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Posts Tagged: "stephen key"

The U.S. Patent System Works! Kind Of

Not too long ago, independent inventor Josh Malone finally received a settlement for willful infringement of his patents. He won in court and at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), and from what I’ve read, I know it was a long, hard fight, and the cost to litigate was in the tens of millions of dollars. But, he did it, and his product Bunch O Balloons continues to be a number-one hit summer toy. Licensing his invention to one of the fastest growing toy companies in the world (ZURU) clearly had its advantages for Malone. But what about the rest of us independent inventors? For the last decade or so, the patent system has not been in favor of the independent inventor. But has it ever been? I don’t think so.

Starting the Patent Process on a Limited Budget

If you are an inventor new to inventing, you undoubtedly believe you’ve come up with an idea, or two or three, that could really be successful. That eternal optimism and belief in one’s self is precisely what every inventor needs to succeed. Now, if you are like the so many others who have walked in your footsteps before you, you’ve probably started researching how to patent an idea but have quickly become bombarded with information from a variety of sources.  “I have no clue where to start, and I have only a limited budget,” is a typical new inventor question. “What should be my first step?” The patent process can be complex and knowing where to begin and how to approach the process in a cost-responsible manner is not always easy, particularly for first time inventors. Of course, before proceeding it is worth first asking why it is you want a patent? The road to invention riches may, or may not, include obtaining a patent, although at least filing a provisional patent application can be and usually is a wise first step for a variety of reasons.

What Mattered in 2018: Industry Insiders Reflect on the Biggest Moments in IP

There is near unanimity that the Supreme Court’s decisions in Oil States Energy v. Greene’s Energy Group, 138 S.Ct. 1365 (2018) was among the most significant events of the year. Several also point to the Federal Circuit’s decisions in Berkheimer v. HP Inc., 881 F.3d 1360 (Fed. Cir. 2018) and Aatrix Software v. Green Shades Software, 882 F.3d 1121 (Fed. Cir. 2018), the impact Director Iancu has had on the USPTO and the patent system, and Congress passing the The Music Modernization Act. Beyond those events, there were others identified by this diverse panel that might have gone unnoticed if we were to focus only on the top-line events of the year.

Filing a patent application is still a smart decision for inventors

I’m not alone in thinking that at least a provisional patent application is extremely important. Stephen Key, the preeminent inventor coach in the United States, advises all his students to at a minimum file a provisional patent application on their inventions in order to establish what he calls “perceived rights.” Key’s strategy, which has been successfully followed by hundreds of his students who do find licensing deals, is to place that marker in the sand and define an invention with a provisional patent application.

A STEPP In the Right Direction: A review of the PTO Stakeholder Training on Examination and Practice and Procedure (STEPP)

Hands on exercises were part of the program. In reading and understanding a patent application, materials were provided how examiners learn to break down an application in order to prepare to conduct a search. Work sheets and a sample problem of a mechanical device (a tortilla making machine) application with prior art references were provided to the attendees so they could do a disclosure analysis, determine any §112(f) issues, create a claim diagram, create a claim tree and ascertain if there are any other §§112 and/or 101 grounds of rejection. Another exercise was claim mapping using the same sample problem and additional prior art using PTO forms to formulate allowances and rejections. After the exercises were completed, there was discussion of what was learned and how there are many different ways to reach a conclusion.

Sell Your Ideas With or Without a Patent

As Key works with inventors he coaches, who he refers to as students because he teaches them how to do much of the work for themselves, he explained that increasingly he is seeing interest on the part of companies in licensing inventions without a patent attached to the product. ”What we have noticed is that companies say they care about patents, but the bottom line is really about speed to market and how fast they are going to be able to sell them,” Key explained. ”The life cycle for products is so short.”

Startups Entrepreneurship: One Simple Idea is all it Takes

We pick up our conversation with where many inventors stumble as they attempt to move from idea person to small business person. We also discuss lessons learned from a Big Bang Theory episode, as well as the important of taking reasonable risks, protecting your innovations (Key is a fan of provisional patent applications to start) and the importance of knowing the market for your product.

Discussing Startups & Entrepreneurship with Author Stephen Key

A lot of inventors and entrepreneurs might come up with an idea that solves a problem, but I’ve always took a different approach. I would let the market tell me what it’s looking for or what it needs or what’s missing. And I like to refer to it as looking for a sleeping dinosaur. By that I mean something that is old and tired. Don’t reinvent the wheel but come up with a small change in existing products. So number one, you’re guaranteed that there’s a market for it. And number two, the technology exists.

Inventor Coach Stephen Key Scores His Own Big Success

Accudial Pharmaceutical®, Inc. has acquired Stephen Key Design, LLC. This acquisition expands AccuDial’s patent portfolio to over fifty patents for weight based dosing and other extended content rotating labels (ECRL), which adds 75% more labeling space to a container. Yes, this is that same Stephen Key, known known to many inventors and entrepreneurs as the man behind Invent Right and the author of One Simple Idea: Turn Your Dreams Into a Licensing Goldmine.

One Simple Idea: Turn Your Dreams into a Licensing Goldmine

But don’t quit your day job as you pursue a career in inventing! When I saw that in Key’s book (it appears early on) I knew the book was a winner. I can’t think of any better advice to provide, and it came with the familiar stories to make the lesson real. In our conversation Key said: “Like anything else you need to test the waters. You never want to put yourself in a situation where you are desperate. Inventing is something you can do while you are working.” So for goodness sake, have enough success under your belt that you have turned inventing into complete replacement income before ever making the decision to quit your day job.

Former PTO Deputy Director Barner Returns to Foley & Lardner

Foley & Lardner LLP announced today that Sharon R. Barner has returned to the firm’s Intellectual Property Department in its Chicago office. Barner most recently served as Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).