The effect of the government shutdown on small businesses

Planning to kick start your business this year? You might run into some delays if the government shutdown continues.

Posted: Jan 18, 2019 6:36 PM
Updated: Jan 18, 2019 6:36 PM

GREATER LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Planning to kick start your business this year? You might run into some delays if the government shutdown continues.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office is still open but who knows how long. If the government shutdown continues USPTO will close and if it closes, the chances of starting a successful business can drop drastically.

USPTO is the government agency that issues patents and trademarks. The office operates through government funding so once that's gone, examining patent and trademark applications won’t continue.

According to Patent Lawyer Cedric D'Hue with D'Hue Law LLC, having a patent can be very valuable to startups.

“If a business starts up and they have patents, they're 35 times more likely to succeed than startups that do not have patents,” said D’Hue. “If you look at a lot of companies that start up, every year of delay between them getting a patent cuts in half their ability to and have an IPO or Initial Public Offering.”

President Trump said he's willing to keep the government shut down indefinitely. D'Hue suggests applying for a patent or trademark while you still can.

“You know this affects a lot of our economy and we can do what we can for right now and we just need to make the most of the opportunities we're given to try to resolve the dispute and move on with growth,” said D’Hue.

Lafayette native Jennifer Bono created Liv Right, a natural dissolving tablet that works as a decongestant. Her product is already on the market at Sunspot in West Lafayette, however she has concerns about the future of her product as she works on applying for a patent.

“I am worried with the delay of getting the patent because I do want my product to be out there on the shelves so I can help other families just like it helped mine,” said Bono.

Another Lafayette inventor David Barnes said his patent application has been filed but not granted.

"If it's not reviewed then you know, I don't have recourse on any infringements and that's really probably the biggest issue that I would face," said Barnes.

Bono and Barnes said they won't give up on their products because of the patent delay from the government shutdown.

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