Over the last ten years I have been asked many times for my opinion about patenting a new invention. I have met several inventors who have invested in a patent as well as those who swear that they are a waste of time. My opinion has not changed since I was first asked the question.
Like other inventors I developed a new product that was going to set the world on fire and make me very wealthy. Of course I could not talk to anyone about this idea since I did not have a patent on it and couldn't afford one. Quite a dilemma isn't it?
I am amazed at how many inventors were just like I was when I was younger. I find it even more astounding at the number of inventors who have spent their last dime on a patent and have nothing left to develop the product with.
I guess I would have to say that there is a place for patents on a new invention and there are times when a patent is a waste of money.
I firmly believe that if you are short on financing and intend to develop the product on your own then you had better take a close look at just what a patent is going to do for you. In most cases like this you are better off putting your money into marketing and sales of your product and don't expect to control the market forever.
In most cases this will give you a good return on your investment and if you handle it right being the first one on the market can give you a marketing advantage for quite some time.
I met an inventor who developed his product on his own and did secure a patent on his invention. Shortly after his product hit the market there was a copy of his product coming from Taiwan. He hired a lawyer to sue the company which took several months to get to court. Of course just prior to the court date the company declared bankruptcy and went out of business.
This was not the end of it however as there was a new company set up a few weeks later producing his product again. Again there was a law suit and again another bankrupt company. Finally after this happened the third time the lawyer advised the inventor to forget about trying to shut down manufacturers from other countries and concentrate on capturing as much of the market as possible.
In this case the inventor would have been much better off without a patent and spent more time developing a better marketing strategy. The time and money spent on trying to control the market is something that can never be recuperated.
However if you do not have the finances or ability to develop your own invention and intend to attract investors or license the product out to others you won't get very far without a patent.
I know from my own experience that manufacturers are generally reluctant to even look at a new invention if it is not patented. This is because if they were working on a similar product in their research department it places them in a no win situation.
If they turn you down and then proceed to develop their own product it puts you in a good position to claim that they stole your idea. If on the other hand they decide to develop your idea and their research department improves on the idea then who's invention is it in the end? And how much is it worth to them?
Investors will seldom even look at a new invention without a patent on it since they have no idea whether the product is on the market in some other country and could spend thousands of dollars on the project as well as many hours of valuable time.
I guess what I am trying to say is that it depends on your own situation whether or not you should patent a product or not. Remember a patent is only as good as the amount of capital you have available to defend it.
Over the years I have had the opportunity to meet many inventors with quite a variety of inventions. Some of these were patented and some were not. I have seen new ideas in the concept stage with little chance of ever making it to market and I have seen multi- billion dollar projects which also had little chance of ever making it to market.
The thing that frustrated me the most was when I would get a project worth thousands or even billions of dollars and there was no one I felt I could trust, whether there was a patent on the product or not.
I have seen ideas that would change the course of history and I knew that if they were shown to those who could develop them that the inventor would be paid a token amount for the idea and it would never be heard of again.
I guess that is the reason I am so determined to make this organization a success. I know that as the organization grows in number it also grows in strength. I believe in time we will have the ability to take any product regardless of its value and provide better protection for the inventor than a patent ever could.
It has been said before that the best defense is a good offense and it could not be more true than when launching a new invention into the market. With the concept we have developed in Inventors Syndicate we will have the ability to launch a product into the market with such a tremendous thrust that there will be little or no advantage in coping anyone's idea.
If we as inventors are ever going to get a fair value out of our inventions then the system as we know it will have to change. The corporations are getting bigger and the middle class is being eliminated in countries all over the world. The government will not help us and the large corporations are just getting greedier.
Patent protection is only one way for inventors to protect their rights but there has to be alternatives out there for us and we will have to work together to develop these alternatives.
If you have something to say to other inventors pass it along I would be glad to publish it here for you.
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