Patent is an exclusive right to appropriate an invention.
Patent is often considered a luxury to a small and midsize business. More often than not, you find out about the importance of patents after someone accuses you of a patent infringement. It could be a cease and desist letter or a service of process.
Without an understanding of how patent works, you will never know if you are safe from patent lawsuits.
The problem with a patent lawsuit is that it’s so expensive that most small businesses can’t afford it. What happens then? You enter into a settlement agreement to avoid going to the courthouse. In fact, this can be cheaper than winning the lawsuit after costly legal proceedings.
Even worse, it could happen that:
- you actually came up with the idea yourself, but didn’t apply for a patent;
- you have no idea what are the infringing activities that the patent owner claims, or
- the patent is just bogus (e.g. it’s a standard technique in your industry).