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PATENTS -FACTS and MYTHS April 12, 2005

Posted by mais in Patent.
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PATENTS & TRADEMARKS > FACTS & MYTHS

PATENTS MAKE PEOPLE RICH
There is no guarantee that an invention, design, or plant that is
patented will sell. In fact, most patents do not generate income for
their owners. (See sidebar)

Fact
U.S. PATENTS ARE ENFORCEABLE ONLY IN THE UNITED STATES
A U.S. patent is only enforceable in the United States.

Myth
PATENTS CAN BE ISSUED FOR REALLY GOOD IDEAS
Patents are not issued for great ideas or mere suggestions. Patents are granted to people who (claim to) “invent or discover any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof”—to quote the essence of the U.S. statute governing patents.

Myth
YOU MUST PATENT YOUR INVENTION
A patent provides protection for your intellectual property, but when you are deciding if you should apply for a patent you should keep in mind that: 1) it takes work and it can be expensive to obtain a patent, and 2) patents protect your invention for a limited term, but they also disclose your information. Disseminating information while protecting inventors is one of the reasons patent offices exist. If you have invented something you think you can profit from but still want to keep the important details secret, you may opt not to get a patent.

Myth
A PATENT MEANS THE INVENTION WORKS
The government does not get involved in testing or verifying submitted inventions to see if they work.

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