« News Flash: "Young VC Adds Value" | Main | How to Be Persuasive »

August 05, 2008

A Patently Risky Business

Because patent attorneys charge many thousands of dollars to prepare and file a patent application, some people with the next bright idea opt for the "poor person's patent" (call it the three Ps), which is simply to write up a patent-like description and send it to themselves by registered mail or to pay a notary public to seal it in an envelope.

According to Kirk Teska, author of Patent Savvy for Managers: Spot & Protect Valuable Innovations in Your Company, the inventor is usually better off saving the postage or notary fees because such an approach is more often than not useless.

Teska adds that a provisional patent application can be more useful, but the full "utility" patent application must be filed within a year of the provisional. Given the risks of drafting the provisional improperly, and given that it could end up costing nearly as much as a real patent application, Teska recommends biting the bullet and opting for the whole shebang. With respect to patents, he notes that "you get what you pay for," a consideration that bootstrappers might want to keep in mind.

You can read the longer explanation here. Another good article on patents is here. Before you line up at the US Patent and Trademark Office, however, you might do well to check out that someone hasn't already patented your idea for swinging and pets. If you're interested, here's one way to address the problem of silly patents.

By Thomas Kang


The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Contact Me

  • bar.gif


Search this blog


  • Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass


Feed and Leads


Alignment of Interests

  • Alltop
    Stay on top of all the news topics.
  • BagTheWeb
    Find, bag, and share websites and articles.
  • Doba
    Drop-ship products for ecommerce sales.
  • Garage Technology Ventures
    Raise venture capital for your tech company.
  • Paper.li
    Publish social-media newspapers.
  • Statusnet
    Make an Open-Source Twitter for your organization.
  • Peerspin
    Pimp your MySpace pages.
  • Sixense
    Control your game like never before.
  • SocialToo
    Engage people at social media sites like Twitter.
  • StumbleUpon
    Find interesting stuff on the web.
  • TicketLeap
    Sell and manage online ticket sales for events.
  • Triggit
    Make real-time bids for online ad space.
  • DataSift
    Analyze big data from social media.
  • Tynt
    Trace who's using your website content.
  • uStream
    Stream video live.
  • Visible Measures
    Monitor how people interact with online video.
  • Writer.ly
    Find freelancers for book projects.
  • XAT
    Chat with people.


  • quick sprout