Two of My Patents Emerge From the Labyrinth

I have about a zillion patent applications filed with the Patent Office on behalf of my employer, Citrix Systems, where I’m something of a network acceleration guru.

Patents are weird, especially the way other people do it. My goal is always to write up the idea just as clearly and completely as I can, which is the least-weird (weirdless?) way of doing it. An alternate school of thought is that the patent should be lawyered up to increase its protection even at the expense of clarity (or comprehensibility). That’s what happened to these two. Yet a third school is that the patent should be made incomprehensible on purpose, and even given a misleading title, so that only you know what it means. This theoretically gives you advantages in court, but I think it’s too clever by half.

Both patents (patent 1 patent 2 have to do with fancy compression techiques like we use for the Citrix WANScaler network accelerator. Which is very cool stuff if you’re into that sort of thing. I sure am.

Patents are a topsy-turvy world. They don’t give your invention any direct protection — there are no Patent Police — they basically are just a license to sue infringers. Getting a patent is also a strange process, something only the federal government could come up with. It took nearly two years for these applications to thread the maze, and that’s pretty quick! I have some applications that have been in the mill twice as long.

Also, frankly, just because an idea has been patented doesn’t mean it’s any good. Anybody who can cough up the filing fee and a lot of patience can get a worthless invention patented if it’s worthless in the right way. Me, I don’t see the point — in the topsy-turvy world of patents, coming up with a good invention is the easy part — but some people get a kick out of it.

I Publish Books! Norton Creek Press

Thoughts? Questions? Comments?

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Author: Robert Plamondon

Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, is an expert on free-range chickens, and is a semi-struggling novelist. His publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of the best poultry books of the last 100 years. In addition, he holds down a day job doing technical writing at Workspot.

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