Menlo Park Patents Blog:

The Entrepreneur Patent Practitioner by Joel Douglas

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Yesterday I took a phone call from an examiner from the USPTO.

He called me to tell me that he was allowing my most recent patent for my latest invention ZipXSynch. ( . ZipXSynch is a low cost electrical wiring device that helps Do-It-Yourself (DIY) electricians create secure connections using traditional low cost wire nuts.
The thought also dawned on me that this was my 102nd granted U.S. patent. After the phone call I sat for a minute and contemplated the enormity of the accomplishment. The process of inventing had allowed me to retire early and teach engineering, entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property at three great Universities. As a professor I was fortunate to teach software engineering and entrepreneurship at the University of New Haven. I taught engineering, intellectual property and entrepreneurship at Trinity College in Harford Connecticut and also taught entrepreneurship at Florida Gulf Coast University. I believe that the experience helped me broaden my understanding of the invention process and because of that broadening experience I was able to help my students see possibility to change the world through the process of inventing. I reminisced how my students used to say that I brought the real world into class having been a serial entrepreneur, inventor, and a real intellectual property professor with the experience of the patent practitioner and the experience of the entrepreneur.

Since receiving my U. S. Patent agent license I have been helping 100’s of inventors achieve their dream of creating valuable intellectual property which will help grow their business ventures. A number of them have built some very interesting businesses and have done well. None of this would have been possible without the ability to patent an invention, create a company and sell the product to customers that recognize the value of the solution to their problems that their invention provides. This is the beauty of the U.S. patent system and its marriage with the business development community.

During that reflection I also looked back on how things have changed since my first invention. In the 90’s you had to figure a way to finance your company through angels, venture financing and either an exit by selling the company or going public. Today the entrepreneur has alternatives including crowd funding, internet IPO and the ability to sell products on large internet retailer sites. These advances make the process easier and more accessible to a diverse population of entrepreneurs.

The reflection process also allowed me to looked at the patent application I was working on prior to the call. The application is for a small business that had contacted my firm Menlo Park Patents for help with their patent. They had an option which was not available to me. They had the ability of finding a fix price patent firm which was not available in 1994. Today a number of firms like Menlo Park Patents can help you write and prosecute your patent for a fix fee however, Menlo Park Patents goes a step further and provides the client with a simple and transparent options that are designed to reduce the sticker shock of intellectual property.

Menlo Park Patents has introduced the first patent application bundle that includes the initial drafting and filing of your invention as well as the first office action in the fix fee format. This allows small business and individual inventors to plan their intellectual property expenses and help them manage their budgets by making them transparent. Menlo Park Patents has also eliminated the cost of phone calls and emails by including them in our bundled prices. We like to call our bundles – no surprise patent prosecution.

It has been a long trip and I hope that I will be able to help small business and individual inventors well into the future. Please visit us at Menlo Park Patents to see how we can help you.