How I Learned To Become A Successful Inventor «

How I Learned To Become A Successful Inventor


What I have learned, both from studying the history of other inventors and through hard knocks:

•This is a long-term enterprise; expect to spend five to ten years before you receive significant income.
•Do not have the same attorney to do the search and prosecute the patent. While most are honest, why create an inherent conflict of interest.
•Do not file your own patent; claim wording is a very complex specialty that must take all precedent into account. If you file your own patent, do not expect it to be as strong as one that is written by a patent agent or attorney. Expect lower compensation as a result.
•It is best not to market a patent until you receive the notice of allowance, information you supply before then can be and often is used to create fraudulent evidence by an opponent.
•Line up a contingency litigator before you start marketing. Litigators and filers are different breeds with different talents.
•Do not attempt to market to the biggest company in the field. They are usually fat and happy and will not be interested and if they are interested, they are usually so impressed with themselves that they will try to steal your idea. Instead, market to the second or third sized company, who is striving to be first.
•The sales group is usually the best place to market, recruit a champion in their sales department who is compensated based on performance. Engineering, upper management, or the legal departments are not usually good ways to get the companies’ support.
•Expect 80% of the companies you deal with to be dishonest.
•Conduct all contacts with potential partners as if you may have to slug it out with them later. That means you must thoroughly document every contact because there is a good chance the organization will tell you they are not interested after they have obtained as much information as possible. And that they will introduce an infringing product within a year.
•Don’t trust trade organizations, they are usually run by the big boys.
•Expect fairly low compensation for past infringement. Something on the order of 1% to 10% of the actual loss. Your goal should be to make them a long-term customer. Do not let your anger over being wronged get in the way of good business judgment.
•Build a fence around your idea with multiple patents. An infringer is more likely to settle if they face more than one infringed patent.
•If your settlement exceeds $500,000 per infringed patent expect the opposition to try to invalidate the patent.
•Make them a reasonable offer on royalties and stick to it. DO NOT demand more than your original offer because they agreed to it and now you think the market will bear more! That will kill your deal and sour the company on working with any inventor.
•Do not execute any contract without legal counsel.
I urge all inventors to contact the Alliance for American Innovation located in Washington, DC. The Alliance provides the only full time Washing presence for the independent inventor. It is time for us to band together to defend our rights. Multinational companies and foreign governments are attempting to weaken our patent system with a number of bills that in combination will make patents virtually unenforceable for independent inventors and small businesses.
Steven Shore, President
Alliance for American Innovation
1100 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20036-4101
Voice (202) 467-5805, Fax (202) 467-5591
E-mail the Alliance in Washington at: DCConnect@aol.com

 

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