One of our clients has an incredibly valuable series of patents. The highly effective product made by his patented manufacturing system has recently skyrocketed with the pandemic. His timing was excellent by any estimation.
The only problem is that several companies have blatantly knocked off his product without any repercussions at all. Why?
Because he doesn’t have the enormous resources necessary to sue those companies for patent infringement. But let’s back up a moment.
The Ridiculous Cost of a Patent
According to Bitlaw Guidance, a patent attorney will usually charge between $8,000 and $10,000 for a patent application, and the cost can be higher. In most cases, you should budget between $15,000 and $20,000 to complete the patenting process for your invention. They’ve constructed a great graphic to show the costs by tasks. (This does not include international patents which are also very expensive.)
If you wonder if you can go ahead and use your patent (sometimes referred to as the poor man’s patent) to make and distribute your product before you patent it, in most cases it will not hold up in a court of law.
What About Litigation?
Let’s say you spent $20,000 and got your patents and someone violated it. You then have to be in a position to sue them to stop using it.
Patent litigation costs between $2.3 million and $4 million on average, and it takes one to three years for a patent case to reach trial. Patent infringement lawsuits are settled in 95 percent to 97 percent of cases.
In conclusion, I’m not saying, don’t get your patent. I’m just saying, make sure you have the money set aside to do so and also to fight any infringers. Otherwise, skip the patent, try to be first to market, and establish your customer base based on other tangible benefits like customer service.
Disclaimer: I am not a patent attorney, I am just a patent holder. So check with your lawyer to confirm anything I write about here.
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