Thursday, February 26, 2015

March 5th, 2015 Inventors Association of Saint Louis

The next Inventors Association of Saint Louis meeting will be held at the Venture Cafe, at 4240 Duncan Street (2nd Floor), Saint Louis, 63110,at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 5th. We will be having the following schedule:

5-6 p.m. : Network with the IASL Board, guest speakers and 300 + innovative professionals.

6-7 p.m. : Keynote Event - "How to Get you Great Idea Manufactured"
                (2nd floor - Havana Room)

7-8 p.m. : After the meeting get 1-2-1 with the IASL Board, guest speakers, and peers.


Guest Speakers:

Bob Kerch – President/Founder, Accretive Global Consulting
Bob has 30 years of experience in international business building, manufacturing and sourcing. He
has been the President of 2 start-ups and has mentored over 35 new business ventures. His skills also
include business development and consumer product licensing for Fortune 500 companies including
Disney and Nike. He will share his experiences and stories on lessons learned and best practices in
getting products developed on a global scale.


Steve Loecher – Director, Smart Product Labs
Steve has created millions of dollars in sales with one of his well known inventions sold in Bass Pro,
Cabela’s and outdoor retail shops around the world. He will share the common mistakes that
entrepreneurial inventors make during the product development, pre-production and production
processes. He will also provide key lessons to implementing processes while increasing your chances
at successfully manufacturing or licensing your great idea!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pro-Bono Patents in Missouri

On Thursday, February 19, 2015 I attended a VIP reception for the kick-off of the Pro Bono Patent program that includes Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska.

Jennifer M. McDowell, the United States Patent and Trademark Pro Bono Coordinator presided over this presentation. She works out of the Office of the Under Secretary & Director of the USPTO. She may be reached at Jennifer.McDowell@uspto.gov. She kindly pointed me out in the audience to let St. Louis inventors know that the Saint Louis Public Library has a Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) . If you go to the USPTO.gov web site, inventors can locate the PTRC in their state to find free help in using the uspto.gov web site as well as the advanced PubEast search option.

Financially constrained inventors and small business often need help with the patent process. To assist, in February 2014,  the Obama Administration expanded pro bono programs to cover all 50 states by issuing Executive Action 7. As a result, the USPTO had a mandate to establish pro bono patent programs in every state in the country by December 31, 2014. These programs must be run out of 501 (c)(3) organizations.

This holistic approach helps pair unrepresented people with patent attorneys. The web site that inventors are directed to is http://www.patentprobono.com . Low income inventors can go to this web site and apply to see if they can get free (pro bono) patent assistance for filing a patent application. It is the new side of innovation in America.

Chris LeBeau, of the nonprofit Gateway Venture Mentoring Service (GVMS), coordinated this event as they have been selected as the regional program administrator. They will process intake forms from applicants through the web site patentprobono.com. GVS then conducts a detailed screening of each applicant to ensure they meet the financial qualifications and other pertinent factors.

GVS then refers approved applicants to Washington University's Entrepreneurship & Intellectual Property (EIP) Clinic for an initial patentability review. I also met David Deal, Lecturer in Law, the Co-Director of Entrepreneurship & Intellectual Property Clinic at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. After clearing these two hurdles, GVMS will refer approved applicants to the appropriate legal providers in the applicant's state.

Note: Make sure you fill out the application form completely. You may not hear back from GVMS if your form is not complete when applying.

Entrepreneurs that pass the eligibility and intake screening are then referred to a pro bono attorney or a list of attorneys with the relevant interest and expertise.  Gateway VMS will not accept this entrepreneur as a client, instead they will merely function as a referral source/matchmaker.

The law firm or in-house counsel department would then assist clients according to their respective internal pro bono representation policies.  Gateway VMS generally anticipates that the firms and in-house counsel departments will not enter powers of attorney on behalf of clients and that the clients themselves would be responsible for completing the paperwork and paying the filing fees. Please see more details by reading the guidelines for the pro bono patent program in St. Louis, MO.

Patent practioners whom want to participate in the pro bono patent program should also go to the web site http://www.patentprobono.com. Here attorneys can sign up to become a part of the pro bono patent program. The patent attorney gives services to lift inventors up. They will help advance our standard of living by increasing new inventions.

At the end of the presentation, we all learned that GatewayVMS Mission's primary goal is to facilitate a successful environment for entrepreneurship in the Greater St. Louis region. I was most impressed that now residents of Missouri have the option of not only pro bono trademark applications at the Saint Louis University School of Law, but now also pro bono patent applications. Such great opportunities are now available for those who ask and qualify.




Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Inventors Association of Saint Louis - February's Meeting

Since November 2014, the Inventors Association of Saint Louis (IASL) has begun meeting at the Venture Cafe, located at 4240 Duncan Street, Saint Louis, MO 63110. As of January 2015, the IASL meets on the first Thursday of each month around 5pm (for networking), then a panel discussion around 6 pm, then more networking until 8 pm at the Venture Cafe.Network with the IASL Board, guest speakers, and innovative professionals.  This was a free event. Open to the public. Refreshments were provided.

This past Thursday, February 5th, from 5 to 8 pm, the theme was "How to Turn Your Great Idea into a Profitable Business". Michael Bitter, with 20+ years of small business ownership and business development experience, is Co-Founder of Trinity Business Growth Systems - a company that specializes in teaching and mentoring small and medium sized business owners and managers how to systematize, operate, and manage the 4 primary business growth driver functions of their business.  Michael spoke on How to Build a Business Growth Engine for Your Business.  The most successful businesses don't become that way by accident.  They become that way by creating a growth engine for their business. And, it's something any business can do. So, what is a business growth engine? What are the components? How does it work?  Why does it work?

Fred Kemp another guest speaker and IASL Excutive Board member, has a diverse background that can help the inventor get an idea to market. Kemp graduated from St. Louis University with a degree in Marketing, is a former U.S. Air Force pilot and home builder/land developer. Seeing a need in the fishing reel industry, he designed (in SolidWorks) and prototyped complete custom  and innovative fishing reels. He because intimately familiar with existing patents in the crowded field, was granted several patents and was involved in licensing IP as well as designing to avoid infringement. Also, the fishing reel design involves understanding constraints  in tooling, machining, casting (plastic, metal), die casting, sintering, painting and other activities. He has sourced the U.S., China and Korea, raised capital and developed photorealistic rendering techniques to able to sell products not yet developed. Currently, he is developing medical devices and is involved in non-profit activities. The IASL helped Mr. Kemp with his fishing reel project and wants to give back to the association as a Director and consultant. He shares his story of challenges to drive success in others.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Saint Louis University School of Law - USPTO Guest

This past Wednesday, January 28th, 2015, I had the honor to be invited to the Saint Louis University School of Law to meet and welcome a visit by William Griffin, the Deputy Director, of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Professor Patricia Lee invited me to a special luncheon with OED Deputy Director Griffin, IP and Clinic Faculty, Clinic Students and Staff,  and Dean Michael Wolff. We were welcomed by Dean Wolff and Prof. Patricia H. Lee provided a Trademark Clinic update. OED Deputy Director Griffin provided an update from the USPTO.

The kick-off of the SLU School of Law trademark certification program is promoted through our Saint Louis Public Library (SLPL) Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC). As one of 82 PTRCs located across the United States, I am honored to be in a state which has one of forty-two universities that offers free trademark applications through this USPTO / SLU program.


How to Turn Your Great Idea into a Profitable Business 02-5-2015


The Inventors Association of Saint Louis (IASL) will be holding a free event this coming Thursday, February 5, 2015 from 5 p.m to 8 p.m. at The Venture Cafe Gathering @CIC 4240 Duncan Avenue, Saint Louis, MO 63110. It is open to the public and refreshments will be provided.

Network with the IASL Executive Board, guest speakers, and innovative professionals between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on the 2nd floor @ The Venture Cafe. Then stay and listen to "How to Turn Your Great Idea into a Profitable Business" from 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. in the Havana Room on the 2nd floor of The Venture Cafe.

Please register at http://iasl010515.eventbrite.com 

Guest speakers include:

Michael Bitter, with 20+ years of small business ownership and business development experience, is Co-Founder of Trinity Business Growth Systems - a company that specializes in teaching and mentoring small and medium sized business owners and managers how to systematize, operate, and manager the 4 primary business growth driver function of their businesses.  Michael will speak to How to Build a Business Growth Engine for Your Business. The most successful businesses don't become that way by accident. They become that way by creating a growth engine for their business. And, it's something any business can do.  So, what is a business growth engine? What are the components?  How does it work?  Why does it work?

Fred Kemp has a diverse background that can help the inventor get an idea to market.  Kemp graduated from St.Louis University with a degree in Marketing, is a former U.S. Air Force pilot and home builder/land developer. Seeing a need in the fishing reel industry, he designed (in SolidWorks) and prototyped complete custom and innovative fishing reels.  He became intimately familiar with existing patents in the crowded field, was granted several patents and was involved in licensing IP as well as designing to avoid infringement.  Also, the fishing reel design involves understanding constraints in tooling, machining, casting (plastic, metal), die casting, sintering, painting and  other activities.  He has sourced the U.S., China and Korea, raised developed photorealistic rendering techniques to be able to sell products not yet developed.  Currently, he is developing medical devices and is involved in non-profit activities.  The IASL helped Mr. Kemp with his fishing reel project and he wants to give back to the association as a Director and consultant. He shares his story of challenges to drive success in others.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Next Inventors Association of Saint Louis Meeting

If you have not yet attended an Inventors Association of Saint Louis (IASL) monthly meeting, now is the time to do so. Networking, listening to a panel discussion, and more networking. On the first Thursday of each month, the IASL will hold their meetings at the Venture Cafe location of 4240 Duncan Street, on the second floor. Please bring your business cards, for you will be meeting individuals who can help get your new business off the ground.

Next IASL meeting on 2/1/2015. Come as early as 3 pm to network, stay as late as 8 pm. However, panel discussion will be scheduled for 5 pm. 

Monday, December 15, 2014



Hear Ye..... Hear Ye....... IP5 Patent Offices Just Released 2013 Statistics
12/12/2014
Yesterday the USPTO announced that it, the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO), collectively known as the “IP5 Offices,” have released their 2013 IP5 Statistics Report.

The report is said to “facilitate an understanding of operations and patent procedures among the Offices, while providing a means for gauging inventive activity, technology flow, and comparing procedures.” A total of 2.1 million patent applications were filed in the IP5 Offices in 2013 and almost 957,000 patents were granted. The IP5 Offices handle about 89% of patent applications worldwide.