I am writing this post from a faraway international airport, listening to a bad rendition of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” followed by “You Were Always On My Mind”, beginning a twenty-something-hour-long journey home from a set of patent disclosure meetings. I do not get fully reimbursed for my travel expenses, nor to do I get reimbursed for the travel time, jet lag, or other inconveniences. I could just as well take the disclosures using a fancy web conferencing system, and I could save a lot of time and money, but I feel that it is worth doing.
There is a very big benefit to meeting the inventors on their own turf. Part of the experience is seeing where they work, smelling the air, tasting their food, and getting to know them in ways that does not happen over the phone.
The most important aspect of writing a patent application is communication. My primary job is to learn the invention. Part of that is working with the inventors to understand what is important about it and what is optional. This process often involves some critical analysis of their invention. Sometimes, I have to call their baby ugly to delve into the critical elements of the invention. This cannot happen without the inventor’s trust in me.Read More
This post is part of a series of posts relating to inventor interviews. Other posts include The Art of the Disclosure Meeting, Doing the Disclosure Meeting, Setting the Stage and Issuing Warnings, and Inventor Myopia.
During the invention disclosure meeting, I can count on running into the Kitchen Sink Invention at least once in five inventions. The Kitchen Sink Invention is the result of grandiose expectations of the invention or extremely overbroad view of the invention. The Kitchen Sink problem is the inverse of the myopic inventor.
The Kitchen Sink Invention is the one that is so broadly defined that it does everything. Interestingly, I run into the Kitchen Sink Invention occasionally with software engineers, people with marketing perspectives, early stage entrepreneurs, and independent inventors.Read More
This post is part of a series of posts relating to inventor interviews. Other posts include The Art of the Disclosure Meeting, Doing the Disclosure Meeting, and Setting the Stage and Issuing Warnings.
Often, inventors stumble into two different pitfalls. The first is myopia, where the inventors think their invention is much smaller than it may well be. The other state is one of grandiosity, where the inventor thinks too highly of the invention.
In this post, I will discuss myopia. In the next post, I will discuss grandiosity.Read More
This is the second in a series of posts regarding the patent disclosure meeting. Here is the first.
Every patent agent/attorney does their disclosure meetings differently. I like to do my meetings in person. There is nothing like being in the same room as the inventors, drawing on a white board, and reading those unspoken but noticeable body language cues.
The disclosure meetings always seem to go better when it is in person. I think there are several variables at play.Read More