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Duck Dynasty or Patent Dynasty? 03/06/2014

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Intellectual Property, New Resources.
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Patent Attorney Sean DetweilerBy: Sean Detweiler

If you are reading this because the title caught your eye, then there is a good chance that you are aware of the recently popular Duck Dynasty® television show on A&E Television Networks, which is in its 5th season as I write this article. The frequent promotion for the show states, “meet the Robertsons; they turned duck calls into a multi-million dollar empire.”What you may not realize is that the family patriarch, Phil Robertson, is also a patent holder. He is listed as the inventor on at least two patents related to duck calls.

The cost of filing for, and obtaining, patent protection is not trivial. Independent inventors, startup companies, and small companies alike all have a common issue with which to grapple at the genesis of their own developing back stories. As a patent attorney, I repeatedly hear the same question, “Should we file a patent application to cover our invention, or should we put that money into the company for manufacturing and/or marketing or other areas to build the business?” My response to these questions usually is, “What is the value of your idea?”

Mr. Robertson made the tough choice early on in a market where there were a lot of competitors making duck calls. He invested in patents when he was just starting his company and making duck calls by hand in a shed in Louisiana. So what is the value of those two Phil Robertson duck call patents? Should you patent your idea? Read the full article to find out.

For more information about how MBBP’s Patent Practice can assist you, please contact Sean D. Detweiler.

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