Patents and the little guy working at home

There are pluses and minuses to having patents. As it stands now the patent system is horribly broken and not doing what the founders intended when they set it up.

I have some patents through work and it does look nice to see my name on the patent database. It’s kinda like wetting yourself in a dark suit - it gives you a warm feeling but nobody notices.

Don Lancaster makes a compelling argument that for the little guy it’s best to avoid the whole mess to the degree possible.

Ok, is there ever a good time to get a patent?
Let’s assume that you have a rock-solid world-beating idea that cries out to be patented.
Here are some things to think about before spending the big cake on a patent.

The exhaustive case for and against patents if you are not IBM or Intel.

BTW: if you are not familiar with Don you may want to check him out - lots of great ideas for makers. He’s a consulting engineer and author that’s been around forever. His books and columns have shaped a lot of the microcomputer revolution, postscript & laser printer hacking, self-publishing, and midnight engineering. (the early maker movement)

If you are thinking of starting your own small enterprise his free book "Incredible Secret Money Machine " is absolutely required reading:

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I’m glad you don’t have a patent for simile this because I’m definitely stealing it.