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Protecting Your #1 Asset is one of the most helpful introductions to the legal side of intellectual property acquisition and management that I have seen. Few who are not intellectual property attorneys have this knowledge. As a result of ignorance, many well-meaning individuals make substantial mistakes that cost them substantial incomes. This book will "alert you to the pitfalls that can strip the rights from the unwary."
This book covers the primary ways to protect intellectual property, including trade secrets, utility and design patents, mask work protection, copyrights, trademarks, and trade dress. This is done in the context of maximizing your revenue and income by creating protected intellectual property and creating competitive barriers, while minimizing the risk of receiving and being harmed by third-party claims against you.
The book's set piece is Robert Kiyosaki's experience with inventing what he called a "shoe pocket" which was Velcro and nylon wallet that is now called a "surfer shoe." Mr. Kiyosaki did not protect his idea, and was soon put out of business by competitors who copied and outperformed him. The book then goes into a number of horror story examples of how simple mistakes can cost a person or a company its intellectual property. Some mistakes can be as simple as not properly dating invention notes, while others can involve "abandoning" the invention by not continuously working on it.
The book gives you a lot of guidelines of what you need to do to obtain and retain protection, and helps you understand the pros and cons (and availability of these protections).
As someone who studied intellectual property in law school, I found the book impressive. I intend to recommend it to those I know who are developing intellectual property but have limited knowledge of the field.
The book's main weakness is that it doesn't give you a sense of what the costs are related to these protections. If you have intellectual property worth a billion dollars and lots of cash now, that's not a problem. Go for the best protection! On the other hand, if you have something that you're not sure what the value is and not much cash, you may want to take the less expensive routes. Top intellectual property legal advice will usually cost hundreds of dollars an hour. A worldwide patent position can cost well into six figures in dollars. So if you need intellectual property counsel, get into those cost issues at the beginning of your relationship. If trade secret and copyright protections are enough, the advantage they have is that they are not very costly to obtain and maintain. In seeking out intellectual property help, do try to find an attorney who is experienced and has educational credentials in the field in which you are seeking protection for your work. A small percentage of the bar (less than 5 percent) is well qualified to work in these areas as Mr. Lechter implies. Within that small group, one person in 30 will probably be much better suited to your issues. Take the time to find that person.
After you finish reading and thinking about this book, I suggest that you also consider how you could build a business out of just creating intellectual property. That business model may be one of the most valuable in the decades ahead.
Seek ideal improvements daily!
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on September 3, 2002
I strongly recommend this book. One of my friends lent me a copy of Protecting Your #1 Asset He knew about some of the things that I was doing in my business, and insisted that I read the book. He told me that the book was so good that it actually being used as the text for graduate-level college courses.

I was afraid that it would be very dry and difficult to read and understand -- but my friend insisted that I read it. He was right. This complex subject was presented in a way that was really simple and easy to read and understand. I realized that I was "leaving money on the table" and now I keep a copy near my desk and use the copy my friend loaned to me as a copy to loan to my friends.
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