Should you patent? My research has found that if you are in the technology business(i.e. software, Internet based businesses) that it is not worth the money. Let me give you an example. Say that you are a small, web-based business that just invented a new way to help a customer check out from your site to perform a purchase. If you want to patent this process it could cost you upwards of $50,000 in the U.S. alone. This doesn’t even cover other countries. Now let’s say that someone violated your patent. You have to take that person to court to enforce your patent. Say that you spend another $50,000 to do that. Now you have spent $100,000 and only defended your patent against one infringer. How much of your product would you have to sell to make back that $100,000? I bet it is a lot. When you are an Internet/software technology company it just doesn’t make sense. It is very easy for someone to copy your ideas using different technologies without coming close to violating your patent. So what do you do to protect yourself. Your only true, viable option is the ‘trade secret’. This is what Google does. When you file a patent you must make the invention public. This makes it very easy for someone to copy it, especially in the software/Internet industry where there are so many ways to accomplish the same goal. Google keeps the way that it’s famous PageRank works secret. This is why other search engines have trouble copying Google. Google does have patents because it is big and can afford it but when is the last time you heard of them sueing anyone? Trademarking your name/logo is a much better way to spend your money. Google has gone after companies for this. If you do invent something that will be very difficult to make in other ways (a special process that only works one way, like medicines) then definitely patent otherwise you should think twice before you do. – Doug Kersten Intellectual Property, Patent Reform and Small Business by Raymond J. Keating Someone declared to me the other day: “We are an IP nation!”?? IP? That is, intellectual property, such as inventions, trademarks, industrial designs, as well as copyrights for books, articles, music, films, radio and television broadcasts, architectural designs and so on. We are a nation of inventors, innovators and creators. That has been our history. The U.S. excels at discovering new and better products and services, or ways of doing things. Such entrepreneurial skills have made us today´s global economic powerhouse, and it is critical that we allow such abilities to fully flourish in the twenty-first century. After all, technology has made the world a much smaller place, as well as more competitive.