A Patent Does Not Protect Your Products


Patent attorney websites are abundant on the internet, complete with explanations about why inventors and businesses should file patents. Unfortunately, they're almost universally painting an incomplete picture. I will refrain from linking to one because this post is about the perpetuation of a myth, rather than singling out any particular lawyer (myself and my friends included). Chances are you've already surfed through dozens of resources about patent law. In the process, you've no doubt run across statements that encourage you to file patent applications to "protect your products." This is not like taking out insurance, or hiring a body guard, of course. By protection, your attorney means preventing others in the marketplace from using, selling, or distributing the patented invention without your permission.

Such a statement, while grounded in historical fact, is for all practical purposes highly misleading. In fact, any attorney who makes such a statement will likely admit to you that patent protection is just not that simple ... eventually ... and only if you ask the right questions. However, a patent portfolio can be useful to protect your overall business.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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