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Re: Gates Patents Flipping a Light Switch

From: T . Max Devlin
Subject: Re: Gates Patents Flipping a Light Switch
Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 14:20:56 -0400

On Sun, 16 May 2004 11:25:48 +0200, Stefaan A Eeckels
<> wrote:

>On Sat, 15 May 2004 16:59:08 -0400
>Barry Margolin <> wrote:
>> Are you expecting the laws to be applied differently for different 
>> companies?  Patents are something that anyone can take advantage of.  
>> Little guys can use them to keep big guys from walking all over them.  
>> Big guys use them as a way to stay big.
>Little guys might not be able to afford patents. 
>Does anyone have an idea how much it costs to get
>a software invention patented?

Pragmatically speaking, and with just a dash or two of experience in
the matter, my idea is it would cost about twenty thousand dollars, if
it is a relatively straight-forward invention.  That includes fees and
research costs as well as legal advice and professional assistance.
I'll leave it to others to speculate how many software patents could
possibly be straight-forward.

Getting a patent can be done much cheaper, and you could of coruse
spend much more on it, but getting the patent isn't the issue.
Defending it is the problem.  You can get the money to patent the idea
pretty easy, if you can convince someone that it can be cheaply
defended, and chances are slim you can't get even a tenth of that
amount if you can't.

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