You and your people have developed a new, improved product. Now, you wonder, when to launch?

You’ve heard it before: DON’T. Do not go public! “Statutory bars!” cry the lawyers.

You’d think lawyers have nothing better to do than go around and scare people.

Well, guess what? Few companies make money by locking their doors and pulling their shades tight. Or to put it another way, you don’t win a race by freezing up.

DON’T never made any money.

This article is about DO.

Do invent

Do make it useful. Do solve a problem. Do fill a need. Do build a prototype. Do try it out, and improve it, until you’re sure it works pretty good. That’s a legal term—or is it a technical term—pretty good. If you prefer a 50 cent phrase, call it proof of concept.

Now, it’s ready for patenting. That really is a legal term, from the Supreme Court, no less, in the Pfaff Electronics case.

Do file for patent

File your patent application. Do that. Do it right.

Then, get out and sell your new product. Do become the market leader. Do make some money.

Do launch your product

It’s a simple formula: Invent, file, sell.

Winzenried sets 1000 m indoor world record 1972 per facebook and WikipediaAbout the picture: Mark Winzenried sets indoor world record at the unusual distance of 1,000 meters in 1972. In second place is Rick Wohlhuter, who would edge Mark for a spot on the 1972 Olympic team and go on to win the bronze medal at 800 meters in 1976. Mark preceded me by a few years at Monroe WI High School, and I am proud to count him as a personal friend. Here, the point of the picture is this: Inventing, patenting, and selling are a race.

This is the 4th and final article in a series of 4 W’s: The who, what, why and, now, when of patent.

Thank you.