Limiting the Costs of Obtaining IP Prtotection

"The first way to limit the IP costs is to be very judicious with the protection. For example, if a software program is to be licensed only in the form of object code, there may be many inventions that lie beneath the surface that cannot be detected by a competitor.

These ideas are best kept as trade secrets and not disclosed for two reasons. The first is that the disclosure has the effect of educating a competitor in how the product is built. The second reason, which is even more important, is that even if there was protection on the idea, it would never be able to detectable when a competitor used the idea. Detectability is one of the key parameters in whether an idea is appropriate for patenting.

The second reason is that in selecting which portion of a product to protect, it is not always necessary to protect every detectable idea. Often, there are one or two key ideas that any infringer would have to violate to copy the bulk of the product. Even if there are many patentable innovations in the product, there may be just one or two ideas that would be the highest priority.

Having whittled down the possible ideas to one or two patentable ideas, the next step is getting the patents issued.

There are several things that can reduce the cost of having patent issued."

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