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Some new clients over the years have asked me, a bit sheepishly, “What good are our patents?” A confession of sorts follows. “I know that patents are important to acquire. But aside from going after a clear infringer, all we seem to do is fill a file folder with our patents without further thought except when it’s time to pay a maintenance fee.” The confession complete, I answer the question with a question — how does your company generate revenue? A discussion ensues about the ways patents can protect or augment those drivers of revenue.

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