Patents: Alchemy + Monopoly = Escape Velocity: Create an IP portfolio by filing your own Patents and Retire Wealthy
February 7, 2023
3 min read
If you have an idea that solves a problem you experience in your life, others probably experience the same nuisance and would pay for your solution. Your invention could be a moneymaker.
If you have ever had that feeling of: “why doesn’t somebody make that?”, you owe it to yourself to do a quick patent search at www.uspto.gov and see if it already exists. If it doesn’t, or your idea is a bit different than the ones explained in the patent abstracts, then you should file a utility patent application on your idea.
The filing fees are under $500 and the average value of an awarded patent is over one million dollars.
The alchemy is that value has been created out of thin air. A patent is a product of mind and imagination and creativity. A patent is essentially a monopoly in that invention space. Escape Velocity is the amount of money you need to never have to work again.
Why Patents Valuable
In most cases it only makes sense to patent ideas and inventions that you plan on commercializing. Patents are valuable because they represent a monopoly. You essentially get a 20-year monopoly on the business opportunity detailed by the invention. The patent represents competitive barriers to entry in the markets served. Patents represent a strategic competitive advantage.
Patents are a key piece of New Venture Strategy. Patents are strategically important, whether you are an entrepreneur with a start up idea, or working in an established company and have an idea that could expand a product or service line.
In a start up scenario once you have filed your patent you have secured a “patent pending” and you can then feel free to talk about your invention with potential partners and investors. The patent pending is also an Asset that you can fund around. Investors like to fund assets. Filing a patent is a great strategy, and probably the least expensive way, to jump-start a venture.
The patent search process for prior patents is also a rigorous and systematic way to assess the competitive landscape in that space. If there are lots of similar inventions and ideas already patented then it may be harder to stand out. But if you don’t uncover many similar ideas, it may indicate a wide open blue ocean space.
An astute and experienced business mentor once advised me: “When in doubt, create assets.” A patent application costs less than $500 to file and an issued patent is worth $1 million on average. That is tremendous value leverage. This can be the basis of creating significant personal wealth, escape velocity type wealth.
Once you learn and become familiar with this process, you can create a patent portfolio that could add significantly to your net worth, to say nothing of the satisfaction of seeing your ideas transformed into valuable intellectual property.
Big companies are big players in intellectual property. Along with branding and Trademarks, patents are considered primary strategic assets. Over 200,000 patents are awarded annually in the U.S. The company that was awarded the most U.S. patents last year was Samsung with over 9,000!
Companies look to create monopolies through their patent portfolio. One patent does not a monopoly make. A strategy of have multiple patents awarded that surround a commercial venture is called a Picket Fence Strategy.
Patents are the most liquid form of intellectual property, meaning they can be valued and sold. IBM sold a portfolio of more than 500 patents to Facebook and a portfolio of more than 900 patents to Twitter.
Thomas Edison Patent Master
In the beginning of Edison’s career he wrote all his own patents. In one year 1883 he drafted 106 patent applications that turned into patents. Thomas Edison was awarded 1093 patents issued in his name. That is the record!
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