Do I always need a patent for my business idea?

The quick answer is no, not always. But for some reason most people want to patent their idea. Let's explore.

How often have you heard someone say, "My idea needs a patent" or "I will make a billion dollars on a patent for my <fill in the blank with exciting billion dollar idea>?"

How about this scenario: A client receives an email from a competitor that demands she stop using its "patented name." Patents are not granted for names. In another situation, the name associated with a patented product may well be a potential trademark or copyright but the name itself is never patentable...

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