1. If competitors know I have a patent, they can just redesign my idea, making my patent useless. In this case, how does the patent protect me from losing customers?
2. If competitors completely copy my idea, the only way they can take away my customers is if they sell at a lower price. At the small business level, I don`t compete on price. Instead, I compete on design. By the time they steal my idea, I should already be moving on to newer designs. That`s how I stay competitive. Furthermore, competitors taking my ideas will only expand the market that I serve, thereby expanding my exposure to consumers. Again, the patent serves no purpose here.
3. Patents and legal fees involved in prosecuting patent violators costs money. How much does this effect my bottom line? At the small business level, is it really cost efficient to go to court?
How do you feel a patent protects you? What sitation are you preparing for when you get a patent? Are you afraid you will go out of business if your innovations are copied? Do you feel you need to have a monopoly on price to stay in business? Isn`t that essentially what a patent encourages? By shielding your product with a patent, you are basically controlling the price of that product to the consumer. Is that how businesses succeed? By controlling price instead of satisfying the customer?
I`d like to hear your take on the matter. I don`t think patents are necessary. What do you think? Also if there are, in particular, any successful small business owners who attribute part of their success to having a patent, I am interested to hear your experiences.