patent time-line

This chart is based on 22 years of patent observation and experience.

SUMMARY: if you want a patent, plan on spending money and waiting a while. 


advancing the prosecution

What our clients typically want: an Issued patent, Issued quickly.

This law firm strives for quick Allowance, reduce patent costs, and avoid Appeal if possible. If that is not what you want, we can still work with you, just be aware that things may cost more and may take longer.


good metrics v. weak metrics

Incubators and Accelerators Take Note!

Both 2c) and 6) are too rare, not properly measured and not properly misunderstood, yet a credit to a typical incubator, accelerator, or center for Economic Development. We have worked with a lot of incubators over the years, and note that they often get their funding based on certain required metrics. Unfortunately, these metrics are often mistargeted. 

For example, an effective incubator\accelerator might occasionally discourage a person from starting a business when it is clear they are not ready, yet this would not show up in the typical metrics and statistics.

Additionally,  an effective incubator\accelerator might occasionally counsel a person to close a business when it is clear that business is not going well and has no chance of improvement. This also would not show up in the typical metrics and statistics.

Further, some incubators\accelerators are measured by their occupancy rates, that is, by how many active tenants they have. In such a case, the incubators\accelerators have an incentive to encourage people to "keep going, stay with it" even when that may be bad advice. Unfortunately, that incubator needs that rent payment, and also needs to justify their existence.

Next, there are all kinds of ways to "game" or "fudge" patent, trademark, and LLC filings. This includes but is not limited to artificially pumping up filing-numbers at relatively low cost. This type of fudging could be partially flushed out by proper observation of 5) above. Its not that a Schedule C is a certainty of success, but its also important that businesses which do not even exercise this simple but important IRS filing are probably not a business, but instead kind of an expensive hobby, or hobby/fantasy.

The points 2c), 5), and 6) above are too-often overlooked, and yet are likely the most important metric of all. 95% of all small businesses fail. The question is, how do they fail, how do they recover, and how do they re-start and improve.

At our law firm, one of our favorite things to hear from a client is "please stop any further work, and allow all applications to lapse". When clients say that, we listen and accommodate. Unfortunately, we do not hear this enough. This reflects a syndrome, or "inventors psychosis", where the inventor is over-invested and simply will not accept reality. We see this a lot.


when to file, when to re-think

Evaluating Patent-Feasibility

Your questions should never be "can we get a patent or not".  With sufficient disclosure, e.g. <= 20 pages of disclosure, some type of patent Allowance should be available, albeit with weak or trivial claims.

Instead, the question should be "of our limited IP budget, how should we spend our money?"  One way to help make this decision is to use kind of a "sliding scale" for invention disclosures. One such sliding scale is shown above.

In assembling a portfolio, its important to factor in how much less costs are involved with Provisional applications as opposed to Utility applications. There is a big difference between these two, and this difference should be leveraged. This is of course assuming that any Licensee or other form of Outside Capital could care less about one's patents. In many cases, a Licensee or other form of Outside Capital may be completed uninterested in patent filings.

Some other unpleasant and uncomfortable truths about the patent system are discussed in the truthaboutpatents portion of this website.

YouTube Channel explaining nuances of the patent system

 Patents are complicated, and prose-text advice and examples can only take you so far. Some things are better explained by video.  We hope you enjoy our YouTube channel, and\or our site. Certainly take a moment to drop us a line. 

Our YouTube channel

know when to fold

One of the biggest mistakes: staying in too long

Inventors often have a problem of not realize that the world just does not want or does not need this device or service, or certainly does not need at the current price or availability or embodiment. This is a common problem. When the marketplace talks, you need to listen!

Click on the above for some "Inventor ToughLove"

Click on the above for some "Inventor ToughLove"