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Bateman agrees. “Ultimately, for the success of the business, sales are more important than your patents are, with some exceptions,” One exception, for instance, is when other businesses want to license the invention’s technology, not buy product, he says.
Patents aren’t the only way to protect an invention, points out Roane T. Noel, a registered patent agent with Bateman IP. “Sometimes there’s a cheaper and better way to protect something, be it a trademark, copyright or trade secrets.”
Get a Lawyer
The do-it-yourself patent forms found on the internet provide pitfalls for the unwary, Bateman says. First of all, selecting the proper form is vital to the success of the application. In addition, a successful patent application requires that the invention is described in such a way that “you describe your invention but you don’t describe anything else that’s already out there,” Bateman says.
Attorneys also can help draft documents dealing with joint ventures so that, in case of an unfriendly split, the inventor’s rights are protected.
Inventors should let their patent attorney know about their business goals, Noel says. “There is a strategy to this—there are different types of patent applications, there are different ways to arrive at different goals.”