Patent Misunderstandings

Were you aware of these patent misunderstandings (these are all true)....

  1. You can be awarded a patent, and when you begin to practice it (by making or selling your invention) you can still be sued for patent infringement?
  2. Another inventor can patent an improvement on your invention and you may not have the right to use that improvement?
  3. The patent office will not come to your rescue if your patent is infringed... in fact the patent office pays no attention to infringement as an issue.
  4. You do not have to demonstrate that your invention works in order to get a patent?
  5. To infringe a patent you need only infringe one of the claims?
  6. Once you get a patent, it is your patent that has legal protection, not your invention?
  7. Your invention may not be properly covered by your claims?
  8. You do not need a patent in order to begin making and selling your invention - that is not the purpose of a patent.The vast majority of patents are not new breakthroughs but are instead improvements to existing technology?
  9. That the patent legal system essentially encourages others to design around your patent?
  10. Also, that the patent maintenance fee system essentially encourages inventors to abandon their patents before the patent term expires?
  11. That one patent cannot infringe another patent?
  12. That among practitioners of patent law, there are those who only practice in court (litigation), some who only practice before the patent office (prosecution), and some who only practice it in a business sense (contractual, licensing). And even those who can legally do all three, tend to focus on only one of the three.

These questions reflect just some of the questions I have encountered in my practice. As a reminder, I focus my practice on helping small businesses and individual inventors, who are approaching patents for the first time, so their grappling with the twisted logic of patent law is understandable. But I also had a long large corporation R&D career and misunderstandings of patent issues was common there also.



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Mike Ervin
Mike Ervin - Cost Effective Small Business Patent Protection.

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