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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi, I’m J.D. Houvener, your host of the Bold Today’s Show, where you, the inventor, entrepreneur, business owner, get your daily dose of inspiration to make the world a better place. Yesterday, we talked about patent sales and how they can make money for the inventor, right? How they can be a big moneymaker and, in a way, avoid having to deal with all that interesting, complex license structure that is in those types of contracts. A true patent sale rewards the inventor for innovation and lets them move on to the next project.

So, one thing I didn’t touch on is the idea of patent trolls and how there’s actually a pretty positive side to patent trolls. They can seem kind of ugly and lurking, and they might have this sort of bad image that they’ve been given in the press. But it’s patent trolls that are packed for the ones that do a lot of the buying of inventions and they reward the inventor for what they’ve done. So, it’s a big positive thing about patent trolls. Stay tuned for the following week; we’re gonna be talking about patent trolls and some of the interesting ways that litigation can lead to different types, whether it be through federal court, P tab, or through the ITC.

We’re still in the money week, and I want to talk about a different way that some of the bigger companies make their money, not by selling or licensing but by filing what’s called defensive publications. So, defensive publications are those types of inventions that are not core to that big company. Think about a huge company like IBM or Boeing. These are the types of companies that file defensive publications. They’ve got a core area of focus, right? Let’s just pick Boeing, where they are in aerospace. They do airplanes, they do satellites, even some military applications, but they’re probably not in automobiles. Interestingly enough, they probably publish hundreds of documents on applications for their feel in automotive applications. Why would they do that? To prevent competition from being able to enter into their competitive space.

They’ve got new technology that they want to use right away. They don’t want to go through the arduous patent process. They want to keep competitors out of that field. They will file a defensive publication. All this means is they’re putting prior art out there into the world. They’re putting out technology that they have no intention of claiming themselves. There’s no real application for airplanes or aerospace or satellites, whatever fields they’re in. They’re just making sure that no one’s even gonna come close. They happen to be investigating in this particular area, and they want to make sure that this information gets out to the public and prevents anyone else from getting a patent on it, especially their competitors.

Under 35 USC 102, a patent holder needs to be able to prove to the examiner that their invention is novel. And if the publication’s been out there in the public, and the examiner knows about it, they’re not gonna get a patent on that subject matter. So, this is how the big boys play the game sometimes, through patent publications or just straight defensive publications, getting the word out about a competitive field in the area of technology.

So, if you’re interested in patent applications, want to hear about different ways that big companies make money in the patent world, give us a call or send us an email. Make sure to visit our website at We’re still giving away a free 30-minute consultation for those that are interested and those that want to know more about the patent process. Also, if this was an interesting episode and you’re interested in hearing more about it and I think you might know someone that could be interested, forward this email to them. We’d love to chat with them too.

I’m your host, J.D. Houvener, the Bold Today’s Show. Go big, go bold.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at