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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Success Pending

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Josh Kopleman at First Round Capital has an excellent post up titled Depending on pending…  I’m going  out to lunch at the Rio today and having a margarita to celebrate the issuance of the original Half.com patent (#7,373,317) that was just issued.  8.5 years after Josh filed for it.  And 7 years after eBay acquired Half.com.

To my great joy, Josh states "I believe there is little-to-no value in depending on pending patents for a "barrier" to entry. "   He then adds a line that I love in the never ending "patents are like nuclear bombs" debate: "But if you’re fighting a war today, it’s better to count on weapons you have at hand today — don’t rely on a nuclear program that could take five years to come to fruition."

As an early stage company, saying that your patents pending are a defensible barrier is equivalent to saying that your success is pending.  Yeah – maybe.  But don’t count on it.  However, I can guarantee that the margarita I’m having at lunch in the sunshine is going to be very tasty.

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