For Inventors, Patents Are Key To Making Ideas Pay

By Erik Olson
Billings Gazette, Mont.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) For women in business, obtaining a patent can be costly. In many cases a patent can cost $10,000. On the high end, some entrepreneurs report spending up to $18,000. So why get a patent? Patents provide value in three big ways. One, they deter competitors and protect the inventor’s work and idea. Two, they increase the value of the company for potential investors or buyers. And, third they create an avenue to license a product, allowing the inventor to focus on creating while someone else sells the product.

Billings Gazette

The inspiration came to Allan Overcast when he heard about the 2010 shooting death of a young Montana State Patrol trooper in a remote spot near Three Forks.

The trooper, 23-year-old David DeLaittre, was found dead by another law enforcement officer following a shootout during a traffic stop with a man who later killed himself.

The murder sent shockwaves through Montana’s law-enforcement community and caused Overcast, an engineer and radio system consultant for police, to wonder if he could design a better alert system and make a difference.

Was there a way to alert authorities the instant a gunshot is fired, saving precious time if an officer or citizen has been injured? If so, could Overcast get a patent on it?

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