A Drunk Hungarian and IP Law


I read a crazy story about a drunk Hungarian man who helped authorities for hours, trying to locate himself. Now that’s not knowing what you don’t know.

Apparently, he had been drinking with buddies and got lost in the woods on his way home. His buddies contacted authorities and they started a search. He joined the search party and spent more than four hours looking for himself.

When it comes to IP law, it is common to not know what you don’t know. For example, you launch a new product, then get sued for patent infringement. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t know about the patent. It’s your responsibility to check and see if you’re infringing. A patent suit could cost your business millions of dollars in legal fees because you didn’t know what you didn’t know. Unfortunately, in most patent cases, even if you win the lawsuit, you still have to pay your own legal fees.

Let’s look on the positive side of a new product launch. You don’t get sued and the product is a great success. You decide to apply for a patent to protect that product from competitors. What you may not know is that you must apply for a patent within one year of offering the product for sale, selling it, using it in public, or describing it in a printed publication. Not knowing this will cost you valuable patent protection.

The Takeaway

As a business owner you have a lot on your plate. It’s easy to not worry about IP. But in the business world, the old saying, what you don’t know can’t hurt you, doesn’t apply. What you don’t know really can hurt you.


To get answers to your questions click here. To schedule a time to talk, email Bill@IPGuy.com, or give him a call at 248-433-7381.

About the Author:

Bill Honaker, “The IP Guy” is a former USPTO Examiner, a partner with Dickinson-Wright, and author of the forthcoming book, Invisible Assets – How to Maximize the Hidden Value in Your Business. To download a sample chapter, click here.

To get answers to your questions click here to schedule a time to talk, email Bill@IPGuy.com, or give him a call at 248-318-7015.

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