Have you invented something wonderful? Patent it! But don’t count on making much money.
Just about every significant modern convenience is protected by a picket fence of patents, and even the silly, cheap doo-dads you find at the bottoms of cereal boxes are usually patented or emblazoned with a “Patent Pending” statement. People patent anything that can make money these days… even genes.
There’s nothing wrong with that, because patents protect inventors from imitators and help us build our technology, piece by piece. And as Einstein proved, patent offices are great places to think (he conceived many of his greatest ideas while working as a patent clerk).
But patents and the patenting process, like everything else, have their myths. Let’s crack a few, shall we?