Patents as Fences to Protect Ideas and Properties
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No matter how much good they might do, very few ideas can be or will be developed and commercialized, unless the profit opportunity can justify the investments. Patents serve as fences that can be built around properties, making it worthwhile for the owner to do the work of plowing, sowing, and digging weeds, knowing that the harvest will belong to the one who has done the work. The author, who has handled the patent work for the new class of Nyloboard products from needle-punched fiber mats, offers guidance on how inventors and managers can do the preparatory work, to keep costs to a minimum and get the best possible results when they begin working with a patent attorney. These comments cover both (i) the new simplified do-it-yourself "provisional" patent applications that were created by Congress in 1995, and (ii) the conventional "utility" patents that create enforceable legal rights.