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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

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 | 0 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…

Early and Often? This is not Voting in Chicago.

By russkrajec | 0 Comments

File patents early and often.  At least the patent attorney will make some money. We look at this advice and poke holes in it.  Every word in a patent hurts you. There is a huge tradeoff when you file patents.  Are you getting a good bargain?  Are you giving away too much and getting too…

Put Everything In Your Patent – What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

By russkrajec | 0 Comments

It is common advice to put as much material as possible in your patent application.  This advice used to be brilliant and appropriate, but the laws changed 20 years ago and it is no longer good advice. After Jerome Lemelson and the barcode reader patents, Congress changed the laws at the end of the 1990’s…

The Myth of Provisional Patent Applications

By russkrajec | 0 Comments

Startups are routinely told to get a provisional patent application. There is absolutely NO business reason why a startup should EVER do a provisional, and we pick apart every argument.  (The only reason why startups file provisional patent applications is to placate unsophisticated investors.) Provisional Patent Applications are not the ugly stepchild of Non-Provisional Patent…