Practical Tips for Running the Patent Law Office

Moving to the Cloud for the Solo – Google is Not The Answer, but Microsoft May Be

Last summer, I was evacuated from my house with just a few minute’s warning due to a very large forest fire. Thankfully, I did not lose anything in the fire, except the good will that I had banked with some friends who let me mooch their guest room for a few days.

As I write this, another fire is burning a few hundred yards from my house, whipped by 50mph gusts. The latest fire is small and is being contained, but it still makes me think.

I have reviewed Google’s and Microsoft’s offerings for small business and without a doubt, I would never recommend Google, but I can recommend Microsoft.

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Thinking of Going Solo? Think processes.

I have met many people who have successfully transitioned to solo life as an attorney, patent agent, or other professional. I especially loved the opportunity because I got to make the entire business from scratch. On one hand, that is a terrifying thought where I had to figure everything out myself. On the other hand, it was immensely gratifying because I got to do things in a way that made sense to me.

As I was considering starting my own business, I spent a considerable amount of time designing processes with which I would run the business. I wanted to get on paper, or at least in my mind, how I was going to do things. I knew that I needed to be efficient, and I distinctly hate wasting time doing trivial things. So I set about trying to figure out how things would work smoothly.

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Doing the Patent Interview

I have been developing my inventor interview over several years, and I have a technique that seems to work for me.

The key is to know what the inventor wants.

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Extracting the Invention from the Inventor

One of the most intriguing parts of my job is coming to understand an invention with the inventor. By definition, the inventor has broken some new ground in their field of expertise and it is my job to extract the important features and define them in a way that makes sense to them, a person of ordinary skill in the art, as well as the patent examiner.

This exercise is one of the most enjoyable parts of the job when it goes well, and one of the most miserable when it does not.

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