I was recently surfing elevated vacuum on the internet and ran across some pending patents on elevated vacuum components. I am not envious of the process. Having been down that road, it is full of potholes. Yes, there are some great successes in elevated vacuum like the Harmony System, but there are a lot more patents that have never yielded enough profits to offset the expense of getting the patent. So just tread carefully down that road.
To quote Don Lancaster, “Any involvement whatsoever with the patent system is nearly certain to result in a net loss of time, energy, money, and sanity...A patent is simply the right to sue" with absolutely no guarantee of success.
Don says, even if you are willing to blow 25% of your profits on the patent system, your idea must have a market potential of $12,000,000 in net sales. This is based on what it costs to procure the patent and to sue to defend it.
I worked it out for the costs of getting the patent alone without the lawsuit and asked myself, "What are the net sales that would yield a net profit more than the patent costs?" It never pencilled out. You can still do lots of business with your product without a patent. You can develop it, make it, sell it, profit from it, even sell the idea to someone else and let them patent it. Just keep good documentation of your original idea.
If you have that great, unique and profitable product, my hat is off to you, and I am proud to know a few of you who have made a lot of money on your patented product.
But if you are like most patent owners (including me), make sure you are just doing it for the bragging rights; have fun, spend the money, and frame the patent. But don’t do the math.