Posts Tagged ‘Invent’

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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Invention Mistakes Made at the “Idea Stage”

Patent Mistakes People Make At The Idea Stage Patents at the idea stage represent a huge risk because there just is not any data to support an investment in a patent. A patent attorney would mitigate this risk by putting everything you know – and plenty of additional speculation – into your patent application. From…

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How to Spot Bad Patents

Investment-Grade Patents represent only a small sliver of the patent universe. Their value comes from a huge amount of research and thought. However, bad patents are easy to spot. These less-than-optimal patents have certain characteristics that can easily be identified by anyone: the inventor, the investor, or anyone in litigation.  Use this as a first…

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IP Due Diligence in Two Questions

There are two questions to ask every time you are dealing with patents: Can you tell if someone infringes? How hard is it to design around your patent? With these two questions, you are 90% of the way there on IP due diligence. Here is my presentation to Band of Angels in October, 2020.

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The Light Bulb is the Worst Symbol of Invention

Invention is the heavy lifting of 1000’s of failed experiments, not a grand vision that pops into someone’s head. The light bulb is the universal symbol of “invention.”  It is the worst – and best – example of invention, but not in the way you think it is. Invention has been portrayed in lore as…

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Valuable patents solve contradictions

Amazon’s One-Click patent is the epitome of “non-obviousness” Inventions are not obvious – they have to solve some kind of contradiction.  This idea holds true for businesses.  Startups that can solve a contradiction in the market have a particular advantage – and so do patents. One of the most talked-about inventions 10 or 15 years…

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My first invention

My first job out of college was at McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis.  At the time, we made military fighter jets: the F-15, F-18, and Harrier AV-8B.  I was assigned to a little research group exploring different ways to use thermoplastic composites.  It was there that I had my first “invention.”  I wrote up a…

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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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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. By the way, this is one of the reasons why the patent system is broken, but not the way you think it is. Note: this is an excerpt from my forthcoming book “Startup IP…

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