Patent Strategy

Patents as Lottery Tickets

Patents have an asymmetry of reward. BlueIron capitalizes on this in a different way. Just like the torn up betting tickets at the race track, the patent system is littered with endless stacks of worthless patents.  Each patent representing a “good idea” of some inventor who thought it would make some money. A widely quoted…

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The Patent System Eliminates Monopolies

Every Word in a Patent Hurts You – So Be Careful The patent system is a quid pro quo – an exchange – where you give away trade secrets and you get back some patent rights.  This system has been around since well before the founding of the US and has been codified and refined…

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IP Indemnification for Small Companies

I am “too small” to get sued for patent infringement. Many small companies believe, falsely, that they are too small to be sued.  Very small companies can be targets for patent trolls, but what happens when their customers are sued? One of my friends had a small startup that had an automated bot for a…

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The “Walking Malpractice Suit”

The Attorney/Client Relationship for Patent Attorneys has Some Weird Nuance. The fiduciary responsibility (and the fear of being sued for malpractice) is why attorneys explain everything in dreadful detail.  It is not just that they bill by the hour.  The attorneys are trying to lay all the options out on the table and make sure…

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HP CapShare: How a failed product yielded huge revenue

HP’s CapShare hand-held scanner is a great example of patents that come from problems solved on they way to the vision – not the vision itself. Patents can be vehicles for spinning out technologies. When any company is exploring a new space, they encounter problems that need to be solved.  In many cases, other companies…

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Selling Patents: The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend

When selling patents, it is tempting to think of competitors or direct infringers as the appropriate people who would be interested in your patent. But the truth is there is a much, much larger pool of companies to consider. I was having lunch with a friend who was chief patent counsel at a company that…

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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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Why patents in September are a bad thing

The USPTO issues more Office Actions in September than any other month. Why is that? The chart above shows the USPTO pendency of First Actions over the last two years. Notice that there is a huge difference in September for the last two years. What is this effect? Patent Examiners have production goals and bonuses.…

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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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