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This story appears in the December 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Patent Pointers
Given their obvious lack of intimate knowledge of and hands-on experience with the actual patenting process, the FTC is in no way qualified to be making recommendations concerning patents ("Patent Pending," October). Fact is, qualification standards are already plenty tough (as anyone who's gone through the process--including me--knows only too well). Competitors being able to challenge patents post-issuance already works great. Competitors can readily review most patent applications at

In fact, [the FTC's] dangerous proposal to limit willful infringement damage awards, a proposal big companies are kicking and screaming for, would only hurt "the little guy"--those creative--thinking individuals normally without the substantial monetary resources necessary to take on big-company infringers. The threat of treble damages is often the only leverage we've got to stop "the big boys" from stealing our ideas.

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