This is a law-firm site, but we also provide a lot of services for inventors which do not involve Legal Representation.
We have worked with >400 independent inventors. We have some idea of the struggles you are going through. While we are a law firm, we recognize that some inventors do not legal services as much as they need to get their inventions selling and cash-flowing as quickly as possible. While legal services may be a part of this, its at least possible that there are other more important services that are more important.
patent application drafting and filing
patent search reports
commercialization search reports (much more important than a mere patent search, involves canvassing marketplaces most likely to contain similar inventions, e.g. Amazon, YouTube, Google, eBay, various crowdfunding platforms.
It is very important for patent counsel to clearly understand an invention's intended marketplace. A patent application should act as a strategic document that should be worth something to a potential Licensee positioned within that specific marketplace. Many suitable inventions that could be considered competitors or of interest to a Licensee may not be patented at all.
expert witness (using litigation experience, experience as a former patent Examiner)
LLC filing and Operating Agreements
contract documents defining relationships between inventors and service providers
experienced expert witness in federal litigation
All of the below have widely-varying $billing $rates. These services are chosen and offered partly because they are the types of tasks that many inventors dislike and would prefer to delegate. Even worse, some inventors often hope that these tasks will not need to be performed at all, and so neglect them.
This is a recipe for losing every cent that was put in (we see this often). The below stuff needs to be done! Don't think you can skate by without doing this.
We sometimes get chosen to perform these services because our law firm often has a very firm clear idea of the scope and content of the invention, usually second only to the inventor herself.
drafting position papers showing the advantages of products,
applications for government grants, Shark Tank, Y-combinator, “Bricks” of West Palm Beach FL, or invention competitions
Setting up a simple landing page (not website) and enabling Google Adwords to funnel carefully curated and screened interested parties to that landing page
Doing federal trademark searches to determine which of these Keywords might be available for a federal trademark registration;
Assembling a list of possible brands, ranking them by a variety of factors at least two of which are whether 1) federal trademark Registration is available, and 2) level of competition (whether these words and brand-identities are already subject to a high degree of purchase within Google Adwords
patents and trademarks are among the most commonly-misunderstood elements of economic development. They tend to adopt the wrong measurement metrics. This situation is addressable, but requires careful thought.
We work with various Universities, both in the United States and in Japan. We provide patent and branding services, but we also assist in matching up researchers with potential Licensees and partners. We achieve this through our active presence at numerous Trade Shows, through Google Adwords campaigns, and that best trade show on earth (if asserted properly), YouTube.
We have extensive experience working as outside counsel for small, medium, and large-sized companies. We understand the needs and requirements for companies can be very different than Universities and independent inventors.
We have been servicing independent inventors since 1997, back in the early days when our only credential was "Patent Agent". We are all about keeping your patent costs down and getting you to market and sales. Often this does not involve patents at all, but instead involves trade shows and YouTube.
Even among independent inventors, there are many different sub-categories. See our guide to types of independent inventors to see which type you are.
we provide litigation support for law firms, e.g. knockout searches, Expert Witness (former Examiner), subject-matter expertise, etc
This usually includes finding specialized vendors in e.g. electronic fabrication, plasticization. It also includes crowdfunding issues, and supporting Amazon-sellers who have had their accounts suspended (a death sentence if this occurs in December), along with people trying to survey their marketplaces. This also includes business with branding and trademark concerns; canna-inventors having difficulty getting bank accounts, many other problems in which a business law firm familiar with intellectual property can come in handy. These are usually situations that other non-IP counsel do not want to touch.
View some of the trade shows we attend, and some aspects of our approach to developing your commerce.
Spending money on trade shows can be disappointing. Careful diligence and curation is necessary.
We look at Google Adwords, in combination with the right kind of Landing Page (not website), as a type of "permanent trade show". However, this requires caution, care, and curation.
If your prospective marketplace is trying to tell you something, you need to listen and to accept it. If your prospective customers don't want your invention, or don't want it at your proposed price, you need to LISTEN.
All businesses and inventors have to experiment! We do business research, brand discovery, building your Amazon presence, and (potentially) legal services
We get asked the same things over and over.
WARNING: this is where you may find out that you don't want to work with us. If so, better to find out as early as possible.
We work with inventors from every spectrum. However, there are some inventors we prefer working with more than others.
ALL CLIENTS SHOULD BE ASKING US
1) which is the best trade-show for my field of invention?
2) how can I make an unsolicited offer-of-product to a company? (e.g. Raytheon, Johnson & Johnson, Ford Motor, Grainger, WalMart, Cabellas, CVS, Rite-Aid, millions of others)
& THE COROLLARY
how can I determine which company would make the best licensee for me?
& THE OTHER COROLLARY
Prior to making any such unsolicited offer-of-product to a company, what precautions should I take?
3) how can I get started selling on Amazon. How difficult is the sign-up process, and how tough is Amazon to work with?
4) what is a good, effective layout for a YouTube channel, and how do I get this started?
5a) I need to find numerous suppliers and service providers to get my product(s) built and sold. I have found some assistance, but I need numerous others. Also, I need to re-structure and formalize my relationships with existing suppliers.
5b) How to I structure my contracts to ensure that all parties involved have a strong interest in seeing things go well. Does your law firm structure these contracts? Or guide me in structuring them myself?
6a) what is your law firm's EIN? (so that I may send a 1099)
6b) what is your non-law invention-assistance company's EIN? (so that I may send a 1099)
7) where do I list legal-service and non-legal invention expenses on my Schedule C?
8) where do I list non-law invention-assistance services on my Schedule C?
9) 7) I am flat broke, and want to fund my invention using some type of Crowdfunding Mechanism. Can you provide support for this?
VIEW CROWDFUNDING SUMMARY
10) I want to position my company and products for VC money and/or buy-out from a larger company. How can I go about pursuing this? How long does this take?
11) I am having trouble with branding and trademarks. Can you give me some ideas on how to resolve this? The law in this area is hard to understand.
12) Google Adwords, Google Adsense, and Google Analytics, which one can help me the most? Can any of them help me?
13) I have been trying to push this product for XX months, X years, and sales are very poor. I am thinking to pull the plug, but I want better more reliable data before I do so. How can I get a more definitive clear answer? I need a straight answer, does this product have any chance? Can I pivot, rather than stop entirely?
14) I have spent a lot of time myself, and also paid other service providers, for business research. Can I deduct this on my tax returns?
15) what is the difference between including an expense, and deducting an expense.
OUR INVENTORS SHOULD BE ASKING US ABOUT ALL OF THESE, BUT NO LESS THAN 7 OF THESE.
IF YOU ARE NOT CONCERNED ABOUT THESE, OR ONLY CONCERNED ABOUT A SMALL NUMBER OF THEM, THEN YOU MAY BE A HOBBYIST INVENTOR, YOU HAVE AN EXPENSIVE HOBBY, NOT A BUSINESS.
We will still work with you, but we will always be striving to convert your expensive hobby into an Actual Business. With products, cash flow, and a bank account which has money flowing IN as well as OUT. As such, some of our recommendations will not be pleasant.
We believe in Inventor ToughLove.
If you want someone to blow smoke up your butt, please contact an Invention Submission Corporation. They will take your money and tell you what a wonderful idea you have. If that's what you want, you are in the wrong place. Our services are geared toward persons who have been to an Invention Submission Corporation, and found out that's not what they want.
The one with the cool hat? Gutenberg
Use our services to build a community of interested parties, to test-market an idea, to get an <imperfect> idea of market-receptivity including potential $pricing (important), and to interact with people in your inventive community but outside your immediate circle.
Avoid the “echo chamber” effect.
Most important: use these services to detect, as early in your process as possible, if your idea either needs to pivot, or is just not worth the investment. Too many inventors, too many of our clients, spent years and years immersed in their inventions before they realized that nobody wants this invention!
If pain is coming, get your pain in the first three months! Before you take that 2nd mortgage.
The inverse of that is even nastier. Too many inventors, too many of our clients, spent years and years immersed in their inventions before they realized that maybe a few few people might want it, but these inventors could not build out this idea at an affordable cost, and/or could not get product liability insurance, and/or could not get financing, could not get space in retail, a key partner got tired of waiting and dropped out, or investor-promises made two years ago are no longer valid.
Or that the marketplace might pay $29/unit for this invention, but that inventor could never get their costs down below $400!
Don’t wait two years! If pain is coming, get your pain in the first three months! Before you take that 2nd mortgage.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, ANNUAL MERIT REVIEW (Washington DC)
AMERICAN CONTRACTOR SHOW (Orlando FL)
(at this show we are in “discovery” mode, trying to find vendors, machinists, and product-fabricators for various clients)
NATIONAL HARDWARE SHOW (Las Vegas NV)
NATIONAL ICE CREAM RETAILERS (Colorado Springs, CO)
We are not recommending you hire us to attend this specific trade show, this show is given mere as an example. There is a trade show for everything, even many obscure and highly specialized fields.
SOLAR POWER INTERNATIONAL TRADE SHOW (Las Vegas, NV)
NUCLEAR POWER TRADE SHOW (Orlando, FL) (specifically, Thorium <not Uranium> reactors)
CRYPTOCURRENCY CONFERENCE 2018
University of South Florida (USF), Tampa FL (smaller show, more informal, no specific web site was constructed)
COLLEGIATE ENTREPRENEUR ORGANIZATION GLOBAL CONFERENCE (guest presenter, subject matter “Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property”) (Kansas City KS)
www.c-e-o.org (click on “Global Conference”)
CANNABIS BUSINESS CONFERENCES (Las Vegas NV)
no one attends this show to use the product, people attend these to develop business relationships
WEAPON-RELATED INVENTIONS TRADE SHOW (numerous locations)
ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY (specialized computer-devices for handicapped/disabled persons) TRADE SHOW (Orlando FL)
AUTOCLAVE TRADE SHOW (Las Vegas NV)
SMALL BUSINESS IN GENERAL
This one is harder to explain, is not exactly a trade show, more a Google Seminar. How small businesses can take advantage of Google Resources.
For every invention we are involved with, we would want Google resources (not just Search, but many other Google-aspects) to play an important part in helping that invention\business thrive and grow.
We attend these Google Seminars a lot, both for our own small business(es), for my clients, and also to get other clients while I am present. Another similar mechanism is grow.google.
Example trade show Exhibit