James, the best way to overcome patent restrictions is addressing the drawbacks or negative aspects of the patented design/product. This will help for obtaining a new patent, which is superior to the existing one. That can also brings more market values.
Good points, Mydesign. One thing I've seen in the mobile phone world and other tech areas is the value of patents as company assets. Quite a few times in recent years, company acquisitions have been based on the value of the acquired company's patents.
Rob, you are right. That's the main reason and motivation behind Google to acquire Motorola. Motorola, once the pioneer in mobility have 'n' number of patents (it's assumed more than 11,000) and now Google owns all the patents, so they don't have to worry while releasing a new product.
I agree, Mydesign. The value of patents seems to be particularly strong in the world of smart phones, cell phone networks, and tablets. Courts around the world these days are upholding patent ownership by leveling fines or blocking violating products from sale.
So true, JIm. I only have four patents, but each one is a lot of work to prepare and bring to fuition and in the end what you have is "a right to litigate". The obligation to defend the patent territory rests with the inventor and is an expensive proposition. I've often thought one was better off using the patent money to pay for the marketing of the invention. First mover advantages in the marketplace are worth a lot to the bottom line in the long run.
Then there are the true innovators in our industry; companies that are not afraid to stretch the bounds of technology in order to bring society creative, cutting edge designs. Of course I mean Apple and their patent for the Round-Cornered Rectangle.
Scott, that's a pragmatic way of thinking, to spend the funds on marketing up-front. I agree. Realistically speaking, with today's fast-paced technology growth, many patents are pending obsolescence about the same time the patent grants --typically 24-36 months after filing. Accordingly, often there's no point in protecting the idea. Better to grab the cash-flow from early adopters while the idea is hot.
Its funny and frustrating for those who have spent legitimate effort on patenting technologies. I don't discount the value of the styling patent; (known as Ornamental, or "design" patents, vs. Utility patents) they're very important. One peer long ago explained to me, "that's why every car on the road doesn't look like a Corvette Stingray". Point well made. However, Patents like Apple's attempt at a rectangle just make me sit back and ** sigh**
It's odd, no matter how new your idea is, there is probably prior art that is the same thing. I am dealing with this concept on a hand full of projects I am working on. But, as a friend of mine suggested, I am adding "patent defeating holes" to my designs. Features that will make it different from all the others in question. Underhanded, but what can I say... I want to see my ideas come to fruition.
This guy has it right. Unfortunately, both sides of a patent dispute will do the same. In other words, it is whoever is more clever, faster.
A friend of mine said if he has a patent issue with a product he is about to release, he is going to move his company to China. There, patent laws seem not to matter. Though, I don't think that will solve the issue. Money will though. Get some financial backing, and patents are a non-issue.
5000 year old Wisdom from the book of Ecclesiastes; Chapter 1, verse 9: What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. ---Great & Wise King Solomon
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