Posts Tagged ‘Utility Patents’

The S-Curve, Innovation, and Intellectual Property

Every technology grows on an “S-curve.”  The S-curve cycle is where an idea is born, then it struggles to get product-market fit through infancy.  Once it begins to get traction, there is a period of growth, after which the technology levels out and eventually declines. You can think of the S-curve as the growth cycle…

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Types of Patents

What are the different types of patents? Patents have been the bedrock of innovation, powering the innovations of our early republic, through the Industrial Revolution and patents continue to play a big role in today’s technology improvements. Over 10,000,000 patents have been issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and over 400,000 are…

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How long do patents last?

Updated 19 July 2021. How long do US patents last? Different types of patents have different lifespans.  All of the answers below are for United States (US) patents. When most people think of patents, they are thinking of utility patents. There are other types of patents, such as design patents and plant patents. Some countries,…

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Pre-seed Funding: You Can Do A Lot Of The Work Upfront

Start with marketing – not product design. Thinking about pre-seed funding? Getting your company off the ground is a challenging task, but far too many entrepreneurs want to run before they even crawl.  It is easy to imagine a busy staff of great, motivated employees working for you, money rolling in, and interviews and quotes…

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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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IP due diligence for startups

Due diligence is essential for any business deal, and IP due diligence is shockingly left out of the equation for most angel investors and venture capital investors. IP is left out of most due diligence efforts for good reason: most patents are worthless. This patent due diligence checklist helps anyone evaluate IP and patents –…

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Patents in a Business Context

Why patents as a “lottery ticket” is a losing proposition. A business owner makes hard business decisions, especially when it comes to IP.  There is only so much money and so much time, so how do you decide? Patents represent enormous potential value, and they feel like a lottery ticket.  The risk to reward –…

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Terminal Disclaimers – One for the Price of Two

Terminal disclaimers are costly for the client – but an easy money maker for patent attorneys. Terminal disclaimers are where you pay twice to get the same thing. They are a money maker for the USPTO – and your patent attorney.  They should be avoided at all costs.  In most cases, a terminal disclaimer is…

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