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Inventors Need to Know More About Patents in the Practical Sense

First let me say I am not against patents, but I do feel Inventors need to know more about patents in the practical sense. Unfortunately, I see more patents that have no commercial worth than ones that you can get a company interested in licensing. Here are some primary issues I see daily. I am not a lawyer, so this is not legal advice, just my opinion based on working with Inventors and companies for years licensing products.

The Inventor has filed a PPA and promotes it as if they have an issued patent.

The Inventor has a Design patent but thinks it is a Utility patent

The Inventor does not realize they have to pay maintenance fees to keep the patent active.

Most companies don’t see Design patents as a big selling point to license an idea because they know they are easy to get around.

A lot of Inventors think if they have a patent no one can infringe on that product. They don’t know the patent just gives them the ability to go after an infringer and there is no guarantee they will win in court.

Your patent is only as good as the person writing it and your ability to defend it. And most Inventors have just enough money to get the patent and nothing left to defend it.

They don’t know if you go after a supposed infringer and lose or you send a cease and desist letter that company can come after you for defamation.

Have had a number of Inventors with an abandoned patent think the patent is still active and they want you to put the patent in front of companies for licensing.

Many Inventors have patents written so narrow it provides no protection and is worthless to any company that might have interest in the product.

Depending on how it is written, your Claims, and the final product that makes it to market may not cover the product and a new patent may have to be filed.

Many Inventors don’t know just because they file for a patent and have 20 Claims written does not mean all 20 may be approved. You can start with 20 and end up with 2 Claims or none and the patent is rejected.

Many Inventors don’t understand posting their idea online with nothing filed or using the idea daily in front of the public can cause them to not get a patent.

Many Inventors think sending the idea to themselves in a sealed letter stamped by the post office protects them.

A USA patent does not stop a company in another country from ripping off your idea make it and sell it.

Once they get the patent they don’t know what to do next to commercialize it. They were so scared of losing the idea they rushed to patent it never giving any thought what comes next if they get it.

Patents can be a useful tool but they are not the only option an Inventor has to get a product to market. There are plenty of products on the market with no patent that do quite well.

Unfortunately, in my opinion a number of those selling those services to Inventors couldn’t care less if the idea is marketable they just want to sell you the service.

In my opinion, many use the Inventors fear of having a million dollar idea stolen to get them to make prototypes, sell sheets, etc. That is why I tell Inventors to do as much research into their idea upfront that they can do for free to see if it has a market, isn’t already on the market, does it answer the Better Than question.

Something to consider, everyone who sees all these high paid Quarterbacks on TV can go into Walmart and buy a football, they can sign up for training camps, private coaching, read hundreds of books on the great players, but how many of the general public are skilled enough to make it to the NFL?

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