sometimes it will be less, and sometimes much, much more. For a financing solution that makes the fees predictable and uniform, see BlueIronIP.

I break the patent cost into drafting (“preparation”) and prosecution. Preparation includes everything until filing, then prosecution is everything from filing to issue. Preparation is understanding the invention, drafting the claims and the specification, and the odds and ends that need to be done to file the patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

The prosecution portion is going back and forth with the patent examiner. The examiner issues an Office action rejecting the claims, and the attorney/agent responds. This back-and-forth can be frustrating at times, but is a necessary part of making sure your patent is strong. The industry average is 4.2 Office actions per case. Just because your patent was rejected initially, that is not a bad thing.

Typically, the costs are roughly half preparation and half prosecution.

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BlueIron IP – Financing Patents

BlueIron IP finances patents for companies where the cost of capital is high.

Your capital is very expensive as a startup, and needs to be used to develop prototypes, marketing, building inventory, fulfilling sales, and general expenses. When capital is expensive, it makes much more sense to rent rather than buy.

BlueIron IP gives you full control of your patent assets so you can keep competitors out of your marketplace, but the financing arrangement manages your expenses. Your patent expenses are fixed, smooth, and predictable, so that IP is a manageable budget item.

BlueIron’s financing arrangement is similar to a commercial lease-back arrangement, where you have a buy-back option that can be exercised at any time, yet BlueIron is providing the capital for obtaining and managing your patent portfolio.

The Net Present Value of BlueIron’s financing can be less than the up front cost of paying for a patent, especially when your cost of capital exceeds 10%.

A huge side benefit to using BlueIron: professional portfolio management that has a vested interest in the *business value* of your patents.

Check out BlueIron IP for more details or contact me at russ.krajec@blueironip.com.

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Patents for Defending Your Company

Many entrepreneurs and business owners want patents that will defend their company against competitors, but few companies actually have a proactive plan for investing their patent assets wisely. BlueIron IP is one way for you to get the benefit of a professionally managed patent portfolio at an affordable cost.

To defend your company, you want patents that are (1) litigation worthy and (2) relate directly to your company’s products and services.

Litigation worthy patents are not the garden variety patents that you get from your local patent attorney. The primary goal of the litigation worthy patent is to get a good examination. This means presenting the invention clearly and succinctly so that the examiner grasps the invention and can do a good search. The second goal is to avoid all of the many pitfalls that can sink a patent in litigation, such as avoiding patent profanity, providing too little (or too narrow) support for variations, and many others.

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Most Patents are a Waste of Money – Patents Need to be Curated

Most patents are a waste of money. Why is it that Apple and Samsung each have many thousands of patents, but when they start a patent war with each other over, they only assert a small handful of patents?

For a small business with limited resources, judiciously selecting ideas for patenting can make the difference between having a valuable portfolio and a worthless one. The key factor on the value of an idea is not the ‘coolness’ of the technology, but whether or not the industry is likely to use the technology at some point in the future. This vision is much, much wider than the typical entrepreneur struggling in the trenches to build a business.

Curating a patent portfolio requires looking past a product going into production, past the immediate, short term business goals of your business, and into the future of your industries as well as other industries.

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