Patent Strategy

The Importance of Patent Searches

The easiest way to make your patent more valuable: do a patent search. One of the first things everyone sees, including me as I start a patent valuation analysis, is the list of references on the front page of your patent. There are two kinds of references on the front page: those with stars and…

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Patents on Vision vs Patents on Inventions

There is a big difference between an entrepreneur’s vision and the entrepreneur’s inventions.  Often the entrepreneur (and their investors) confuse the two. Entrepreneurs are fond of having big, bold visions of the future.  A future of self-driving cars or virtual reality universes or DNA-based pharmaceuticals that fix every medical problem or hyperloop transport or whatever. …

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Good Stewards of Capital

The single most important thing you need to show an angel investor. Angel investors hear countless pitches from all kinds of entrepreneurs, some of which are extraordinarily capable scientists and visionaries who have fantastic technical solutions to a problem. Many times, these entrepreneurs stumble when trying to explain the business. Nobody Cares About the Technology…

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Feedback – and the Truth

Good feedback needs to hurt. Anyone who is trying to pitch a new business idea needs to hear the hard truth, whether or not you are an entrepreneur doing the angel investment circuit or you are pitching your boss on upgrading your computer. It may be very uncomfortable to hear the truth, but the worst…

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Investment Grade Patents are not for Patent Trolling

They are for business negotiations. Patent trolling is the business of extortion.  Generally, patent trolling is when someone sues for patent infringement but is willing to settle for less than the cost of litigation.  It is extortion, pure and simple. Patent litigation will cost at least $500,000 in attorney’s fees to get to the first…

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Crystalizing Your Invention

One of the many curses of a self-written provisional patent application Entrepreneurs buy into the myth – perpetuated by the patent bar – that they should write and file provisional patent applications before bringing their product to market. There are many reasons why provisional patent applications are wrong for startups, but this post explains yet…

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Walking Dead and Their Patents

The Myth that You Want An Early Filing Date When I studied for the patent bar exam, it seemed that every other question was about priority dates.  The priority date is when time stands still.  Anything that is done before that date is “prior art,” and anything afterwards does not matter. Examiners cannot use any…

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Investment Grade Patents Need Investment Grade Businesses

The simple fact is that patents only have value when they are infringed.  When I invest in a patent through patent financing, I need the startup company to bring their product to market, otherwise, the patent will have no value. This is true of any patent: value comes from the market wants to use the…

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Patents Enable Innovation – not the other way around

Sophisticated companies view patents as *enabling* innovation, not as a result of it. This comes from a much more holistic view of IP protection. Startups and first time entrepreneurs/inventors focus on “protecting” their investment in R&D through patents. This report highlights a much more sublime – and much more powerful – use of patents. Clarivate…

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Budgeting for Patents

How much should a typical company budget for patent protection? One of the best books on IP and patents is Patent Portfolios by Larry Goldstein. In this book, Mr. Goldstein analyzes how companies build out their patent portfolios. Much of this post is derived from his book. What is a good budget for patents? 1%…

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