How You File for a Patent Can Affect Your Bottom Line
Photo: iStockphoto

Typically, the first step in turning an idea into money is to patent it. Starting this process raises the questions “How much does a patent cost?” and “How long will it take?” Unfortunately, there are no fixed answers to these questions. Some factors beyond your control, such as bureaucratic backlog and the complexity of a patent, will affect cost and review time. But your choice of a filing strategy is one thing that will have a predictable and immediate impact.

As a business evolves, so does the weight given to competing concerns regarding cost, timing, and international patent protection. In the United States, this weighting guides the strategic choice between a provisional or nonprovisional patent application.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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