Our column has had two big hits since January. One was the case 1303 Gun Case/Shield design requested by a state trooper in the Midwest. In the process of searching for an appropriate material, we found a miracle substance called graphene, which the entire world is currently going after by researching.
The other was case 1307 Better Bed for home care for the aging population. This case elicited the largest number of emails from readers experienced in the actual home care of semi bed-ridden and totally bed ridden people. Currently we are processing these inputs into a coherent table so that a serious design effort can begin.
We have every intention to pursue these cases to develop actual solutions, and efforts are currently expended. Remember you should always try to develop solutions to existing problems. Please continue to call in or email in your suggestions. Any suggestion is better than no suggestion. That is the only way our knowledge level increases. Think of this problem solving as a people’s effort to improve our living – the 99 percenters.
This week, we are getting back to the original course of discussion of patents. The last patent discussion was on June 10th when we spoke about the skill in drawing clearly what you are thinking. You have to acquire that skill by practicing, even though your patent application may contain drawings done by patent draftsman specialized in that protocol. Having some skill in drawing concepts help you see various issues much more clearly than without drawings.
Applying for a patent is a rather costly process. Currently one must assume and be prepared to spend an average of $15,000 to receive a patent issued to you. If there is a conflict contested by other patent holder, the expense would undoubtedly sky rocket to a level an average inventor couldn’t afford. A thorough patent search, therefore, is an absolute MUST before you plunk down your hard-earned money to a patent council with your enthusiasm.
This column is for our 99 percenters, who are unfamiliar with patenting process including the basic fact of what a patent does, I would like to write an open letter to the executive body of New Hampshire Bar Association as follows:
OPEN LETTER TO: Executive Council
New Hampshire Bar Association August 12th, 2013
I am a writer of technical column here in New Hampshire written for middle class amateur inventors, who may have excellent ideas but insufficient knowledge about patent protection. In majority cases they cannot afford to expend several thousand dollars to research prior arts let alone spend $15,000 to complete the process.
My theory is that the more people invent, the higher employment would follow, and thus our state would ultimately and greatly benefit from the resultant prosperity. I would like to see the state of New Hampshire become an equivalent of Switzerland in high-technology manufacturing activities by the increased interest among our people.
In criminal court cases, there is a well-established system called Pro Bono to appoint defense councils for indigent defendants. These lawyers donate their time allotted at a certain percentage of their regular billable hours, and the system has functioned well for centuries. Is it possible to establish such a system for Intellectual Property lawyers to do certain work for those inventors who has a meritable idea but cannot afford the expenses?
Obviously some organized selection process needs to be built so the system won’t get abused. However, I have a reason to believe that this type of people-grounded activity would propel industrialization of the state, and the benefits would outweigh the cost, which may be a trivial amount. My suggestion is for the law firms to take some equity position in the patent, and thus it would benefit the pro bono counsel and firm in the future when the patent starts earning revenue. This idea isn’t new. It’s done in many countries and in states as well.