This is from my ask-the-experts work at Entrepreneur.com. I’m putting the text below, for searching purposes, but you can see the visual here:

Question: A year ago I developed a software-based idea and have recently patented it. Currently it’s at the patent-pending stage, but I don’t know how to proceed from here. I’ve researched, but don’t know where to go from here. I’ve hit a wall. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: Sorry, but you shouldn’t be waiting for your patent. Build your business. Protect your know-how as best you can, but the patent system is broken, and even when you have that patent you’ll still have to protect your intellectual property with legal expenses. Patents don’t offer that much protection anymore, not in the real world.

So what to do? Get good legal help, somebody who really knows the area and somebody you can trust, and have them help you build whatever walls are possible–whatever you can do to protect your know-how and all. But in the meantime, build a business.

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Tim BerryTim Berry
Tim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.