Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Patents - Great News and Not So Great

Today, the news below is GREAT news.  One of the worst Patent Trolls (it's synonymous with scum bags) has finally been thrown down the toilet where it belongs along with all its peers "non practicing entities"

The Web’s longest nightmare ends: Eolas patents are dead on appeal

Web pioneers united to stop "interactive web" patents at an East Texas trial.

For entrepreneurs pitching investors the glories of their patents, filed and issues, however, the news has also another slant. It reminds investors that even issued patents can be disallowed if prior art is brought to the PTO. It is a tough and expensive battle, so a patent is still well worth having.  However from the many instances similar to this one (some reported in this blog) investors have learned that patents have also real costs beyond filing and prosecution. They need to be defended, and that is expensive, or they need to be enforced, even more expensive.  Are they ready to see their investments re-purposed to IP litigation fees?  Probably not and certainly not before our company has grown very fat cash reserves.

Conclusion: if you have a patent it is better than not, point it out as an asset, but (outside the pharma sector) do not count on it making the impression it used to.

Marco Messina



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