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Using IP To Get What You Paid For

If You Run an Innovative Business, Not Doing This Is Like Setting Your Money on Fire. Use IP Contracts to Get What You Paid For. One of the first lessons many people learn in business is that you cannot do everything yourself. You have to hire others to help you. This leads to one of the harshest lessons in business: just because you paid for it, doesn’t mean you own it. The patent laws are stacked against you. They were designed to protect inventors; not founders, business owners, or executives. Here’s how you get hurt: you hire someone as an employee or a contractor to perform research and development, to consult, or to build a prototype. You paid them so you assume that the invention will belong to you. The good news is that you are partially correct. The EXACT prototype delivered to you usually belongs to you. But what about the intellectual property? Who owns the invention? That’s the bad news: without the right legal contract in place, the inventor AUTOMATICALLY owns intellectual property in the invention. That means that they can sue you if you make copies without THEIR permission. This means they can walk out the door…

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How To Not To Lose Everything On Shark Tank

Everyone loves watching Shark Tank. It’s the drama of watching entrepreneurs give the pitch of their lives to some of the most successful and shrewd investors in history. Getting the right deal could make or break a business. But most people assume that the deals they see on TV are final. They are not. After the show, the investors on Shark Tank perform their due diligence before any checks are signed. In Robert Herjavec’s book “You Don’t Have To Be A Shark,” he reveals that there are 3 common deal breakers: Exaggerated Numbers — Know your sales, debts, and profit numbers because if you exaggerate: you lose the deal. Failing to Disclose Partners — Even sharks like to know who they will be swimming with. Failing to File a Patent Application to protect your invention. This last one may seem like a surprise, but it shouldn’t be. Why do so many investors want you to have a patent? Because patents protect profit margins and help investors get their money back. No one wants to invest money in an innovative business unless they know that those innovations are protected and can help sales. Patents protect profit margins. And investments in your…

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1590: Turning Your Ideas Into Assets And Avoiding Getting Sued Into Bankruptcy For Patent Infringement

New Podcast with William Childs on The Entrepreneur Way Listen now:   William Childs William Childs earned his doctorate in chemistry, then attended law school to become a patent attorney. But he didn’t stop there. William founded and runs a virtual IP law firm in Houston, TX, where he helps entrepreneurs turn their innovations and creativity into valuable property their business can own. Entrepreneurial Role Models: Dan Kennedy When business started difficulties overcame: “I had to decide since I was a virtual firm where in the US that I want to work. This is much more difficult than it sounds because when I would work in a law firm I would typically just go to work where the job was. But now I could work anywhere in the world and work virtually. So, like where in the world would I like to work? And I decided on Houston Texas. But I didn’t know anyone Houston and I had never been to Houston Texas. I just sort of did the analysis and realized that Houston was probably about the best place in the US for my particular business which it turned out by the way was a brilliant decision” Favorite Books:…

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Part 8: How to Patent an Idea: A Guide for Beginners

This is the last post in my series - How to Patent an Idea: A Guide for Beginners Thank you for taking the time to read my insights on how to understand patent claims. I hope this information was useful and helped to clear up some of the confusion that comes with pursuing a patent. Here is a quick summary of the main takeaways discussed throughout this series: Patents Only Protect Your Invention In Their Country of Origin. Only Issued Patents Can Be Used To Sue A Competitor. Only The Claims Of A Patent Protect Your Invention.Claims Are Usually Open-Ended: Make Sure That Your Claims Only Recite Essential Aspects Of Your Innovation. Patent Attorneys Are Claims Fundamentalists: Make Sure That Every Word Is Necessary And Not Overly Limiting. Challenge Every Word! Try To Envision All Variations Of Your Innovation And Ask Your Patent Attorney If Your Claim Will Cover That Variation. Find The Bottlenecks Created By Science, Your Application, Or Regulations, And Claim Them. It is up to you to ensure that your patent is valuable, and your ideas are well protected. If your current patent attorney doesn’t seem to have the time to help you prevent design around, Childs…

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Part 7: How To Prevent Design Around

You can listen to this blog below: How to Patent an Idea: A Guide for Beginners This is the seventh post in my series How to Patent an Idea: A Guide for Beginners. In the previous articles I’ve discussed how to understand patents, common types of claims, protecting your product or method, and many other topics. Hopefully by now you’re feeling a little more informed about the patent claim process. In this article we’ll discuss how to prevent design around. How Can I Prevent Design Around? The term “design around” is commonly used when referring to some minor change that allows a competitor to avoid infringing the claims of your patent. Depending on your technology, you may not be able to prevent all design around, however you can make it as hard as possible for your competitors to steal your invention. In exchange for disclosing your innovation to the public, the government will grant you a patent that allows you to sue others for using or selling your invention without first requesting permission. The purpose of the patent law system is to encourage the public disclosure of innovation, not to protect you from competition. This may seem like a subtle…

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Part 6: Protect Your Method with Method Claims

You can listen to this article below: How to Patent an Idea: A Guide for Beginners If you read my blog on understanding patents then you know that only the claim section of an issued patent can be used to sue for patent infringement. If you read my articles on how to protect your patent idea, and how a product claim can protect your product, then you’ve got a good foundation for reviewing claims. Now it’s time to discuss method claims, also referred to as process claims Generally, method claims are claims that recite one or more steps. They are typically used to protect methods of making a product, using a product, or providing a service. Method claims are usually considered much weaker than product claims because method claims can be difficult to enforce. Infringing Methods Are Harder To Detect Unless the method is being practiced in view of the public, the infringement of a method claim is more difficult to detect. The first step of any patent litigation is usually suspecting that a competitor is practicing your invention without your permission. Detecting an infringing product is usually pretty straight forward. It’s usually on the shelf right beside yours. And…

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Make Money With A Patent

How To Make Money With A Patent: My Guide For Determining If You Should Patent Your Idea, Part 8

This is the last post in my series “How To Make Money With A Patent: My Guide For Determining If You Should Patent Your Idea.” Thank you for taking the time to read my suggestions for how to make money with a patent. I hope you found these suggestions helpful. Here is a quick summary. Look Before You Leap: Think Before You File U.S. Patents typically cost from $20,000 - $30,000 from filing to issuance. Patents do not make you money, but you can use them to stop others from copying your invention. You should have a plan for how you are going to make money with your patent before you draft the patent application or even approach a patent attorney. You should carefully consider the market for practicing your invention, licensing your invention, or raising funds for your invention before filing a patent application. No customers = no money = no business Throughout this series, you may notice that I referred you to several resources, such as books and webpages. However, you may also notice that I never referred you a patent attorney to determine how to make money with your patent. This omission is intentional. As a patent…

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Make Money With A Patent

How To Make Money With A Patent: My Guide For Determining If You Should Patent Your Idea, Part 7

This is the seventh post in my series entitled “How To Make Money With A Patent: My Guide For Determining If You Should Patent Your Idea.” If you read my previous posts, you will know how to avoid getting a worthless patent, and how to make money by practicing or licensing your invention. Now it’s time to talk about the reason that I believe most businesses actually obtain patents. Patents are only issued when the government of a country finds that an innovation is novel and non-obvious across throughout history and the world. Therefore, many people consider patents to be prestigious indicators that a person or business is innovative. Patents also confer the right of the patent owner to sue others to exclude them from practicing the claimed invention, so many believe that the patent grants the patent owner a powerful monopoly over the invention. These beliefs make it much more desirable to invest in businesses that patent inventions over those that do not. Increasing Investor Confidence By Filing Patent Applications The analysis from my fifth post regarding whether it will be profitable to patent an invention is a part of the picture. The bigger picture is that most innovative…

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Make Money With A Patent

How To Make Money With A Patent: My Guide For Determining If You Should Patent Your Idea, Part 6

This is the sixth post in my series entitled “How To Make Money With A Patent: My Guide For Determining If You Should Patent Your Idea.” If you read my previous posts, you will know how to avoid getting a worthless patent, and how to make money by practicing your invention. Now it’s time to discuss how to make money from your patent when you do not plan to practice your invention. Before filing a patent application, you should consider whether you are able or willing to directly market your invention to the public or businesses. For example, if you invent an improved component for a laptop, it is doubtful that you would found a laptop manufacturing company just to incorporate your improved component. One way to make money from your idea would be to license or sell your idea to a laptop manufacturing company. A second way to make money from your idea would be to found a company that manufactures the component with the idea of selling the company to the laptop company. This post will discuss the first way of making money from your idea. My next post will discuss making money by founding your own company.…

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Make Money With A Patent

How To Make Money With A Patent: My Guide For Determining If You Should Patent Your Idea, Part 5

This is the fifth post in my series entitled “How To Make Money With A Patent: My Guide For Determining If You Should Patent Your Idea.” If you read the second post, you will know a few basics about patents that every inventor and business person should know. If you read the third and fourth posts, you understand a few of the factors that make most patents worthless. Now it’s time to discuss how a patent can add value to your business by protecting a competitive advantage in the marketplace. The first step in this discussion is to make sure that your innovation will actually give you a competitive advantage in the marketplace. I do not have any business degree and I am not a patent valuation expert. So I will leave it to you to judge the reasoning and wisdom of my analysis here and whether it applies to your situation. A Patent Basis For Discussion A few things must be understood about patents before any meaningful discussion can take place. U.S. Patents do not make you money; they merely allow you to sue someone for making, selling, or using a claimed product or service in the U.S. You…

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