Early and Often? This is not Voting in Chicago.


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 little in return?

The specification is the long-winded explanation of your invention, where you tell the world how to build your product, what your next several versions will be, and all your R&D secrets.

This is the part that you GIVE AWAY – not what is “protected.”

Your protection is the Claims – that hard-to-read section in the back.  You only get protection for what is in the claims – this is what you RECEIVE – this is your protection.

Giving away your most valuable secrets while getting nothing back is not a smart thing.

1 Comment

  1. Kenneth Altshuler on January 10, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    Lots of interesting perspectives in this blog. As Russ suggests, most technology startups are in a pickle over paying for protecting the very idea for the startup or delaying. If the startup has any hope of raising institutional funding (for all intents and purposes) they MUST protect their idea. However, based on my experience, many technology startups pay for patent protection far before they are ready to seek institutional funding. Accordingly, critical early-stage money is tied up in protection not yet needed. Experienced business minded IP representation can help a client better appreciate where their IP portfolio appropriately fits into their business model and can help with the appropriate timing.

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