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I have an Invention ... Now What?
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   The inventors dream...
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Corey
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Re: The inventors dream...
« Reply #10 on: Jun 2nd, 2004, 11:56am »
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"And finally if i were to invent a piece of software which added A to B is that software able to be patented and if so, if another inventor also created software that added A to B, but reverse engineered it would that infringe my patent? "
 
  Correct me if I am wrong.  If Product B is already out there and still under patent protection, and you have an idea to add A to it.  You can recieve a patent, but you won't be able to sell it without either licensing it to product B or Selling it to them for royalties.  
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M. Arthur Auslander
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Re: The inventors dream...
« Reply #11 on: Jun 3rd, 2004, 4:36am »
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Dear Corey,  
 
Without detail study, what you say seems correct.
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M. Arthur Auslander
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eric stasik
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Re: The inventors dream...
« Reply #12 on: Jun 3rd, 2004, 7:59am »
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Mr. Ivey wrote...
 
"As for the one in 10,000 number, it's not true.  Don't believe it.  I've challenged everyone I've heard quote that number to come up with authoritative support for that number and no one has even responded -- even with lame, amateurish reasoning, let alone a real source of authority.  It's a myth at best and possibly even a lie.  Don't believe it. "
 
Mr. Ivey makes a good point. These numbers are thrown all over without anyone ever challenging them.  
 
In Paar and Sullivan's excellent book, "Technology Licensing," the authors present some empirical evidence that well run companies use 20% of their patents. This correlates with other empirical sources I've seen that say 20% of the portfolio is typical.  
 
I think this is a generous estimate.  
 
The USPTO issues something like 350,000 patents every year. I'm not sure what how many new patent infringement actions are filed every year - one number I've seen is 2,000 in the US. And let's say that each lawsuit involves 5 US patents (to make the math easy).
 
10,000 patents litigated/350 000 total patents = 2.8% of patents are the subject of litigation.  
 
If 20% of patents have some value as the empirical evidence says, this means that 60,000 patents have commercial influence, but are never litigated.  
 
I do not personally believe that six times as many licensing disuptes are settled without resorting to litigation as require some amount of litigation. At best it is an equal number.  
 
A (very) rough estimate of the number of valuable patents issued every year by the USPTO is therefore;  
 
20,000/350,000 = 5.7% or 570 out of 10,000 which have value.  
 
Now, consider that from a statistical view, there is quite a difference between a portfolio of patents and an individual patent.  
 
If 570 out of 10,000 is a good number for a portfolio of patents, 1 out of 10,000 is just two orders of magnitide larger.
 
I don't know. Maybe 1:10.000 is hyperbole, but I'd bet it's not too far from the truth.  
 
Of course this is nothing more than a rough engineering estimate. If anyone has any better figures please post them.  
 
The pity is that regardless of how you slice this pie, the fact of the matter is that an overwhelmingly large percentage (80-90%) of patents which are filed have no commercial significance.  
 
The reason for this is both the "scam market" to which Mr. Auslander refers, but it may also be the problem that law firms are not being entirely up front with their clients about costs versus benefits.  
 
Firms that make money filing and prosecuting patents have a built-in conflict of interest to file more rather than fewer patents. The numbers seem to bear this out.  
 
The fact is that the efficiency of most patenting operations is dreadful.... horrendous.... what other business activity would management accept an 80% failure rate? This is really unacceptable, but for some reason it is tolerated.  
 
There are huge gains in efficiency to be gained by developing a business focused patent strategy.  
 
Regards,  
 
Eric Stasik
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eric stasik
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Barc2004
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Re: The inventors dream...
« Reply #13 on: Jun 3rd, 2004, 8:03am »
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Wow,  awesome feedback this is great,
 
Thank you all again for the feedback, both the pro's and con's, both are really appreciated.
 
Last night i posted those three questions then went and did my own research and answered my own question reguarding the last scenario, and JimIvey was correct to assume that the idea of adding A to B was novel.  And what corey pointed out may be true however the idea of adding A to B was just an example to help understand the question i was asking for which has bought me to ask another question...
 
If the program completes a task, where the results of the task are preforming an action, which is novel and unobvious, then is the program patentable or is the task?
 
To my understanding it would be the task which is patentable.  Would that task be considered a "Business Method" in the U.S.  Its all so confusing.  I did read up on software patents and it seems likely to get a patent for my idea.
 
I think i will talk to a New Zealand Patent attorney and get a search done in New Zealand(where i live) if the idea is patentable i think i will form a small business with the idea and see how well it does(I believe it will do well and i have the reasources to start it in New Zealand), after it does well i will try to get a patent in the U.S. because I will have a year after disclosing to the public to file for a patent in the U.S.
 
Please anyone feel feel to poke holes in my idea, i would love the feedback,
 
Thanks for all who have contributed.
 
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Barc2004
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Re: The inventors dream...
« Reply #14 on: Jun 3rd, 2004, 8:11am »
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Hey just posted before seeing the post by eric stasik,
 
Basically answers my second question.
 
So if an idea is worth patenting look out for the "scam market", and be aware of the real costs,   (just so i dont end up on the wrong side of the 1:10,000 figure!).  
 
Thanks  
 
Sam Adams
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