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Posts Tagged: "mouse trap"

The Second Mouse Gets the Cheese – The Innovator’s IP Dilemma

While the startup probably had an initial 100% market share due to a temporary de facto monopoly, such share rapidly decreases as soon as others start selling to the same customers. Worse, many times, one of those fast followers is a large entrenched company that has deep R&D teams, seemingly unlimited budgets, well-known brands and established distribution channels in many key geographies that took decades to build. They can play catchup really fast. In other words, the only thing going for the startup at that point (assuming it could not possibly achieve this scaling up over such a short period of time) is the uniqueness of its technology and its ability to out innovate others. This in turn is only true if the new technology it brings to market is adequately protected against free riders; otherwise one is simply doing others’ bidding and subsidizing their R&D… In short, innovation without protection is simply a form of philanthropy!

A Better Mouse Trap: Patents and the Road to Riches

Inventors and entrepreneurs frequently take this mouse-trap quote all too literally, thinking that if they make a better product it will sell and make them rich beyond their wildest dreams. Although inventors hate hearing this, the truth is that the invention is the easy part of the process because it is the only part of the entire cycle from idea to commercial success that is completely controlled by the inventor. Once you invent something market forces and the reality of life takes over. There are any number of reasons why an invention won’t make money even if it truly is unique and superior to available alternative solutions.

A Better Mouse Trap: Patents and the Road to Riches

There are many different reasons why building a better mouse-trap is only the first of many steps on the road to financial freedom. First, there is no guarantee of financial success given by any patent office in the world. This is true even if you have a strong patent that covers a great product that enjoys robust consumer demand. Unfortunately, many inventors operate under the misunderstanding that getting a patent is like owning Boardwalk and Park Place in the popular board game MONOPOLY. The truth is that turning an invention into cash is much more complicated than simply placing hotels on Boardwalk and Park Place. Yes, a patent is an essential ingredient because without one you have no right to exclude competitors from engaging in competitive activities, but you must treat inventing as a business if you want to truly be successful.

A Better Mouse Trap: Patents and the Road to Riches

To paraphrase the famous quote of Ralph Waldo Emerson, if you build a better mouse-trap the world will make a path to your door. Inventors and entrepreneurs frequently take this quote all too literally, thinking that if they make a better product theirs will sell and make them rich beyond their wildest dreams. There are, of course, many different reasons…

Obscure Patent: Mouse Trap

Trap for a mouse US Patent No. 6,655,077 Issued December 2, 2003 Build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door!  Here is a better mouse trap, at least according to the disclosure contained in the patent.  It would be easy enough to poke fun at the Patent Office by saying that “the mouse…