Thursday, February 19, 2009
Do Patents Help
The United States Patent Office (and the issued patents themselves) were intended to provide an environment that encouraged ideas and products beneficial to mankind.
That was the original idea. It wasn’t meant for hiding unattended secret ideas in a closet. And Patents don’t really protect anything.
Patents are meant to provide a means whereby creative ideas can be developed with less fear of unfair interference from others. Issued patents award you the Right to pursue litigation against the offenders. It’s your burden (or your attorneys) to battle the opposition. It’s up to you to protect yourself.
David Pressman wrote a great big book called Patent It Yourself – which explains things about patents in an easy to follow manner. He agrees that patents aren’t for protection. He says patents provide “offensive rights” for the holder to defend themselves. He says that you must go on the “offense”.
As a patent holder you will pay for the privilege of any mentioned advantageous environment .You probably recall those maintenance fees that escalate in time (3 ½, 7 ½ and 11 ½ year anniversaries). The expense increase in time… as your product and profits grow.
Patents provide encouragement of product pursuit. You should be diligently displaying activity for conclusion of your product’s journey…to make it all happen. I’m warning you, litigation often favors those proving “activity of Pursuit”. Many of us think it’s for good reason. So stay busy. If not, you may be wasting your money.