So what of Boo Boo Goo? I came across this stuff last week while watching Shark Tank.
Sounds like some kind of slimmy play dough, but it’s not. The stuff is a paint-on bandage. If you get a cut, you’re supposed to paint this stuff over the wound. Sounds like a good idea, at least the Sharks thought so, until someone mentioned that this isn’t a new idea.
After a little back-peddling by the presenters (a Hollywood actor and his daughter), it turns out that the inventors claim to fame is that they came up with the idea to make it is vibrant colors. In other words, paint-on bandages were already known, but these folks came up with the break-through idea of making the bandages different colors. The invention was so profound that their team of scientists even filed a patent application.
And that’s where the discussion turned interesting.
Kevin decided he wanted to throw out a contingent offer, one based on the patent issuing. This was rather odd, because all the Sharks clearly knew there was nothing new here. But more on that in a bit.
Mark accused Kevin of being a patent troll, evidently because he was just purchasing the patent application to sue someone. Kevin admitted he was a patent troll, prompting Mark to say that patent trolls are ruining America. All this is rather comical and reflects the ignorance of both Mark and Kevin when it comes to patent matters.
First, let’s talk about Mark’s belief that patent trolls are ruining America. Patent trolls aren’t ruining America. Congress is ruining America. If Congress would pass any meaningful patent legislation that helped the small inventor, you’d see much more inventing. Claiming there are too many patents, and too many trolls enforcing them, is nonsensical. If you look at the America Invents Act, you’ll see that it clearly favors the large corporations. If you want more innovation, let ordinary people invent and have access to the patent system. Don’t close them off just because some people like to enforce their patents.
But I digress. Back to Kevin’s offer about giving a bunch of money if a patent issues. In fact, he offered $100,000. I see these all the time and I love them. Nearly anyone can get a patent on anything if they want to make their claim narrow enough. Just getting a patent doesn’t do any good if the claims can’t keep competitors out of the market. I’d take that offer any day of the year. If you ever get a deal like this, come see me and I’ll get you that patent. I think Kevin is the one that’s going to end up losing on this one.
By the way, I couldn’t find the patent application on the Boo Boo Goo, so I wonder what it really does cover. In any event, one thing is for sure: America doesn’t need to worry about Kevin becoming the tyrant patent troll and taking over the country, Mark’s comment notwithstanding.