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Patent Engineering by Donald S. Rimai

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Chapter 3

Developing a Patent Strategy and Patent Engineering

Most companies today, from small start-ups to major corporations, realize that there is real money in intellectual property. High profile cases such as Apple’s suits against Samsung and Google have made it very obvious that there can be just as much profit, if not more, in enforcing patents as in making the product. Because of this, there has been great emphasis on applying for and obtaining patents, with companies scrambling to increase their holdings.

This surge in patent popularity has made it very clear which companies understand the real value of their intellectual property and which ones do not. Adding confusion to the mix is the reality that all of us are competing on a global level; the moment you introduce a great product, competition will spring up throughout the world, often in countries with substantially lower taxes, labor costs, and less government regulation than the United States.

A single U.S. patent will not protect you if a company in Korea decides to copy your technology and sell the resulting product throughout China and India. For many business owners, deciding which patents to pursue and which to leave on the shelf seems harder than inventing the technology in the first place. Your business only has so much capital—how do you go about formulating and executing a patent strategy that will yield a high value portfolio without bankrupting your company? Let us first discuss five patent strategies that, ...

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