Uncategorized

Webinar – IP Triage – Managing Your Portfolio

Webinar from 9 Apr 2020. How do you manage an IP portfolio? You need tools. Here are two simple questions to ask: 1. Can you tell if someone infringed your patent? 2. Can someone design around your patent? Armed with these two tools, you can manage most of your patent portfolio.

Read More

The Myth that the Patent Examiner is Awful

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…

Read More

Patent Searching Myths

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…

Read More

NDAs ARE Actually Important

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…

Read More

Myth: Inventorship

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…

Read More

Inventing Is Easy

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…

Read More

Myth: Your Patent Attorney Is Your Friend

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…

Read More

Willful Blindness and Patents

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…

Read More

Patent Valuation is a Myth

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…

Read More

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

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…

Read More