Patents workshop illustrates difficulties of process

First Posted: 2/12/2015

CELINA — Ran Raider knows his workshops can sometimes crush people’s dreams, but they can also help people understand what they need to do to bring those dreams to life.

Raider, government and legal information coordinator at the Wright State University library, gave a workshop about patents and trademarks Thursday at the university’s Lake Campus.

Though many think getting a patent is quick and simple, “it’s not a very easy process,” Raider said.

“[People] really have to understand how much money they have to spend and if it’s worth it,” he said.

During the workshop, he walked the audience through how to search for patents and educated them on the different types of patents and trademarks.

Raider’s workshop caused one attendee to comment on how depressing his information was. Raider agreed that it can be depressing. Getting a patent may be really expensive, time-consuming and frustrating.

“Your idea is not worth anything unless you can protect it somehow,” he said. “Companies do not buy ideas.”

With an attorney getting a patent can cost $10,000 to $20,000, and may cost around $5,500 without. But before getting an attorney, there are some things Raider — who has done workshops and individually met with about 8,000 people during his 15 years on the job — recommends.

Inventors should create a notebook where they describe the invention completely, and then have it witnessed.

After that, individuals must do patent searches and marketing searches, come up with a business plan and employ an attorney.

“Break it down into the parts and [don’t] get ahead of yourself,” he advised.

On average, getting a patent issued or rejected takes two and a half years. Even if a patent is issued, only 2 to 3 percent of all patents issued make it to the marketplace, he said. About 303,651 patent applications were granted in 2013, of 609,052, he said.

Even if someone’s got a patent, “it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re millionaires.”

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