Addressing Cheap Shots and Inaccuracies from Hal Wegner

By Gene Quinn
June 4, 2012

It has come to my attention that earlier today in his e-mail newsletter Hal Wegner has once again attempted to take a cheap shot at yours truly.  Yes, I know that truth and accuracy are not the hallmarks of Hal’s newsletter, and normally I do look the other way when I learn of cheap shots by Hal, which are a dime a dozen. When Hal challenges my business and makes blatantly inaccurate statements I do find it necessary to respond.

In his newsletter Hal takes issue with my Invent + Patent System™, which is an innovative approach to the patent process on which I have my own patent pending.  See U.S. Patent Application No. 20090307004. Hal writes: “[IPWatchdog.com] touts a do-it-yourself drafting system that promises a pro se inventor one (1) hour preparation time for a complete provisional application…”  Again, I do realize that Hal Wegner is not known for his investigative accuracy, and he seems to not let facts get in the way of telling the story he wants to tell.  Notwithstanding Hal’s need to cut down everyone and everything, whether deserved or not, I would expect that even Hal would be able to appreciate that what he wrote is inaccurate and unfair.  In fact, the inaccuracies and lack of due diligence suggest that Hal’s comments may rise to the level of intentional malfeasance.

First, I have no record that Hal has ever purchased the Invent + Patent System™, so anything he has to say about a system to that he has never seen has to be take with a grain of salt.  Indeed, the Invent + Patent System™ an extraordinary tool and those who have seen the output are amazed at just how comprehensive it is.  Rather than a 1 paragraph description of an invention the 10 questions typically produce a disclosure that is 3 pages single spaced, sometimes longer.  But Hal wouldn’t know because he didn’t access the System and because it didn’t fit into the story he wanted to tell.

Second, Hal is not telling the truth with respect to what I claim the Invent + Patent System™ can do.  More specifically, this is what I claim about what an inventor can do in 60 minutes:

The Invent + Patent System™ consists of 10 questions, and it is anticipated that for most inventions an inventor using the system for the first time will be able to thoughtfully and completely answer these 10 questions within about 60 minutes.  You will be guided through answering these questions with  detailed explanation regarding the type of information the question is intending to collect. Also provided are suggested answer templates you can choose depending upon the subject matter of your invention.  Each question also provides examples of suitable answers from a variety of technologies to give you an idea about the scope and depth of an appropriate answer.  All example answer are taken from issued patents, but because the quality of issued patents is not always what one would hope for, these example answers have been modified and enhanced in to better provide an illustrative response to the question presented.

Third, although not particularly clear by the nebulous and cryptic manner in which Hal writes, it seems that he takes issue most specifically with the fact that an attorney is not involved and inventors simply cannot do an adequate job.  He even has the audacity to compare me with non-attorney services.  It wouldn’t even be necessary for Hal to have accessed the System to know that those who use the System can obtain attorney review services from me to review their work and help them make sure the filing is as complete and detailed as required.  All Hal had to do was read the entire page that explains the Invent + Patent System™, where I say: “I also offer additional review services as well. Once you complete your draft I can review it and let you know what, if anything, you are doing incorrectly and what, if anything, you should add to make the application complete.” Of course, this was not reported by Hal.

Furthermore, Hal misses, either intentionally or through a lack of due diligence, that upon completion of the 10 questions the inventor is sent the answers to the questions along with a patent template, step-by-step filing instructions and detailed explanation about fully and adequately describing an invention in a patent application and how to go about doing that. Returning to the patent template, it explains where to insert the answers to the questions.  The template also provides additional guidance on what the inventor should do in terms of discussing the drawings that will be included with the filing, along with examples that show both good and bad.  To my knowledge no where do I ever say that it will take 60 minutes for an inventor to file a patent application.

What else do I claim about the Invent + Patent System™?  Essentially, the Invent + Patent System™ is capable of three separate, yet related, endeavors. First, the System is useful for an inventor to use to collect their thoughts and begin to pull their ideas together. Second, the System can be used to create a provisional invention patent application that can be filed by the inventor at the United States Patent Office. Third, the System can be used by those who want to collect all the information necessary to turn over to a patent attorney who will then be in a much better position to actually begin drafting a nonprovisional patent application.

Of course, Hal ignores the first and the third suggested uses of the System, instead focusing in on the second use of the System.  This seems to be an intentional oversight on Hal’s part because his narrative takes issue with the completeness of provisional patent applications and the fact that inventors are told that they can file a provisional patent application on their own.  If Hal had been honest and wanted to tell the whole story I wouldn’t have a problem.  But focusing on one rationale for the System and leaving out the other two is really beneath even Hal, particularly when the first and the third rationales for using the Invent + Patent System™ have nothing to do with filing a provisional patent application.  For crying out loud, the third rationale clearly and directly involves taking the results to an attorney!

In fact, repeatedly throughout the pages of IPWatchdog.com I explain over and over again that inventors should hire a patent attorney to prepare and file patent applications, even provisional patent applications, if at all possible.  I explain that the only reason an inventor should attempt to prepare and file a patent application on their own is if there is no other way because the funds are not available to hire an attorney.  For example, take a look at what I have said repeatedly about inventors representing themselves, none of which Hal reported.

  • “I am frequently asked if it is a good idea for inventors to file their own patent applications, and every time I am asked that question I suspect the person doing the asking already knows the answer, but is hoping that they might find someone who will tell them what they want to hear.  You have probably seen the commercial where the guy is sitting at his kitchen table and is on the phone with the surgeon who is telling him where to cut to take out his appendix while using a butter knife.  The guy asks: “shouldn’t you be doing this?”  Well, writing your own patent application is a little like taking out your own appendix.  You won’t die if you screw it up, which is almost inevitable, but you will not likely be pleased with the outcome.”  Drafting Patent Applications: Writing Patent Claims
  • “It almost seems that some rules have been created for the purpose of tripping up users of the system. That being the case, should inventors be going solo and trying to protect their own inventions? No. That would be similar to trying to remove your own appendix. If you can at all get to a hospital you really should not be removing your own appendix, but if you are lost in the woods and you are facing certain death if you don’t act, then act. Similarly, if you have any options you should be pursuing those options and not blissfully filing and prosecuting your own patent application.” Inventor Pitfalls: What is the Patentable Feature?
  • “[I]nventors shouldn’t be rushing out to write their own patent applications and represent themselves pro se.  In fact, representing yourself in a patent application is the patent equivalent of taking out your own appendix — a REALLY bad idea.  Having said that, many inventors are faced with the situation where they simply cannot afford to hire anyone to assist them.  It is either go it alone or do nothing at all.  In that situation the inventor is faced with a terrible dilemma.  If the inventor goes into the situation understanding they are not going to get the breadth, depth and scope of rights they otherwise could get, and that is acceptable, then they have made a knowing business decision.  The Libertarian in me believes that we shouldn’t say don’t do it, but the Patent Attorney in me knows that we need to be realistic about the chances of success and provide that information in a realistic way without sugar coating the reality.” PTO Inventors Conference: Patent Claim Drafting for Inventors

Now take a look at what I have written about provisional patent applications needing to be as complete as any nonprovisional patent application in order to provide a meaningful priority date, again which was not mentioned by Hal.

  • “Whether that provisional patent application can ever be useful moving forward is unknown and unknowable at the time it is filed, which allows for those who knowingly or unknowingly peddle bad services or bad advice to largely hide behind the unknown.  In fact, you won’t know whether the provisional patent application was worthwhile in terms of disclosure until you later need to rely on the disclosure to establish your priority filing date.  If your disclosure was not complete you have nothing useful, and potentially may have compromised all right to obtain a patent.” Good, Bad & Ugly: Truth About Provisional Patent Applications
  • “35 USC 119 relates to the ability to file an application and have it regarded (essentially) as having been filed earlier in time.  Specifically, Section 119(e) explains that a nonprovisional patent application that claims the benefit from an earlier filed provisional application is treated as though it were filed on the date of the provisional application. So what is the catch? The catch is that the provisional patent application must have fully and completely described the fully glory of the invention at the time it was filed. It has always been true that the provisional patent application needs to fully and completely describe the invention, and it has always been true that most inventors who file a provisional patent application fail to satisfy this requirement. If you don’t satisfy the full disclosure requirement then the provisional patent application isn’t worth anything, which is one of the main criticisms of provisional patent applications in the first place.”  PTO to Effectively Extend Provisional Applications to 24 Months
  • “It is essential to know that the benefit a provisional provides is only with respect to that which is described in the application. A carelessly prepared provisional is a complete waste of time and money. Yes, you can legally say you have a patent pending even with a careless or incomplete provisional patent application, but no benefit will be achieved if and when you ultimately file a non-provisional patent application.” No such thing as a Provisional Patent
  • “In order for any patent application to be complete the invention must be described with great particularity. Many times an inventor will generally describe the invention in a patent application but will not describe the invention with the level of detail required by the patentability requirements.  There needs to be time spent describing the structure of the components that make up the invention, as well as the mechanical and electrical connections necessary for the components of the invention to fit together and ultimately perform the specified function.” Describing Your Invention Completely in a Patent Application

I could go on and on with more examples, but these examples should suffice to address Hal’s sloppy and inaccurate reporting.

In closing I will just point out that I use the Invent + Patent System™ with all of my clients. Even when someone comes to me and wants me to represent them I have them complete these 10 questions, which forms the basis of understanding their invention.  Upon reviewing the answers to these 10 questions I then know whether I have enough to begin the work that needs to be performed, whether a patent search or the drafting of a patent application. When an inventor takes these questions seriously I almost always have enough information to begin, or at the least can now ask specific, pin-point questions to learn the detail that is missing.

I am always happy to answer questions about the Invent + Patent System™.  It is a remarkable tool for inventors to use, and it is a remarkable tool for attorneys to use with their own inventor clients.  So if anyone has any questions or would like to consider adopting the Invent + Patent System™ in their own practice please send me a message and we can take it from there.

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded IPWatchdog.com in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on IPWatchdog.com do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of IPWatchdog.com. Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 28 Comments comments.

  1. EG June 4, 2012 3:09 pm

    Gene,

    Are you, by chance, referring to this article on IPFrontline: http://www.ipfrontline.com/depts/article.aspx?id=27092&deptid=2

  2. Gene Quinn June 4, 2012 5:12 pm

    EG-

    Yes, that is the article. It was forwarded to me as part of Hal’s newsletter e-mailed today.

    -Gene

  3. bfl June 4, 2012 6:43 pm

    Gene,

    Good luck getting that application patented. Seriously. If I were the examiner I’d be rejecting it for a lack of patentable subject matter. And putting in the phrase ‘computer implemented’ doesn’t make an otherwise unpatentable claim become patentable. The substance of the invention has to be considered over form:

    CyberSource Corporation v Retail Decisions, Inc (Fed. Cir. 2011, No. 2009-1358).

    I predict you will have a hard time getting that one past your examiner.

  4. Mark Summerfield June 4, 2012 6:55 pm

    Gene

    As I am sure you are aware, Wegner has a particular axe to grind here, and I suspect that you are collateral damage in a larger campaign. Specifically, he was – and remains – one of the most vocal and belligerent critics of the America Invents Act in general, and of ‘first inventor to file’ in particular. And in this, there is a genuine issue of which inventors need to conscious.

    Under the ‘first to invent regime’, an inventor might have gotten away with a provisional of dubious quality. The specification might not meet the written description requirement in relation to what is ultimately claimed, but it, and/or other records kept by the inventor, might nonetheless establish possession of the invention in advance of any prior art arising between the provisional and nonprovisional filing dates.

    Under ‘first inventor to file’ this will no longer be the case, although an inventor may nonetheless be saved by the grace period in some circumstances.

    This is especially important right now. Whatever the relative merits of ‘first inventor to file’ versus ‘first to invent’, there is no question that an application is exposed to more potential prior art under the new regime than under the old. It is therefore clearly beneficial for applicants filing nonprovisional applications after 16 March 2013 to be able to establish a priority date (‘effective filing date’) which is earlier than this date. As I am sure you are aware, if even one claim in the nonprovisional application is not adequately supported in the provisional, it becomes a ‘first to file’ application in its entirety.

    If there were ever a 12-month period in which inventors should get as much professional input into a provisional application as they can possibly afford, then this surely is it!

    Cheers,

    Mark

  5. Gene Quinn June 4, 2012 8:32 pm

    Mark-

    I hadn’t considered the connection between Hal’s comment and his loathing of the America Invents Act. You raise a very good point.

    I also definitely agree with you. If there were ever a time that inventors need to have representation it is now. As we march toward first to file things are going to change in significant ways.

    I hope all is well.

    -Gene

  6. MaxDrei June 5, 2012 1:30 am

    Above, Mark Summerfield writes:

    “As I am sure you are aware, if even one claim in the nonprovisional application is not adequately supported in the provisional, it becomes a ‘first to file’ application in its entirety”

    and the inclusion of the words “in its entirety” intrigue me. I don’t understand.

    Under the Paris Convention, even if some claims of the non-pro are not entitled to the date of the pro, others can still benefit from the filing date of the pro. Is Mark saying that is not the case under the AIA? Gene, is he right?

  7. Anon June 5, 2012 9:37 am

    MaxDrei,

    What Mark Summerfield is reffering to (I believe) is the “cusp” of governing law. For an indefinite period of time due to the very large backlog here in the States, the law as passed by the America Invents Act will not be the governing law for applications being prosecuted; at least not fully. Any application filed after the 2013 cuttoff date of March 16 will fall completely under the new law, unless, and in its entirety, the claims can claim priority prior to March 16, 2013. Even if a claim is submitted and later canceled that does not meet the priority (i.e. enabled), the entire application falls to the new law.

    We are in a very dangerous zone for those seeking patents on their inventions in the US without professional help.

  8. MaxDrei June 5, 2012 10:29 am

    Anon, thanks. Makes total sense now. And is interesting.

    The UK in 1978 moved from domestic law to the pan-European Patent Convention. The move expanded the definition of the prior art, so there was a rush to file before the guillotine came down. 30+ years later, what with the possibility of extensions beyond the normal 20 year patent term, the transitional provisions then enacted are only now drawing to a close.

  9. MIT PHD Attorney June 5, 2012 12:43 pm

    More conclusory rant from Quinn. 1) First off, proposing that the absence of purchase means that “he has not seen” your stuff is self-serving nonsense and logically incorrect; 2) Secondly, you have chronically filtered out adverse responses like this from your blog which creates the a fraudulent impression that readers agree; 3) there are a gazillion do it yourself provisional kits out there already, so your two-way hype is disingenuous.

    As an aside, of course this begs the question as to why I read your blog at all. The answer is that on occasion you post some thoughtful and informative information and analysis. Too bad it is diluted with so much ranting, self-promotion and political noise- a scholar or wise practitioner you certainly are not.

    QED.

  10. Stan E. Delo June 5, 2012 9:24 pm

    What if I had my Provisional professionally prepared, including claims that matched the spec language, but the claims were just not filed with the PPA? Would that tend to void my *warranty* for the earlier priority date when I finally manage to acquire an ostensibly valid patent? I had another patent agent write my Formal application, and he used a lot of the language from the PPA and then some, and then he came up with his own version of the claims, after looking at what Larry had written originally.

    Just curiosity in my case, as the timing of the AIA, as lamentable as the *Act* is, is good for my situation. Interesting story about the glacial change in European patent law, Max.

    Watching the Transit of Venus in front of the Sun. NASA live feed…

  11. Stan E. Delo June 5, 2012 9:48 pm

    Gene-

    Hal was singing a much different tune about *patent reform* back when mostly large corporations were trying to Jam the bill through Congress in 2009. The Senate hearing was a cruel joke to watch, as the whole panel testifying were large corporation general or IP counsel, with the exception of Dean Kamen.

    Pure academics like Hal and others don’t really understand the *business* aspect of inventing, so they usually have a somewhat warped perspective about what patent rights should or could be. Ivory Towers, and all like that…

    Regards,
    SD~

  12. Gene Quinn June 5, 2012 10:37 pm

    MIT PHD Attorney-

    First, I see you are so insecure in your viewpoint that you choose to remain anonymous and use a fake e-mail address. How cowardly.

    Second, of course someone who has not accessed the system cannot in any intellectually honest way offer a critique of the system. This is a self evident truth. The fact that you don’t understand that speaks volumes about you, whoever you are.

    Third, I’ll accept your apology now about filtering out adverse responses.

    Fourth, there are a bunch of do-it-yourself systems and all of them are inferior to mine, which you would understand and appreciate if you knew anything about the system. You are just talking bout something you don’t know. Your ignorance is breathtaking. You actually seem to relish in your own ignorance and still offer opinions about something you haven’t seen or considered.

    Fifth, why do you read my blog? That answer is quick and easy. If you want to stay informed then you read IPWatchdog.com. If you don’t like what you read then please don’t come back.

    Sixth, you are right. I am not a scholar. I tried the law professor route but I am too practical. As far as a wise practitioner? It seems I am more wise than you. I have a plan, I make a very good living and I am quite successful — even influential in the IP community. You on the other hand can’t even figure out why you read IPWatchdog.com. LOL.

    Finally, commenting here is not a right. If you want to comment in the future you will use either a real name or a real e-mail address. If you don’t then your comments will be deleted. If you demand complete anonymity go elsewhere.

    -Gene

  13. Gene Quinn June 5, 2012 10:38 pm

    bfl-

    Thanks, but I won’t need any luck. Perhaps you should better inform yourself.

    -Gene

  14. Stan E. Delo June 5, 2012 11:04 pm

    MIT-

    Calling Gene ingenuous seems rather a lot like the pot calling the kettle black, since you have decided to remain inscrutable. I would guess you are Hal yourself, or one of his pals in his stead. Sorta like a Mole, as it is known as in the detective/spy business. Incognito.

  15. Stan E. Delo June 5, 2012 11:07 pm

    Mark Lemley

  16. Gene Quinn June 5, 2012 11:42 pm

    Stan-

    Thanks for sticking up for me. Definitely appreciated.

    AS for who MIT is, I cant believe it is Mark Lemley. While I frequently disagree with Lemley on issues, I do have high regard for him personally and professional. I always enjoy my interactions with Lemley and appreciate him contributing his thoughts here on IPWatchdog.com even when he has reason to suspect that our audience will likely not be a friendly one. He has always been willing to put his name to his opinions and positions, which is something to admire today even if we disagree on issues.

    I hope all is well with you, and thanks again!

    -Gene

  17. MaxDrei June 6, 2012 2:53 am

    Stan, I’m happy you found my remark interesting but dismayed that you infer from it that Europe is “glacial”.

    Suppose you get issued with a patent. Then they change the law of validity. Should the validity of your patent be judged under the new law or the old? If the old, well then we need “transitional provisions” in the new law, don’t we, to see that that happens.

    The 1973 European Patent Convention has no provisions to extend the term of a patent for “war loss” or “inadequate remuneration”. But under UK law, up to 1978, you could get 10 years under each heading, after the end of the normal 16 year term. One man succeeded. The inventor of colour TV, one Valensi, got a 36 year term out of his pre-1978 UK patent.

    Now you see why the 1978 transitional provisions of UK patent law necessarily endure for such a long time?

    Glacial? I don’t think so.

  18. Stan E. Delo June 6, 2012 10:19 am

    Sorry- I misunderstood what you were saying before.

  19. MaxDrei June 6, 2012 10:35 am

    No apology needed Stan. My fault entirely. Sorry my original comment was susceptible of misunderstanding. I now resolve to try harder, to make my comments in future impossible to misunderstand.

  20. patent leather June 6, 2012 3:01 pm

    I propose we have a CLE event which pits Gene vs. Hal Wegner in a Jeopardy-style format with categories such as “patent cooperation treaty” , “the America Invents Act”, etc. Would be very entertaining. I don’t know Gene or Hal, but for some reason I predict that Gene would indeed agree but Hal would decline.

  21. Stan E. Delo June 6, 2012 7:25 pm

    Patent Leather-

    I would like to second your proposal. They would need a judge though, and I would like to suggest Paul Michel. If anyone knows patent law and it’s consequences, it would seem to be Paul in my opinion. He has always been a staunch defender of inventors’ rights here in the US.

    SD~

  22. Stan E. Delo June 6, 2012 10:16 pm

    Max-

    Also be aware that I have never formally studied patent law, so some of the language is foreign to me, but I am trying to learn as quickly as I can. A thoughtful and considered opinion from a European perspective is sometimes very useful, when considering how to proceed in the future.

    Your posts here in the past have mostly been pretty clear, especially considering that English is not your native language, I am presuming. Pardon me a bit if I tend to disagree now and then, as I am after all just a Yankee inventor cowboy at heart. Americans had to revolt to get out from under the thumb of the Brits a Long time ago, and the rest is history, so to say.

    But then I digress…

    SD~

  23. MaxDrei June 7, 2012 4:04 am

    Thanks Stan. On the roads of mainland Europe one sees many automobiles with registration plates from other countries. For example, here in Munich, the roads are full of cars from France, Italy, The Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Austria. Germany is of course bounded by 9 other European countries, with no border controls any more.

    One has to guard against simply assuming that the driver has the nationality of the registration plate. The danger is that one ascribes to that driver the stereotypical personality that goes with that country. Italians are excitable, aren’t they? Germans are aggressive, no? And imagine what happens when I drive fast, in my German car, with German plates, with the driver on the wrong side of the vehicle, back home in England. I look like a German, so how many of the other road users suppose me to be a German passport holder?

    Back again in Munich, I have to remind myself that it’s best not to assume that the driver of the car has the nationality of his plates, and that it might be a specially precious, important and high value fellow British passport holder behind the wheel of any of them.

    Let us keep on disagreeing nicely. Polite disagreement is what keeps these blogs going.

  24. Blind Dogma June 7, 2012 10:55 am

    Stan,

    I am afraid that the honorable retired Chief Judge Paul Michel would decline, as he is a personal friend of Hal Wegner’s.

  25. Paul Cole June 8, 2012 5:17 pm

    Coincidentally I have just finished a patent specification for a potentially commercially important invention from one of my UK clients. It has completed three iterations and should now be ready to file.

    So far as the prior art is concerned, it is not just a patent search that was needed. It was necessary both to look at competitor products and to look at user reviews of those products. Putting those reviews to the inventor (at the third iteration) put the prior art (not in the patent literature but there were informative videos on You-Tube) into a new light and threw up a host of important features. Not things that the inventor thought to tell me at first time around. And you had to learn what were the true user concerns before you could really put the prior art into context.

    The client sent 3d-pdf’s (a miracle if you have ever used them). That produced 17 figures of the product taken from selected angles and with selected parts in place and which give a fair idea of how the invention worked. Studying and manipulating the pdf, deriving the drawings, understanding and labeling them took a LONG time. And if you think that the inventor would or could do that and derive really good drawings, you do not know inventors well (this was a highly cooperative and intelligent inventor who provided some, but by no means all, of what was needed).

    From that you can get a description and claims. But there was crowded art and the differences were a matter of some subtlety. The important ones mainly came out on the second or third iteration. A really nice 3-line claim came to me during my drive to work. And this morning the inventor corrected the materials used to make key components and the correctly stated materials had different and potentially very important physical properties from those previously stated.

    The outcome was a document based on an in depth understanding of the product. There is every reason to be confident that we will get some good issued claims (even by the USPTO) which will provide good protection for the product. And if the patent is litigated, I am fairly confident that we will have some claims that will stand up.

    Is this the result of a computer program and ten useful questions? No, as you will appreciate it is more than that. Was all this work critical to protecting the product? You bet!

    I am not in the business of belittling those who write software that might help inventors or their attorneys. But if you want a patent application with a good chance of surviving examination, third party due diligence and possibly litigation, you and your attorney should decide right away that you are a drafting team and both need to put in your best efforts. A good specification is the result of prolonged and careful effort and diligent study. There are no short cuts, and though the software may help it is at best a partial answer. If you can remove an appendix at a cost of $10,550 then $5000 gets you nowhere (except perhaps the morturary). Same with patents.

    And if you are a litigator, one of the good questions to ask is whether this was a $3000 job, and if the attorney fees were capped in this way why was the invention considered to be worth so little.

  26. Stan E. Delo June 8, 2012 6:37 pm

    Paul Cole-

    The 3-D pdf you mention is a really great way to go, if you can find the right person to create them. I had a good friend that is an engineer work one up for me after I had sent some sketches to him. The best part was that we finalized everything during a Skype call, where he could show me his screen, where I could just tell him he had the springs and bell cranks on the wrong side, and several other vital corrections by him using the cursor to point at things and change them on the fly. The whole conference took about an hour at a distance of 3,000 miles with No phone charges at all.

    Once he sent me the image, I was totally astounded. You could spin it around to be able to see Everything, and also easily remove any parts that might be in the way with a few clicks on the parts list. You could also zoom in by 800% or so, and springs and even the threads on some of the parts were stunningly clear. I then sent it to my professional patent illustrator so he could take the various views as we needed them, and it cut his cost of time at least in half or maybe more, but I had to have the engineer convert the selected views that my agent suggested into DXF files, so he could edit, number, and save them by converting the views back into PDF’s.

    I think he was using an Alibre Cad program. (Sp. Ck) It would be really great if the USPTO were to accept PDF files like that some day along with the formal drawings, as a PDF generally cannot be changed by the recipient. It would save tons of time if the examiner could look at whatever he/she wanted to with a few mouse clicks, and be able to see things in great detail. Everything was also color coded, which helps to understand things a Lot.

    Apologies for veering off topic a bit Gene, but I thought it might help some here quite a bit.

    Cheerio,
    Stan~

  27. Mark Summerfield June 8, 2012 7:00 pm

    At the risk of drifting even further off-topic (but only because it’s pretty cool), the Korean Intellectual Property Office has been accepting 3D image files in design applications since 2010. The option seems steadily to have been gaining popularity.

    http://www.kipo.go.kr/kpo/user.tdf?a=user.english.board.BoardApp&c=1003&board_id=kiponews&catmenu=ek06_01_01&seq=1502

  28. Stan E. Delo June 9, 2012 12:40 am

    Mark-

    Especially significant since the last IP5 meeting in Europe seems to have been such a great success. China seems to be unbending just a bit, and Korea has mostly been a very enlightened place for inventors to seek patent rights.Their efforts to be fair and above board seems to be somewhat encouraging. The next meeting will be in the US next year, wherein they might be able to come to some sort of amicable consensus about what constitutes IP rights in an International sense.

    I certainly hope so, since the US Congress seems to have decided that us upstart US inventors have way too much latitude, and need to be reined in to prevent us from upsetting the International Apple Cart. I would have to disagree though, as I really happen to believe that Leahy and et al have overstepped their authority by a very large margin.

    It will probably take about 5 years to try to fix their mucked up *Legislation*, and all the while, US inventors and patent attorneys will be in limbo until the Supreme Court actually manages to get something right for a change. Color me a bit jaded right about now, as the AIA is supremely unfair to smaller entities.

    No worries though, as the Supremes can just ignore the consequences of their actions, and still get a decent night’s sleep with their very comfortable salaries. Why should they care at all? Just another stroke of the gavel, and all of their concerns just go away, even if it sacrifices myriad US Intellectual Property rights.

    What, Me worry?
    Over and out,

    Stan~