All patents are not created equal. Indeed, there is a world of difference between a strong patent and a crappy one.
The strength of a patent lies in its claims.
Some inventors mistakenly think that the details disclosed in the patent’s specification define the scope of their legal rights.
The key part of a patent is the claims at the end, which set out the “metes and bounds” of the patent similar to a description in a deed for land.
Strong patents are expensive and difficult to draft. They have broad claims that stop others from making, using or selling inventions within the claim scope and yet don’t capture invalidating prior art. Strong claims tend to be simple and elegant, without extraneous details that create infringement loopholes.
In contrast, crappy patents are usually, but not always, cheap and have narrow, detailed claims that barely cover the described invention. It can be difficult if not impossible to prove infringement of crappy patents. There are lots of ways to get around narrow claims much to the chagrin of inventors who try to enforce or sell their patent.
In the world of patent law, you tend to get what you pay for. If you use a patent application generation program or pay some guy in India $500 to draft your patent, your patent is unlikely to be worth the filing fees or even the paper it is written on.
Only strong patents are worth owning.
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