The Joy of Seeking Correct Advice
I recently watched the film “JOY” starring Jennifer Lawrence. This is based upon the true life story of Joy Mangano, inventor of the self-wringing mop. In the fictional version of the story of the development of this Joy gets a ‘worldwide patent search’ conducted and is then advised by a family lawyer, who has no experience of IP and is not a Patent Attorney, that a similar patent has been found in Hong Kong and that she should pay an expensive royalty to the alleged owners of that. She only finds out later, after much expense, that the patent was to a different concept and that there had been no need for her to pay any royalties.
The lesson? If (the fictional version of) Joy had taken proper advice and had her search results analysed by a Patent Attorney at the outset she would have been advised that the patent that was found did not relate to a sufficiently close design to hers to be of concern. Hence the importance of not only conducting proper searching but also getting proper analysis and advice on the results of the searches.
By the way, the film is excellent and well recommended!
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