Professional Research Saves Thousands of Dollars

December 9, 2011

Just finished an extensive research project for a client to determine feasibility of proceeding with the product commercialization including recommended next steps. Like most inventors, he went to a patent attorney first. After spending thousands on filing for his utility patent, our research found many competitive products that will greatly hinder both his ability to get the patent and his ability to successfully commercialize it. We have recommended a viable direction but he admits that had he contracted for the research before going so far with the patent, he would have saved himself a lot of money and put more effort into another product on the drawing board. Another lesson learned the hard way.

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Independent Inventors Stop Filing Patents

February 17, 2011

The number of patents filed by independent inventors in 2010, according to David Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), has dropped by about 50%. In my opinion, this is a direct result of the following:

1. The majority of US citizens have less discretionary income due to the economy

2. The length of time it takes to get a patent through the system is often longer than the life cycle of products today

3. Inventors are becoming more educated by the United Inventors Association (www.uiausa.org) and reputable inventor organizations like the Rocky Mountain Inventors Association (http://www.RMinventor.org) and the Kansas City Inventors Club (http://www.inventorsclubofkc.org/).

4. The word is spreading by inventors who have learned the hard way that securing funding and licensing for early stage products is about as unlikely as selling snowballs to Eskimos.

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Funding for Inventions

February 3, 2011

Get real!!! Unless you have some “skin in the game”, there is no funding available for inventions. It is not going to happen. Once you have patent pending (provisional application on file is OK), professional preliminary marketing opinion/research, and a working prototype to prove the concept, even your own family and friends will not invest. Get out your checkbook and start making things happen!

After you have paid for professional services (patent attorney/agent, functioning prototype, and marketing research) and verified that you have a viable product, you may be ready to approach friends and family for additional funds. At that point, you will need a polished and very persuasive presentation outlining why it is reasonable to assume that the product will generate revenue sufficient to pay the investors back, plus give them an appropriate return on your high risk investment.  Another word of advice, don’t waste your time and money on expensive business plans at this early stage….too much smoke and mirrors.

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ICG Client Featured on CNN

November 27, 2009

Talk about exposure! ICG client Mike Tracy was recently featured in a news segment on CNN. Mike, a restauranteur, came to ICG for help with a new business concept.
While working with ICG, Mike was contacted and featured on the CNN television spot regarding small business loans.
There are many benefits to working with ICG, and every client gets special treatment. Work with us and expect the unexpected.

http://money.cnn.com/video/smallbusiness/2009/10/27/smb.karen.mills.katwalk.cnnmoney

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Engineers Create Products, Some Don’t Fit Your Product Line

November 18, 2009

Technical product companies’ engineers often create products that are unused and reside in the inventory of prototypes and intellectual property. Why not turn them into revenue producing assets? You are probably asking yourself  “Who has the time?”. You can delegate the research to someone inside or outside your company to determine other markets for the product. The out-sourced research may provide the most unbiased and creative direction for those prototypes and products collecting dust in your inventory.

Then again, there may be an application for that genius product or patent at another company, one that is willing to compensate you for the asset. The best approach would be to analyze the highest and best use of your asset and assist in determining the next step: trash it, expand your existing product line, or commercialize through licensing to another company.

Bonnie Griffin Kaake

ICG President

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Changes at the United Inventors Association

August 21, 2009

More and more inventors and companies providing services to inventors are realizing the value of getting involved with the United Inventors Association www.uiausa.org. The providers of services to the inventor community must pass stringent criteria in order to be Certified by UIA and carry that seal on the company’s website. The fact that a service provider to inventors is Certified, should not be misinterpreted to mean that inventors don’t need to do their own due diligence. You must ask a lot of questions and be clear about the services being provided. The Certification process gives you the first level of comfort that these providers have met the criteria established by UIA in order to be listed. It is critical that you be sure your expectations clearly match the deliverables quoted or promised by the provider and put those expectations in writing along with the deliverables. Mistakes are costly and can impact your ability to commercialize even the best of products.

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Invent Bay Expo –Worthwhile Event Last Weekend

October 21, 2008

For a first year expo, I have to hand it to Keith Hammock, president of InventBay, for such a fantastic venue and opportunity for inventors. Because it was the first year and the economy is in the tank, I was amazed at the number of inventors attending. My guess is that there were 200 inventors exhibiting. That does not count the number I talked to who were roaming the aisles and taking advantage of the educational sessions. I gave two well attended presentations, one titled “Free and Trustworthy Information for Inventors” and the other “Funding, Licensing and Marketing; Everything an Inventor Needs to Know”.

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The Phone is Ringing off the Hook

October 21, 2008

It amazes me how smart inventors become when they go to an event like this with quality educational sessions. So many inventors want only two things, funding and licensing. A large number think this is possible with only an idea. Unfortunately, most don’t realize how improbable this is in the early stages of the inventing process even if they have an issued patent. Maybe that is why they fall for the companies that say they will present the inventors’ intellectual property to companies and actually do little more than send junk mail to a Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code mailing list. Or worse yet, charge the inventors more than the list is worth and give it to the inventor to do his or her own mailing.

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Medical Products Coming to Mind?

October 10, 2008

When any inventor creates a product in his or her area of interest or expertise, it has a higher likelihood of success in the marketplace. I met with two incredibly creative nurses last week. Each had created products that will increase the comfort of patients as well as improve the efficiency and productivity of nursing staff. Baby boomers are quickly moving into retirement, therefore, medical products that allow seniors to have more comfortable lives into their senior years will be sought after. As a baby boomer myself, I hope those nurses continue their creativity. Go nurses!!!

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Thank You USPTO for Upcoming Changes

September 10, 2008

Inventors owe their gratitude to the USPTO and Harry Moatz, Director of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline. No more can anyone other than the inventor himself/herself or a patent agent or attorney registered with the USPTO prepare the paperwork or file the applications. There have been so many inventors harmed by invention promoters and others who are not working in the best interests of inventors regarding intellectual property protection. I heard of another such case today; a company charged an inventor thousands of dollars to do a patent search which didn’t even include an opinion of patentability. To make matters worse, this same company refused to tell the inventor who did the work. My advice to inventors is that they NEVER work with anyone other than directly with a patent agent or patent attorney to do this legal work for them! Furthermore, if a company suggests that they do this for inventors, take this as a clear sign to stay clear of that company for any of its services.

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