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Old 08-22-2009, 05:11 PM   #244 (permalink)
Bicycle Bob
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On average, it takes $14 million in gross annual sales to support the legal work on one patent. When he invented the Dune Buggy, Bruce Myers got both patent and copyright, and got busy producing. Two years later, when he started to get caught up on the orders, he noticed that he only had 15% of the market. Fiberglass is notoriously easy to copy. So he called the lawyers to see what they could do, and went broke. James Lancaster has a nice essay urging inventors to concentrate on either leading the market, or publishing everything in hopes of being offered a salary to shut up. The new laws about "first to file" spoil the second option, but getting to market first is still a good plan. Some people will always want the latest and best, and others will prefer to patronize the originator. The rest of the money goes to the sharks, but one can still make a living while they try to make a killing.
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