patentsforbiz.jpgI usually try to keep up with various to-do’s but one item that I’ve been behind on lately is reviewing some books on my shelf. One book that I’ve recently perused is “Patents for Business: The Manager’s Guide to Scope, Strategy, and Due Diligence” by attorney M. Henry Heines (Praeger Publishers, Westport, CT (2007)).

Patents for Business is just like it sounds. Written for the corporate manager responsible for patentable inventions. From “What is a patent?” to patent strategies, the book is a very readable and informative introduction to intellectual property issues. While not a Grisham novel, it is written in a very approachable style that makes the best of a topic that can often be dry and tedious in its details.

Heines provides complete coverage of the issues, methods, and art of managing patents including ways of identifying prior art, understanding the differences between novelty and obviousness, and the critical inquiries of whether or not a company will have the ability to conduct its business, or have freedom to operate — all based on the author’s real-world experiences.

One subject that I see critically lacking in manager’s is a full understanding of global patenting, especially the differences in allowable subject matter.  Heines provides a good overview of the various national and regional patent systems around the world.  This is a topic that will only continue to gain importance in corporate mission statements.

This type of book should be required reading for those tasked with the burden of building and maintaining a patent portfolio. Of course, if it were, we wouldn’t get to bill so many hours.

Patents for Business: The Manager’s Guide to Scope, Strategy, and Due Diligence is available on amazon.com.

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