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10 Myths On How To Patent An Idea Or Invention

Your brilliant idea needn't fall by the wayside simply because you don't want to deal with the patent process. We've shattered the top 10 myths so you can see your way clear to patenting your product.

This story appears in the February 2002 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

Given that most businesses aren't built on truly original ideas, patents can seem like more trouble than they're worth. However, integrating patents into your , regardless of whether you're an inventor, is one of the most overlooked elements of a successful business.

Freelance licensing agent (read: Mr. I Know All About Patents So You Can't Fool Me) Stan Weston gives us an idea of how important patents can be. He came up with the G.I. Joe action figure idea, and Hasbro offered Weston a choice of either $100,000 or $50,000 upfront, with a 1 percent royalty once sales passed $7 million. Weston chose the $100,000-and lost out on an estimated $20 million in royalties over the next 30 years.

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