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David V. Goliath Inventors invent. Big companies steal. And you can't fight it because you don't have the money to win--or can you?

By Ellen Paris

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Big companies stealing inventors' ideas isn't news. Butlone inventors winning large judgments against those companiesis.

Historically, individual inventors don't sue majorcorporations for one reason: They don't have deep enoughpockets to pay for protracted and expensive legal battles.

Litigation, of course, is expensive. But suing a big company forpatent infringement or misappropriation of trade secrets is averitable wallet-buster. Cases drag on for years. Hundreds, if notthousands, of hours are spent in discovery, resulting in mountainsof paper. According to the AIPLA, litigation costs in a patentinfringement suit, from discovery through appeal, can range from$793,000 to about $2.5 million.

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