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BlueIron's Patent Myth Podcast explores many of the issues surrounding intellectual property and the startup ecosystem.

At least 95% of all patents are not worth the money, and there is no good reason why the success rate needs to be that low.

Startup companies - and their investors - need to know the backstory of how to think about these assets, so that we can create good assets, we can value them appropriately, and we can make good business decisions.

This podcast is for startup entrepreneurs, inventors, but also angel investors who need to know about this niche of their asset class - and how to do a better job.

The real story: hope.

The real story behind all of this technical and legal detail: hope.

The breathless hype around patents and "losing everything" if you do not have a patent is just not reality.  A patent is a business tool, and it should be treated as such.

You should make a business case to get a patent, and if the business case does not justify it - don't get one.

An important element of hope that I want you to get from this podcast: you can do this.

It is not rocket science, but the patent system does have some nuance and weirdness that you might not expect.  Any entrepreneur can navigate the system - and any angel investor can help them.

The thing that is missing in the conversation about patents is perspective.

I advocate a balanced, even handed approach based on data rather than emotions.

You can do this.

Russ

The Myth that the Patent Examiner is Awful

By russkrajec | 0 Comments

There is a huge myth that patent examiners are a lazy group of unionized government bureaucrats who are out to get you. The truth is that patent examiners – more likely than not – know more about a specific technology than anyone on earth. They spend their days searching, reading, and understanding a very narrow…

Patent Searching Myths

By russkrajec | 0 Comments

Should you do a patent search?  Could it be helpful or harmful? For big companies, patent searches are forbidden because of the liability.  But for startup companies, patent searches can help your due diligence prior to filing. Beware of doing a patent search with the unconscious bias against the prior art.  Far too many inventors…

NDAs ARE Actually Important

By russkrajec | 0 Comments

Non Disclosure Agreements and Proprietary Information and Inventions Agreements: these are critically important. Some entrepreneurs use NDAs as weapons to ward off the evil people who will “steal” their ideas.  This is using NDAs badly. Use these agreements to set a positive tone of a budding relationship, but also to make sure a startup actually…

Myth: Inventorship

By russkrajec | 0 Comments

Inventorship is vitally important to a patent, but people often abuse it. I have heard of companies putting someone’s name on a patent application because they paid for it – or including your boss’s name on a patent even when they did not contribute. Improper inventorship is one of the easiest ways to kill a…

Inventing Is Easy

By russkrajec | 0 Comments

What is the worst symbol for an invention?  It is the light bulb.  Edison did 1000 experiments to get to the light bulb.  It was a long, methodical, painful process – then the “light bulb” moment. Good invention – and good entrepreneurship – comes from the same methodical processes, not some flash of light. Come…

Myth: Your Patent Attorney Is Your Friend

By russkrajec | 0 Comments

Don’t ask the barber if you need a haircut. The conflict of interest between the client and the attorney is huge. We look at an example of an inventor who thought he was getting a “good” patent but it turns out that the patent attorney was only responsible getting “a” patent.  The client was disappointed…

Willful Blindness and Patents

By russkrajec | 0 Comments

Inventors – and virtually everyone in the patent process – have huge blind spots. We look at Tropicana’s patents on the single greatest invention in their industry in half a century, and see how at every level nobody would do the math to see if a patent was the right strategy. It turns out that…

Patent Valuation is a Myth

By russkrajec | 0 Comments

Patent valuation is really slippery, and completely depends on the context. Patents can be thought of as call options on technology.  They are a time-limited bet that the market will adopt a technology. At the beginning, the patent is an out-of-the-money call option and has only potential value.  Once infringement occurs, the patent turns into…

Someone will steal my idea if I do not get a patent.

By russkrajec | 0 Comments

Customer feedback is essential to know if a patent is worth the expense – but some people think their idea will be “stolen” if they talk to customers. What should they do? Two answers: One, if you need to tell people about your invention when doing customer discover, you are doing it wrong. Two, there…

Why get a patent? I cannot afford to enforce it.

By russkrajec | 2 Comments

Many entrepreneurs (sometimes with their investor’s approval) skip getting patents.  Many say that they do not have the $2M of dry powder to enforce their patents, so they just do not play the game. Patent enforcement insurance is ridiculously affordable, especially for startup companies.  Enforcement insurance means that you have pre-paid legal fees at your…