The joy of patents, part 2: Why patent?

June 02, 2016 // By Scott Deuty
Scott Deuty
Scott Deuty has started writing and editing patents but here he argues sometimes it is right not to patent.

Every time someone asks me “Why?" I think of the movie Animal House.

Why Flounder?

BURP! Why not?

I don’t know why that response strikes me the way it does. However to this day, it still makes me laugh. John Belushi was great at one line, careless comebacks.

Although your interest in patenting might be more serious than naming a fraternity pledge, you’ve got to ask yourself a question, "Do I feel lucky? Well do ya punk?"

OK that’s it for the movie flashbacks. As for patenting, there are reasons both for and against.

Because I am about to write about a law based subject I must state that I am not a lawyer or patent agent nor am I giving any legal advice. I’m simply writing about my observations and experiences as an inventor. I have also searched patents for myself and as a freelancer. I have some experiences to share there as well.

My desire to patent was to protect my idea so that I could monetize it without fear of competition. Protection to me means that the patent office has a registered time and description of my idea. In the United States, a ‘first to file’ country, the date is very important to me as it gives me a reference point in the event I have to prove I had my idea before any others. Once I file, I feel that I can begin to pursue production or selling the idea publically without fear of it being used without my permission. This temporary protection is why I use a provisional patent before submitting a utility patent.

Allow me to explain.

A provisional patent protects me for a year. As I understand it, the idea is protected until the first year anniversary of its submittal to the patent office; otherwise known as the filing date. Within that year, I will shop the idea around or begin pursuing a