The Patent Office at it again

As part of the White House patent initiatives the administration has directed the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provide direct assistance to inventors filing patents on their own – or what is known as “Pro Se” filing.WH

The USPTO has a longstanding policy of helping inventors by answering their questions by phone. (800-786-9199), at tradeshows, and USPTO sponsored forums.

Always quick to hand you a pamphlet of some kind – keep in mind they cannot answer questions concerning a particular patent application. They cannot give an opinion as to whether an invention is patentable – and they cannot provide legal advice, so I’m not sure what you would ask them.

They can’t do much more than tell you what time it is, but now they’re going to help you file a Pro-Se application for a patent?

USPTO  Pro Se Assistance Program

Pre-filing Assistance for Pro Se Applicants

The USPTO has dedicated available to assist pro se applicants in preparing and filing their patent applications.  This additional support will complements the assistance currently provided by the USPTO’s Office of Innovation Development, which assists independent inventors, small businesses, and university-affiliated inventors by providing tools, links to local assistance, education, a bi-monthly newsletter, and state-specific resources,  as well as by conducting other outreach initiatives. Information for pro se applicants can be found at the Inventors Resources landing page.

Pro Se Examination Pilot

The USPTO will pilot establishing a team of patent examiners specifically trained and dedicated to examining pro se filed applications.

ptoWhat I do know is this – for many Independent inventors the cost of obtaining a patent is out of reach, the process too long, and the odds stacked against them.

The Whitehouse directive to the USPTO was to help inventors file patents on their own. leveling the playing field a bit, and reducing the tug-of-war between those who can afford patents and those who can’t.

Sadly, the reality is the USPTO is bound by the government bureaucracy of fear, and it’s unlikely that this “help the inventor” effort will ever produce anything more meaningful than another USPTO News Letter.

Oh – and If you want to know what time it is …just contact the USPTO inventor assistance office

This invention company didn’t lie

A friend recently forwarded me this email thinking I would see the humor in it since it was sent from one of the invention submission companies. I saw something else.

Sure, I saw the marketing, after all they’re a company, they sell a product, and they should market to their customer base.

The fact that it’s Davison, a company many inventors have labeled as bad means nothing. In fact virtually every company in this industry has been labeled bad by someone at some point. No, the important thing to notice is at the end of the email.


From: Gary D <>
Date: Mon, Feb 23, 2015 at 8:48 AM
Subject: See our client’s product sell on QVC!

Some companies claim that they can help you get your invention idea on the market. At Davison, we show you proof of that!

Did you see QVC this past weekend? If you did, you may have noticed our client’s product, The Miracle Meat Loaf Pan. It was showcased on In The Kitchen with David.

You know we’re in tax season. I’ve often heard our clients use their tax refund to continue pursuing their invention idea. You can do the same.   

Call me, or reply to this email with the best telephone number to reach you today and I’ll call you!

Creatively Yours,

Gary Dxxx

A typical client invention is not licensed, sold in stores or profitable. Davison offers fee-based services. The inventor of the Miracle Meatloaf Pan has not realized a net profit.

Do you see it? There, right in front of you is what some call the fine print. But in this case it’s not fine at all, it’s right there, same size as the rest of the email – it’s the power of an informed decision.

“A typical client invention is not licensed, sold in stores or profitable. Davison offers fee-based services. The inventor of the Miracle Meatloaf Pan has not realized a net profit.”

This is a statement of social responsibility. A statement that sums up our industry and allows you to make an informed purchasing decision. Why Davison chose to place this statement at the bottom of their marketing emails we’ll never know, and it doesn’t really matter.

What matters is that every inventor who reads this is forced to think about this crazy industry we choose to work in – to pause for a moment and reflect on their chances, and that those inventors who do respond, do so knowing the facts.

If you read this blog enough you know I don’t think most inventors should use submission companies – but I also think when companies do the right thing in this often corporate cesspool of our industry, we should take a moment and recognize it.

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