Even if I can legally get a patent, are there reasons to not get a patent?

Of course! First and foremost, does the patent help advance your business goals? You need to get a return on your investment (ROI). For example, as discussed above, does the invention protect your market share, cover potential competitor business, or will it command a healthy license? If not, even if it is the coolest invention ever, you probably want to forget about patenting it. In addition, if you could never determine if a third party is infringing the patent, then you also may want to skip the patent. This comes up a lot in manufacturing processes and some software processes. In that case, you may want to keep it as a trade secret.

Steven Saunders is an Intellectual Property Attorney at the Boston-based law firm, Nutter. Steven can be reached at ssaunders@nutter.com.

For more information about Steven, See Steven’s Martin Trust Center Biography at: https://entrepreneurship.mit.edu/profile/steven-saunders/

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