September 9, 2018 at 7:07 pm #7200ConnorParticipant
I recently came up with a new idea that I think could be really big if marketed right, but I’m not sure if I should patent it or not.
I know there is often value placed on if someone has obtained a patent but in my own observation it seems like a competitor can make a very small change and get around many patents. Then would I see any benefit from getting one or is it just a waste of money, time and effort?
Am I completely off base on this or is there real value to patents?September 10, 2018 at 9:56 pm #7206Tom KirkParticipant
There are definitely pluses when it comes to patents, but the bottom line is a patent is just worth the amount of money you have to defend it. I’ve heard of a lot of horror stories in the past where car companies would copy patents and then fight the poor guy that did the actual design.September 10, 2018 at 9:59 pm #7207TheresaParticipant
The short answer is yes or no. The longer answer is that it depends. IF the patent is well written then it is hard for someone to get around it. However, some patent agents or attorneys do not care about the business side of things, at least not yours. They can get a patent by writing very narrow claims and the patent will issue, but it can be easy to defeat.September 11, 2018 at 7:50 am #7208VeronicaParticipant
That is also my general feeling towards patents.
However, I would say it depends on the scale of the sector that the patent falls into. How well developed is the market? Is the patent easy to circumvent? Are there already similar patents that yours is essentially just one of the bypasses of?
It seems one of the best identifiers is how much competition there is. For example I know there are a lot of enforced patents in the snowmobiling sports industry which I feel is largely because there are really only 4 companies that have the specialty to develop products for the market. A good example of a patent that was very worthwhile: https://www.google.com/patents/US7213669. It changed the concept of the product and provided a benefit that was noticeable to the consumer. By having the patent they were able to gain market share and prevent competition from being able to replicate it for ~4-5 years.
If there is more competition it will take more enforcement and it is more likely that someone will find a way to by-pass your patent.September 11, 2018 at 8:15 am #7210ChrisParticipant
It’s a long and costly process. We did all the patents to prevent the copy from our competitor and it works well.
The most important thing is the writing part from the lawyer (make sure to hire a good patent lawyer), which stops any design similar to the patent. We and our competitors always search the patent for the design to avoid the lawsuits.
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