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Patent Basics

USPTO Abandonment Rate Nearly Tripling Since COVID

Patents are being abandoned at historically high rates, pointing to a lack of confidence in the future. An updated analysis by BlueIron shows that the COVID crisis has markedly affected business’s IP strategy. A previous analysis done in March is here. The abandonment rate has shot up since COVID started, especially for Small Entities, which…

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Why Your Patent Attorney Does Not Want Your Patent To Be Granted

There is a perverse incentive for your patent attorney to *not* get your patent allowed. It is called “money.” Clients are at the mercy of their patent attorneys. For small companies who do not have inhouse patent counsel, they outsource their patents to outside counsel who have a financial incentive to keep a patent pending…

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Inventing and “feeling it”

It is easy to think you were an inventor when you really were not. When I was an engineer at HP, I wrote up 3-4 invention disclosures before a meeting, where we were going to discuss a new product.  At the meeting, I pitched a couple of the ideas *I had already submitted* for patenting. …

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1% Patent – 99% Execution

Note: this is an excerpt from my forthcoming 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…

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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 gets 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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