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Patent Basics

1% Patent – 99% Execution

Note: this is an excerpt from my book “Startup IP Strategy.” As we all know, business is usually 10% idea and 90% execution.  The successful companies rarely have the single best product on the market, but they do have successful execution. Startup companies – and any business with a new product – spend more time…

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Data Driven Patents

Note: this is an excerpt from my forth coming book “Startup IP Strategy.” The patent system requires that we look ahead and guess the future.  If we are right, there is a huge reward.  This process can be powerfully addictive, as it is the same psychology as lottery tickets. Patents are bets that the marketplace…

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How Big Law Hurts Startups

Many inventors and entrepreneurs like to tout their relationship with a Big Law Firm.  It is too bad they do not know how the sausage gets made.  Touting that Big Law wrote your patents is NOT a badge of quality. I review countless patents for startup companies and talk to lots of entrepreneurs. One of…

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USPTO’s Track One vs Patent Prosecution Highway

Why the USPTO’s Track One is the mark of a lazy patent attorney. If your patent attorney is suggesting “Track One” to expedite your patent case – be wary. It is a trap. I would go so far as to say that Track One is the mark of a lazy patent attorney. Let me explain…

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The Entrepreneur and the Investor – the story of bad IP protection.

An angel investor will ask the entrepreneur “Do you have a patent?”  The next thing the entrepreneur does is run out and get a patent. Is this smart? Note: this excerpt is from my forthcoming book “Startup IP Strategy.” The calculus is simple to the entrepreneur: they think a patent will help to raise money,…

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Patents and Psychology – The Fear of Loss and the Lottery Ticket

The Fear of Loss A patent brings out weird psychology of entrepreneurs and investors alike.  They are their own worst enemy. Note: this is an excerpt from my forthcoming book “Startup IP Strategy.” From Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, we learn that fear is 9x more powerful a motivator than pleasure. The notion…

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What to Consider When Filing Patents Internationally

Many entrepreneurs like to go after foreign filings.  The normal course of business is to file a PCT application, then enter “national phase,” typically about two and a half years later. (“PCT” means Patent Cooperation Treaty, often mistakenly called an “international patent application.”  The PCT is an agreement where almost all countries of the world…

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Patents Help Sell Your Company

When building a patent portfolio with the intent to sell a company, the main audience is not potential infringers, but the acquiring company. Depending on the situation, the acquiring company may have any of several different reasons for the acquisition. For example, the acquiring company may be looking to add an existing product to its product…

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Patent Myths – “Broad Claims are a Good Thing.”

Inventors like to think that their patents are “broad” and somehow that is good.  It is not. The risks with broad patents are that they are more easily invalidated, but it is basically a sales pitch that patent attorneys use to make more money. Narrow patents are bad, too. (Learn more about this and other…

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