Depending on what VC or angel you speak to, either intellectual property (IP) is useless and you should even mention it on a pitch, or it is so important that not having it excludes you from funding consideration. A Catch 22 for sure for us. Why the change? My opinion is that most VCs and investors today are from the first generation of entrepreneurs. Twenty years ago there was less competition and the whole “APP” market was not even in existence but to me, the poor bastard toiling away now, that means that early companies could ignore IP and get it later or be such a behemoth that you could literally lawyer companies to death (it happens often).

On the eve of our second patent (AWESOME!) and many many tens of thousands of dollars later, we believe that IP and its protection is essential to a start-up today, especially one like ours that is patentable and scalable. If I would say anything more on this is that those with capital have a serious advantage over us little guys, we could have more traction today but that IP protection is key to our long-term success. Good IP lawyers are not cheap for a reason- property law is one of the most complicated areas of law due to its incredibly long history.

I have personally worked with various patent attorneys in the past, this may be personally number six for me, but I would never go to battle for any IP related matter without Stoel Rives. Whit Johnson is the best patent attorney I have worked with during my career (and the nicest too). No, he did not pay me and I doubt he’ll ever see this, but remember that name and the firm. Best. In. The. Business. Thanks, Whit!

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