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The S-Curve, Innovation, and Intellectual Property

Every technology grows on an “S-curve.”  The S-curve cycle is where an idea is born, then it struggles to get product-market fit through infancy.  Once it begins to get traction, there is a period of growth, after which the technology levels out and eventually declines. You can think of the S-curve as the growth cycle…

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2020 Has Been The Best Year

Retrospective On 2020 I am sad to see 2020 go.  It has been a monumental year in many ways.  Lots of things were shaken very hard, and many things broke under the stress, but many things were improved. Life is consistent about one thing: change.  You can choose to complain that things are not what…

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I Do Not Want a Patent I Do Not Deserve

I do not want an entrepreneur to bet the farm on a patent that has no value. It is really tempting to think that you can get an enormously valuable patent.  Then you can dominate some big market and get paid handsomely. Entrepreneurs are fond of saying that their patents are “broad,” and investors desperately…

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Betting on the Home Run

Angel investing requires analyzing the ability of the entrepreneur to make their business happen. Entrepreneurs who bet everything on a single home run are very poor investments. It is much better to find the “grinder” startup who is willing to do the hard work. Betting on the home run – instead of doing the heavy…

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Using Patents as Blackmail

A case study on why you need the right inventors agreements for a startup: a former employee turns patent troll. My company finances patents for small to medium sized companies, so I often get inquires from people who want to build out a patent portfolio.  A while ago, I received a call from an inventor…

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Startup Fundraising – Pluses and Minuses

From bootstrapping to venture funds, there are many different avenues. Fundraising for a startup company often takes more skill, talent, and innovation than creating the product or service you want to deliver. I deal with IP-centric businesses where patents are a core asset, and that implies that the entrepreneur is creative, innovative, and tries new…

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Types of Patents

What are the different types of patents? Patents have been the bedrock of innovation, powering the innovations of our early republic, through the Industrial Revolution and patents continue to play a big role in today’s technology improvements. Over 10,000,000 patents have been issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and over 400,000 are…

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Hacking the business plan for startup funding

Want to start your own side-hustle business? Thinking about launching a new product line in your corporation? Both projects have the same steps. Get a basic business plan together Years ago, it was popular to have 30 page business plans that spelled out endless detail.  Today’s thinking is to use “Lean Methodology” to start working…

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How long do patents last?

How long do US patents last? Different types of patents have different lifespans.  All of the answers below are for United States (US) patents. How long do utility patents last? Utility patents last 20 years from the earliest priority or 17 years from the date of issue, whichever is longer. Note that you must pay…

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Pre-seed Funding: You Can Do A Lot Of The Work Upfront

Start with marketing – not product design. Thinking about pre-seed funding? Getting your company off the ground is a challenging task, but far too many entrepreneurs want to run before they even crawl.  It is easy to imagine a busy staff of great, motivated employees working for you, money rolling in, and interviews and quotes…

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