Erik Heels, an intellectual property lawyer and a regular Techdirt reader, has put up a nice blog post, explaining why patents rarely make sense for startups
(especially if the patents are for software). He notes that, in most cases, filing for a patent is "a waste of time and energy," not to mention money -- not that "your money and time would be better spent hiring programmers, marketers, and a sales force." Indeed. Unfortunately, lots of startups think they need
patents -- often erroneously claiming that VCs won't invest without patents. But as many smart
VCs point out, having patents for a startup is usually pretty useless. Startups live or die in the marketplace with a product -- and that product is rarely going to wait around for a patent. Focus on building a business, not wasting time and energy on useless patents.