Turn Your Business’ Ideas Into Assets: Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights
Patents Protect Inventive Processes And Items
Copyrights Protect Creative Stuff (Videos, Audio, Text, Images) Your Free Guidebook Tells You More:
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Inventions & Patents
Funding & Licensing
Intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and copyrights are assets that you can use to generate revenue and get funding. A license agreement is the contract that gets you…
Brands & Trademarks
A brand can be a word or logo or design that identifies goods and services, while a trademark is the legal right to exclude others from using confusingly similar marks. A trademark can be a state registration, a federally…
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Incorporating creates an entity you can use to do business through, and has advantages…
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More About Provisional Patent Applications: Protecting Your Invention
Provisional Patnet Applications Get Your Idea In the Patent Office — Hopefully Before Your Competitor — So You Can Develop, Enhance and Market-Test Your Invention for One-Year
What You Will Learn Here: Inventing and Patent Essentials, and How to Start Protecting Your Invention Today.
Benefits of Patenting — Adding Value to Your Business
A patent is an asset, and can increase in value over time. Patents may also increase the value of your business for banks, financial markets, venture capitalists, and potential purchasers.
Here are some recent Patent Headlines:
June 20, 2016: Why Eagle Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Skyrocketed 27.8% Today
And click here from some historical “go-patent” information.
Why do companies receive so much value for a patent? First, if you choose, you can literally prevent competition from selling competitive products. Alternatively, you may decide that you’d rather receive licensing royalties. Maybe you want the best of both worlds? You can then produce your product with legal monopoly profits, and still receive royalties — in this scenario companies literally pay you for the right to compete with you.
That’s Right, It’s an Asset!
There are many ways to financially benefit from a patent’s asset nature. A patent may be sold, and I have sold (and bought) patents for clients, such as a patent portfolio for publicly traded iBiz. You may also license your patent (I do this as well) for products ranging from wake surf boards to tanning machines to software in 2016 alone. You may also create a business and take the invention from product promotion all the way to manufacturing and distribution (yes, I’ve helped clients do this, too – with products ranging from high-tech (iWaiter) to retail products such as an Eyelash Dispenser and Athletic Trainer). And in case you’re wondering, a patent is also inheritable.
Risks of NOT Patenting
What might happen to your business if you decide to not file a patent to protect an invention? If you think trade secret laws will protect you, think again. What if someone breaks into your computer system (or an ex-employee carries materials away) and publishes your trade secrets on the Internet? It may surprise you to know that if they are published, they are no longer secrets, and are then free for the world to use. That’s right – if an employee leaves and publicly discloses your trade secrets, they become free to the world.
What happens if an employee accidentally places a copy of a trade secret document in a public folder at a trade show? The trade secret just went away. If it were patented, by contrast, it would still be protected (although if the patent had already issued, it would no longer be secret).
Lost Market Opportunity
Ever heard of email? Did you know that if the guy who invented email received just a .01-Cent royalty on each email, he would make over $100,000,000 / day (!) (and, perhaps, we’d get less spam).
Have a quartz watch? Thirty years ago the Swiss made 80% of the world’s watches, and they kept time more accurately than any other watch in the world. Then the Swiss invented quartz movement. The Swiss inventors decided not to patent it — it just didn’t fit their business model and was seen as a threat to “Swiss springs.” Then Texas Instruments, Timex, and a few other companies decided that, well, quartz watches did fit their business model. Today, the Swiss have less than 5% of the world’s watch market. A myriad of similar stories abound.
Lost Company Value
Deciding not to pursue patents can cost much more than lost opportunity. It can cost you real money. Almost every transaction specialist has a story about ‘the inventor who has an offer in hand to buy his business for X million dollars. But, because the inventor failed to get patents, ends up selling out, dejected, for pennies on the dollar.’
You Can Be Sued By a Competitor!
Put yourself in your competitor’s shoes: what if they get patents to an important product or process? They can literally shut you down, or make you pay them for the right to compete with them. I hope you get to the Patent Office before they do
THE ULTIMATE QUESTION: Should You Patent You Invention?
A host of factors should be considered before filing a patent. For example, do you have the time, money, and energy needed to complete the process to protect your invention? Can you also afford to promote it into a market? Is the invention producible at a price that allows for effective market penetration? Although no one can start with complete certainty, you should begin by managing your time and resources with a tangible endpoint in mind.
Moving Forward the Right Way . . .
Preserving Your Rights Prior to Filing a Patent: Detailed Record Keeping
Filing a provisional or utility patent immediately after an invention is created or conceptualized is by far the best thing you can do to protect your rights to an invention. If you fail to file a patent application in the patent office before a competitor files a patent application on that same invention, then they get the patent and you don’t. In addition to filing a utlity or provisional patent application, detailed record keeping is the next-most important thing you can do to protect your invention.
Example Bound Notebook Entries:
Complete explanation of the manner and process of making and using the invention.
Drawings, sketches, diagrams and test results.
Testing performed and the equipment used, as well as the results: the good and the bad.
Record all persons involved in the work, and their specific role.
Sign and date each page, and dated.
When possible, sign and date each entry with at least one witness who understand the invention. Have them sign “as a witness and not an inventor.”
Confused or Have Further Questions? You should always seek legal advice from a patent attorney if you have any questions regarding whether your invention is patentable, and before doing a presentation or discussion without a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
Before you Begin … Consider a Patent (or Prior Art) Search and Review
Though not required by the Patent Office, one step to consider along with filing your provisional patnet aplication is to have a professional patentability search completed by an independent patent searcher. I typically hire independent patent searchers I trust to perform searches (and sometimes visit the USPTO to interview examiners). However, no one can ever guarantee that all prior-art will be found.
So, think of it this way: a search can often let you know when you can not get a patent, but can never tell you that you have a 100% chance to get a patent.
Patentability (Knock-out and Novelty) Opinions
After the independent patent search is completed, we compare the relevant located patents to your invention. A knockout search explores your chance of receiving patent protection based on the results obtained from the patent researcher. If non-patent databases (for example, technical papers) are searched for prior art, then the opinion is usually called a “novelty” search.
Sometimes, an inventor or business owner wishes to know if their invention may infringe an existing patent, or if a product or service being offered by someone else infringes their patent. This type of opinion examines, element by element, the claims of a patent to the device/process in question, and may require the review the patent file at the Patent Office. If this is the kind of help you think you need, please contact me for more details.
Your Next Step:
To begin the process of protecting your invention, let’s set-up a time to chat by clicking on the button below, so that together we can determine if you need a patent search, a provision patent application, a utility patnet application, or a combination of these.
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Being an Inventor In Dallas, Texas
Congratulations! There’s never been a better time to be an inventor in Dallas!
Today’s inventors and entrepreneurs can do more, faster than ever. Let’s do a quick comparison:
In 2004 a little business called Digg created software that enabled users to like webpages or articles. It took Digg six rounds of funding and $49 Million to create its product and grow. Today, you know them as Facebook’s “like” functions.
Today, Digg’s same functionality (heck, much better functionality) can be created over a long weekend. In fact, most of that time would be devoted to Design. If you have any doubt, just join in on the next Startup Weekend in the area!
Location Advantages: Economic Growth
Today the entire DFW (Dallas Fort-Worth) Metroplex is where the USA goes to do business and Addison, Texas is in the middle of it all: from the “5 Billion Dollar Mile” (now, actually having $10 Billion under Development) in Frisco that include the new Dallas Cowboys headquarters, to T-Mobile, Oracle, Conifer Health, Code Authority, Gearbox, Randstad Technologies, Kenexa, Fiserv, to HCL Communications and Level 3 Technologies (to name a few), to Irving’s famous names such as Exxon-Mobile, Lockheed, AT&T, and Flour, to Richardson’s Texas Instruments, and Fossil, to Plano’s JC Penny, Dr Pepper – Schweppes, and a host of other household names, today Dallas – Fort Worth and its notable suburbs are all business destinations (that are also a great places to raise a family), and Addison’s central location make doing business all over the Metroplex easy.
Speaking of DFW . . . unless you’ve been stranded on a remote island, you’ve probably aware that DFW is one of the fastest growing area of the United States both in terms of population, as well as economically. Indeed, it’s suburbs, including Frisco and McKinney, are consistently ranked in the three fastest-growing cities in the USA, and have been for nearly a decade. But Dallas isn’t just about economic growth, it’s also about family events from the State Fair of Texas to professional sports from the Mavericks, and Stars to the Cowbows, Thunder and FC Dallas.
Dallas’s University Community
The Southern Methodist University, is anchored in Dallas, and it’s (SMU) Guildhall located in Frisco offers an array of programs for software video game entrepreneurs ranging from weekend classes, to advanced-degreed programs in game design and development. Collin College’s has a Campus in every suburb, and an expansion campus of the University of Dallas (UD). The Guildhall’s annual pitch and presentation event is a must-see! The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), located in Richardson, offers an array of programs for entrepreneurs ranging from weekend classes, to degreed programs in entrepreneurship. UTD is also home to an tech-incubator, and frequently hosts special events for inventors and entrepreneurs, such as Startup Weekend, as well as presentations by Dallas Maverick’s owner and Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban.
Area Inventor and Entrepreneur Resources:
In and adjacent to Dallas inventors and entrepreneurs find that resources abound. Tech Wildcatters, the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, Genius Den, and DFW Excellerator are popular ‘heart-of-dallas’ startup institutions, while in Frisco The North Texas Enterprise Center has become a regional hub for innovative startups, and at Legacy Park you will find WeWork’s newest facility. Financial resources also abound, such as the North Texas Angel Network. Oh, and check out LaunchDFW.com!
Finding a Patent Lawyer to File Your Provisional Patnet Application in Dallas, Texas
You’re probably here seeking a patent attorney … well, I’m Steven Thrasher and I’ve been in patent law since 1996. And, in that time, I’ve helped hundreds of business owners and entrepreneurs (who I call “Game Changers”) transform their ideas and inventions into patented assets that generate funding, help the business (and the owners) gain influence and attention, and earn revenue while escaping the competitive pressures of commodity businesses. Some of my clients have been on television shows like Ellen, Steve Harvey, C NN, Fox News, Fox Business, Shark Tank, and dozens of other programs. I would love to add you to our tribe of happy clients.
In additional to provisional and non-provisional (utility) patnet applications, I solve problems related to trademark, copyrights and copyright law, web-domain registrations, and general intellectual property portfolio development. Also, I coach businesses about their basic needs including incorporations (including LLCs), contractor agreements, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), and where to go to get reputable and reliable website development, design work, branding, copywriting, financiang and insurance.
In service to the community, my firm (Thrasher Associates) has been active in the North Texas Technology Business Counsel, Tech Wildcatters, and regularly networks with the North Texas Angle Network and Baylor Angel Network (among other angel investor organizations).
I’m honored that you are considering doing business with my practice. Please take advantage of our free resources, and if you have a brand or an idea worth protecting, it’s worth your time to pick up the phone and give me a call.