Why do companies waste money on low-value patents?
Minneapolis patent attorney Steve Lundberg, founding shareholder of Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner talks about how companies can waste money on low-value patents or even worthless patents.
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There’s several factors that go into that. One is is the tendency among most patent attorneys and even applicants is after they’ve spent $10-15,000.00 on a patent application they just want to finish it for the sake of getting it issued so they can hold it in their hand and say here’s your patent. But it’s probably likely that in most cases that where the patent has prior art that wasn’t anticipated or the technology got away that you’re spending an extra $5,000.00 to get a piece of paper that has no value.
So there’s a certain momentum that takes place when people do not want to quit because patent attorneys don’t want to call the client up and say you know the $15,000.00 we’ve just spent for your patent, it’s not worth anything. So a lot of times you won’t get that phone call.
And the other reason, sometimes it’s hard to tell whether or not something is going to pan out or not. But I’d say that most of the time the money is wasted is simply because someone wants to put a patent in the portfolio even if it’s not worth anything so they can add that count or make it feel like they did something valuable when in fact at some point in time it was clear that it wasn’t adding any more value at all.