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Biggest Mistakes Startups Make With Patents

File Provisional Applications

Provisional applications waste a startup's most precious asset: TIME.

Write Their Own

Writing your own patent application? Often it is better to abandon that application.

Let Technology Drive

The best patents come from capturing *business value*, not cool technology.

No Plan for the Asset

Due diligence *before filing* is the key to avoiding wasting time - or worse - damaging the company by filing a patent.

There is a better way

Chapter 1 - The Business Case for Patents

  • Tradeoffs of patents
  • The quid pro quo with the government
  • Cost drivers
  • Own or rent? Why exclusive licenses are more valuable than owning patents outright.

Chapter 2 - How Startups Use Patents

Building a moat around the business.

  • Building patents to get access to competitor's technology.
  • Patents to protect open source software.
  • Protecting a razor/razor blade business.
Multiplying the investment (where the real value occurs)
  • Outbound licensing to other verticals.
  • Franchising solutions to others.
  • Spinning out technologies.
  • Negotiating with suppliers.

Chaper 3 - Managing the Process

Due diligence BEFORE filing.
Focus on quality - then quantity.
Getting patents fast.
Roadmap for a Startup Portfolio.

  • Your first patent is NOT the most important one.
  • Where to look for good inventions.
  • Build the portfolio in response to business signals.
Quirks of the Attorney/Client Relationship.
  • The negative effects of the agency and fiduciary duties of the attorney.
  • Why your patent attorney cannot give you business advice.
  • The attorney sells hours, not business results.

Chapter 4 - Due Diligence on Startups

Assignments and Provenance.
Inventorship issues.
How to identify a "good" patent.
Invention Rating Checklist.

  • Novelty.
  • Detectability.
  • Design around analysis.
  • Alignment with internal business goals.
  • Alignment with external business goals.
Patent searching.
Valuation analysis.

About Russ Krajec

Russ Krajec is a patent attorney and CEO of BlueIron IP, an investment vehicle for financing patents.

BlueIron IP is the innovative patent financing business that spawned many of the ideas in Investing In Patents, and has financed patents for biomedical, chemical, software, hardware, clean tech, and fintech companies. More information about BlueIron can be found at

Russ holds a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a JD from University of Denver (both fine hockey schools).

Russ has a successful patent practice and co-founded Concurix Corporation, an angel and venture-backed startup company in the software space. Prior to law school, Russ was an engineer with companies such as McDonnell Douglas, Maxtor, Hewlett Packard, WaterPik, and others.

Russ is an inventor on over 30 patents, and has authored close to 1000 patent applications for clients around the world.

You can connect with Russ on LinkedIn here.

You can read Russ's patent blog here.

You can read the BlueIron IP blog here.

About BlueIron IP

BlueIron Finances Patents

BlueIron Finances Patents

BlueIron IP finances patents for startups. Our mission is to rectify the problems with the patent system and to make startups successful.

BlueIron IP aligns its interests with the startup: our success is based on the startup's success. Because we treat the patents as collateral, we have a single interest: making strong patents.

The side effect is that we need the startup to be successful, otherwise, our investment goes bad.

Another side benefit: patents are much more affordable for the startup, so their capital can be spent on getting a product to market.

Go to for more information.