developing product - the various stages

is a patent really necessary? i spoke once with jeffrey bernett of studio b and he said he NEVER gets patents on any of his designs. apparently, manufacturers pick up his designs and credit and compensate him appropriately, rather than stealing them from him outright.

does anyone have any experience with patenting or choosing not to patent? i’m at this stage myself for household accessories, and it’s quite scary. i don’t want to “waste” the money if a patent is unecessary, but i also don’t want to get ripped off! ( i do use NDA’s very liberally, however!)

what have other young, new designers out there done? anyone with a rec for a good patent lawyer/agent???

…if you haven’t got the $$$ to defend a patent, i’m not so sure they are worth it…even if you have one and the $$$, it would might take years of sales to damage you to the point where the judgement would pay for the lawyers.

Consider going to a patent agent. They are cheaper than attorneys. I would get a patent if I could afford it. They do offer protection and validates your invention. It is hard to license something without a patent.
Your licensees would want some assurance that they are the exclusive asignee or owner of the invention they are paying for. Also a patent can serve as a form of advertising as it is published after 18 months of grinding in the system, licensees look at new patents when they come out of the oven.

Thanks, Guest. I have spoken to both a patent lawyer and a patent agent, and strangely enough, the fees were the same. Even though the lawyer came with/from an intellectual property law firm, he did not seem as quick on his toes as the agent!

Good advice about licenses…hadn’t thought of this…

Any patent agent recommendations out there?