Why Most Patents Are doomed to fail - and what to do about it
There’s a common misconception among inventors that all patents, once approved, are inherently the same.
Inventors have been told that in securing a patent, all you have to do is hire an attorney (any attorney, really), and prepare to slog out the approval process while at the mercy of the United States Trade and Patent Office. Then, once you get approval, you are set to move on with your patented product.
This, unfortunately, is just not true. The attorney you work with and the way your patent is created matters. By design, some patents are much better than others, while some patents are even more valuable than others over the long run.
A Bad Patent Begins with Bad Ingredients
I often say that the process of creating asset value for every patent in your portfolio is like making a cake.
In most worthless patents, ingredients of doom are baked in right from the start.
In a typical patent application, you start by mixing up the raw ingredients (description of the invention) to get your raw dough (patent application). To ultimately get your cake (patent), you must bake the ingredients in the oven (Patent Office).
However, as is true in baking, the ingredients that patent attorneys bake in the beginning set the maximum potential value for the end product. Want to bake an amazing cake?
Then you certainly won’t use spoiled milk, the wrong type of oil, or set your oven to the wrong setting. You’ll instead use the highest quality ingredients and bake at the proper temperatures.
Compare that to your patent. If your patent attorney's batter included "slightly-aged" eggs or stale flour, would you expect a fresh, great-tasting cake to pop out of the oven? Can you see where I’m going here…?
Are You Being Served a “Doom Cake Patent?”
Based on my observations of many cases that have been drafted (mixed) and prosecuted (baked) by a wide range of patent firms, I find that far too many patent owners—from the largest to the smallest—have been served patent cakes made from rotten ingredients that were baked at the wrong temperature for the wrong amount of time!
I cringe at this outcome. The average inventor cannot be expected to know what quality ingredients are necessary to create a quality patent. They trust their attorney to guide them and steer them along the right path.
Nor should the consumer be responsible to “babysit” their attorney. It’s not fair to them, especially considering the high cost some applicants must pay to get through the process!
Because consumers don’t know what to look for, or how to identify when the “wrong ingredients” are being used, they don’t discover until it is too late (and usually after $30K or more has been wasted in a futile effort) that their patent was doomed from the moment the patent drafting began without the right ingredients.
Get The Right Kind of Help to Avoid a Doom Cake
The attorney you select to assist your patent application matters immensely. Remember, once your "doom cake" is put in the oven of the Patent Office, there is often little that even a highly skilled patent counsel can do to secure value for the client. The “doom” ingredients are already baked in and cannot be fixed.
You cannot start over, and you may have to throw it away! The opportunity is forever lost, and the dollars spent to get to that point are not coming back.
That’s why, here at Thompson Patent Law, we have developed a proprietary system to help clients efficiently draft a Litigation Quality Patent from the start that gives the attorney the opportunity to gather the “right” ingredients before baking—while offering the client the peace of mind knowing that a high-quality patent is being created on their behalf.
We call this our 7 Step Strategic Patent Assessment, or 7 Step SPA, and it’s designed to help both the client and their patent lawyer ask the right questions in order to get the "right" answers before even making the decision to draft the patent.
The result of the 7 Step SPA process is that higher-quality patents are achieved in far less time and for far less money. And, those higher-quality patents are much more likely to not only stand up in litigation, but also to translate into much more valuable assets on the balance sheet, and/or much more revenue on the income statement.
In terms of baking, this process positions you to bake the finest cake possible—award-winning, even—and for less money than you would spend doing it the old, outdated, and unpredictable way.
If you’d like more information on our 7 Step SPA process and how we can help ensure that you have all of the necessary “ingredients” in place before you file your patent application for the best outcome possible, contact our Texas Patent attorneys at (512) 649-1046 to schedule a consultation.
Craige Thompson was unquestionably the best
While I worked with some really good patent lawyers when I was at Gillette, Craige Thompson (from Fish & Richardson at the time) was unquestionably the best. Absolutely incisive in understanding the details of invention disclosure in complex areas of engineering and physics. A great communicator, he asks good questions and listens to answers, and explains patent law to laypeople with great clarity and skill. An expert in drafting patents that have no loopholes. I hired Thompson Law 10 years later, and got the Craige Thompson of old, plus more people like him. I wouldn’t go anywhere else.