Everything is edible … at least once.

Certainly a true statement but not very helpful.


The Legal Profession

It makes me think of another truism. You can also sue anyone for anything. If an attorney will take you case (and your money) you can file a lawsuit. Sure, the case probably will get thrown out in a nano-second but you did file.

The same goes for patents. You can file a patent anything. It does not mean it will issue. And if it issues, there is no guarantee that it will be valuable. A patent gives the owner the right to prevent someone else from doing what is patented. At this basic level, the value of the patent is very variable. If no one wants what you patented, then you just have a nice plaque on your wall and you can call yourself an inventor.

Creating Value

However; if you have patented something that buyers want and competitors want to supply, then you do have something that is valuable.

The patent office and most legal professionals are not experts in what the market wants. They are also not versed in feasibility. Sure, if you want to patent a perpetual motion machine, that patent application will get bounced as quickly as a lawsuit claiming that McDonald’s causes obesity.

Balanced Approach

You need patentability, feasibility, and marketability.  It’s like three legs of a stool. if one is missing, the stool will fall over. That is why I teach the Three Phase Approach to Inventing–Prove It, Protect It, Pitch It and Profit!

This post in a nutshell: Just because you can, does not mean you should.

Case Study

Check out this superbly produced video illustrating a patent someone filed and apparently got issued. I’m sure legally it was patentable. From the point of view of physics it seems feasible. But, economically, does it make sense? I’m not an aeronautical engineer but aircraft are all about saving weigh to save fuel costs which maximizes profit. It don’t think idea will ever get off the ground.

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