It happens often enough – patent attorneys talk with investors for many purposes. Sometimes it is to consider the value of a patent, other times it is simply because the investor is backing a particular client or has a question about litigation.
So what happens when the investor wants to talk with the patent attorney about investing? Well, interesting stuff. Here are a few samples that may help you evaluate an investment opportunity like a professional.
Let's say there is a technical field of special interest. For example, let's say you're familiar with greeting cards, or jewelry, or party planning. Suppose there are companies capable of leading those fields, still virtually unknown to the mainstream business investor. You can locate companies leading those fields using patents as your guide.
Why so? That's easy! So many reasons! Let's start with one: patents cost real money. Any company that believes in its new product enough to spend money, may well be worth a look.
A second reason: patents reveal what's hot in an industry long before the business world catches on. This was true of every type of technology you see today, and it pays to be ahead of the curve.
A third reason: when there are many recent patents in a given field it is a reliable indicator that the field is very profitable. Yet, the products that will be sold under those patents may be months or years away. Again, it pays to be ahead of the curve.
A fourth reason: if there is a company you plan to invest in, wouldn't you like to be sure its technology will not suddenly be overtaken by otheres or even become obsolete? Sure you would! Again, looking at the recent patents in that field will tell you who the leaders are, where they're going, and if your selected company is still in the running.
A fifth reason: patents generally tell the truth (otherwise they may be voided). You'd be surprised at the things you could find out by reading patents in any given field. You can be more confident in what you are investing, if you have considered those recent patents. And, it is good to know when to flee from an investment opportunity, even one that otherwise seems enticing.
Sure, many readers might not know how to locate, view, and consider the relevant patents in a given field. That's not too hard – you can search on any patent site and limit your search to just the current year and a specific search term. One very useful search term, if you know your technical area of interest, is the Class/Subclass.
Also, patent search firms exist, and can do state-of-the-art searches in a very skillful way, at relatively low cost. I've worked with a number of those firms, and have been pleased with the results. If you find a game-changing patent and don't know exactly what to make of it all, then you should consider consulting an experienced patent attorney to explain what you are seeing and what it means.
Every case is different, and the above is not legal advice. To get legal advice, you'd need to consult a patent attorney and discuss the details of the case.