Entrepreneurship

Adding to the Skill Stack

One of the smartest things I ever did was to take a job with the intention of adding to my skill stack. I have recommended this to several budding entrepreneurs who are planning on launching a business: take a job in a field where you want more expertise, or one which will help you understand…

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What Is Patent Infringement?

Many inventors and entrepreneurs believe that having a patent means they are “protected.” Having a patent just means you have a patent – whether someone infringes the patent (and you can actually enforce the patent) is a completely different question. The costs of patent enforcement are staggeringly high. Which is why there is patent insurance…

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How long does it take to get a patent?

It takes, on average, 2-4 years to get a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. But, you can change the speed based on your filing strategy. The chart above shows how long a patent was pending for the patents that issued to Small Entities in the first quarter of 2021. The blue…

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Provisional Patent Applications Hurt Startups

Bad Strategies for Startup Patents The patent bar does a terrible job of serving smaller clients – and provisional patent applications are a glaring example. In fact, they are taking advantage of them and causing harm to the clients they are supposed to serve. The graph shows a recent snapshot of office actions over the…

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Do Startups Give Up On Their Patents?

Patent valuation can be inferred from how much effort an applicant puts into their patent.  One of the common criteria for the more sophisticated patent scoring algorithms is the number of continuation applications. Having a pending application in a patent family is a huge asset. A pending application allows you to create new patent claims…

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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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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 being a “grinder”…

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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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