Category: invention

Invention, Reinvention, and Patents

Among other events that occurred on this date in history, U.S. Patent 942,699, directed to the first synthetic plastic, Bakelite, was granted to inventor Leo Baekeland. According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Baekeland was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1978. When the Bakelite patent issued in 1909, the world seemed to […]

Marching Orders

Business—at least as waged between competitors—is war. That observation was made in 1832 by Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz in his magnum opus, On War, based on his service in the Napoleonic Wars. We see this in the field of intellectual property (IP) rights. What is a patent, if not a competitive advantage, the legal […]

Real inventions are not on Shark Tank

On Tuesday evening, I went to a “shark tank” event at TechNexus in Chicago. Thanks to my friend and colleague Nancy Fallon-Houle, the startup business lawyer, for inviting me. Here’s what I’ve learned about inventions and Shark Tank. If you’d like to know more about how to profit from your inventions, this article is for you.

Of patents and prizes, or are your engineers smart enough to invent?

Let’s say you own a business that makes something, whether it’s a software product or a hardware device. Your success depends on filling your customers’ needs better than anyone else. You innovate to make your products better, faster, cheaper. You solve your customers’ problems. That’s what your engineers and coders do. But you’re stuck on […]

3 criteria for @realDonaldTrump for new Director of Patent Office

The President-Elect @realDonaldTrump and his transition team @transition2017 are working on appointments to his new Cabinet. One of the chairs is reserved for the new Secretary of Commerce. Following close on Commerce’s heels will be appointment of a new Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO […]