Wikipedia says about patents:
The procedure for granting patents, the requirements placed on the patentee, and the extent of the exclusive rights vary widely between countries according to national laws and international agreements. Typically, however, a patent application must include one or more claims defining the invention which must be new, inventive, and useful or industrially applicable. In many countries, certain subject areas are excluded from patents, such as business methods and mental acts. The exclusive right granted to a patentee in most countries is the right to prevent others from making, using, selling, or distributing the patented invention without permission.
All well and good, but how do you convince the government to grant you a patent? This is where the problem starts. The system grants too many patents and leaves matters to the courts to clean things up. It also allows people to use bad, mis-issued patents as cudgels to try and screw with other people and companies. That is the state of the hydro market today. Hanging over everyone’s head is the “Jlip’s” patent number 7735772 and another one that they are currently in the process of reworking. More on this upcoming. Jlip is a NPE, a Non-Producing Entity, meaning that they don’t actually make anything. They own the rights to the Raymond Li patent and are currently attempting to use it as a tool to sue people for making anything connected to water propulsion sport devices. Currently under suit are Jetovator and (as we have heard Stratospheric Industries, Inc.). The same guys own Jetlev, LLC and well, no need to say more. Basically everything hydro, Flyboards, Jetovators, JetBlades, etc., hang under threat from the whims of Mr Jlip and crew.
There are many options when presented with an attack by a NPE like Jlip, one unpalatable option is that we leave the entire hydro sport market to the fine folks at Jetlev LLC and let them handle it in their inimitable style. That monopoly would be guaranteed to suck for the whole North American continent (except for Mexico) and is hardly the answer. Fortunately there is a remedy, and fortunately for hydro flight sport there is an abundance of published “prior art”. History. We have found prior art that covers all aspects of the current patents covering hydro thrust sport. Which we detail in this section of our site.
What many companies don’t realize, though, is that half the time a patent gun is leveled at them, it’s loaded with blanks, not real bullets. That’s right: About half of the patents asserted against companies end up invalidated when litigated in court or re-examined by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office during what’s known as an inter partes review. If you include patents whose claims are narrowed as well as those cancelled entirely—and it’s the claims that define the limits of a patent’s value and an infringer’s liability—then a staggering 89% of all patents reviewed by the USPTO are judged either partly or wholly invalid
The Achilles heel of any patent is what is known as prior art. Prior art means any previous patent, technical paper, or public knowledge or use of an invention that makes it ineligible for a patent. Under the law, a patent may be issued only if an invention is useful, novel (i.e., not previously known or described), and nonobvious—meaning, not an obvious outgrowth of an existing technology. An examination of prior art determines whether an invention is novel and nonobvious.
Forbes magazine, “A Powerful New Weapon Against Patent Trolls“
Sometimes when the NPE levels a gun at you, even he has not been told it is full of blanks.
You have a product/idea/business and you want to keep your competition beaten out of the market? Do it by making a better product. That is what we try to do everyday.