How IP-Backed Loans Work

Your intellectual property is usually the hardest-fought asset you have. Intellectual property, and particularly patents, are often the most valuable intangible assets your company owns. There are several ways to use your IP in finance, and the most straightforward is to borrow against your company’s IP assets. This form of intellectual property financing is becoming…

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The USPTO Claims it Wants to Ensure ‘Robust and Reliable’ Patents – But Its Questions Imply Another Assault on Patent Owners

All of the suggested changes to continuation practices are extraordinary in their breadth and reach, and place severe and staggering restrictions on an Applicant’s ability to craft meaningful and useful claims. Last October, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a Request for Comments on USPTO Initiatives To Ensure the Robustness and Reliability…

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USPTO Request for Comment Docket No. PTO-P-2022-0025

The USPTO had a “Request for Comments on USPTO Initiatives To Ensure the Robustness and Reliability of Patent Rights.” I had the opportunity to draft the response for the Angel Capital Association, which you can access here. An abridged copy of my comments were also published by IPWatchDog.com, which are reproduced here: The USPTO Claims…

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You – And Only You – Are Responsible for Your Patent

The sad story of how an inventor was taken advantage of by his patent attorney. In 1989, Steven Byrne invented an accessory to a string trimmer – the ubiquitous ‘weed whacker’ used for landscaping.  Mr. Byrne was a landscaper.  He developed his invention so that he could use the string trimmer for edging a sidewalk. …

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The Importance of Patent Searches

The easiest way to make your patent more valuable: do a patent search. One of the first things everyone sees, including me as I start a patent valuation analysis, is the list of references on the front page of your patent. There are two kinds of references on the front page: those with stars and…

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Patents on Vision vs Patents on Inventions

There is a big difference between an entrepreneur’s vision and the entrepreneur’s inventions.  Often the entrepreneur (and their investors) confuse the two. Entrepreneurs are fond of having big, bold visions of the future.  A future of self-driving cars or virtual reality universes or DNA-based pharmaceuticals that fix every medical problem or hyperloop transport or whatever. …

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Good Stewards of Capital

The single most important thing you need to show an angel investor. Angel investors hear countless pitches from all kinds of entrepreneurs, some of which are extraordinarily capable scientists and visionaries who have fantastic technical solutions to a problem. Many times, these entrepreneurs stumble when trying to explain the business. Nobody Cares About the Technology…

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Feedback – and the Truth

Good feedback needs to hurt. Anyone who is trying to pitch a new business idea needs to hear the hard truth, whether or not you are an entrepreneur doing the angel investment circuit or you are pitching your boss on upgrading your computer. It may be very uncomfortable to hear the truth, but the worst…

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Investment Grade Patents are not for Patent Trolling

They are for business negotiations. Patent trolling is the business of extortion.  Generally, patent trolling is when someone sues for patent infringement but is willing to settle for less than the cost of litigation.  It is extortion, pure and simple. Patent litigation will cost at least $500,000 in attorney’s fees to get to the first…

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Crystalizing Your Invention

One of the many curses of a self-written provisional patent application Entrepreneurs buy into the myth – perpetuated by the patent bar – that they should write and file provisional patent applications before bringing their product to market. There are many reasons why provisional patent applications are wrong for startups, but this post explains yet…

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