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Microsoft win in i4i case will bring 'patent chaos'?

Nestor Arellano | April 20, 2011
Microsoft Corp.'s appeal yesterday before the U.S. Supreme Court to make it easier to challenge patent could cut both ways.

2. Pro-actively work with your patent agent or expert -- Once you have identified a suitable patent expert, work with them actively in drafting your patent filing. "You better than anyone else knows what your technology is all about. But your agent knows how to craft a document that covers the issues that need to be considered," said Dale-Harris.

3. Consider alternatives to a patent -- Filing for patent approval could cost a company tens of thousands of dollars. Know your options. IP holders can opt to have a copyright instead which provides right to and IP for 50 years after the lifetime of the IP's author. A patent grants legal monopoly but covers only 20 years after the patent is filed.

"You can also keep your 'secret sauce' a secret. That costs nothing but you could lose everything if it's ever found out," said Dale-Harris.

4. Get litigation insurance or litigation funds. These are funds you dip into should you ever find yourself in a legal mess. Despite its smaller size compared to Microsoft i4i was able to go head-to-head with the software giant because it has litigation funds, said Dale-Harris.



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