When Do You Need a Patent?

"For BusinessWeek online, Michelle Dammon Loyalka asks When Do You Really Need a Patent?

While conventional wisdom says every new vision needs immediate protection, it’s important to realize that seeing your idea through from conception to completion is a long, rigorous, and expensive process, and patenting should be one of the last steps you take. In fact, Bob Lougher, executive director of United Inventor’s Assn., a Rochester (N.Y.)-based inventor’s education nonprofit, says rushing to patent is the independent inventor’s enemy No. 1.

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