Through my own experience in applying for all those patents (plus some others which didn’t issue; there are no “sure things” in this game!), as well as helping others with their own, I’ve found many inventors need help with at least one of the four stages of invention and patenting.
I call these the four “rough spots” for inventors
Here are some warnings, though:
(1) As I said before, there are no “sure things” in the patenting game. Regardless of how great your invention is and how well it’s written up and defended, the examiner may find some obscure old patent, or even two or three when read together, that seem to “anticipate” what you did. It’s always a judgment call, and while we’ll do our best to help your attorney defend your claims, the examiner’s word is final.
(2) Secrets need protection. We require a Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA) executed between you and VentorBridge before we can discuss any but the simplest, non-proprietary details of your invention. Once signed, this obligates VentorBridge to protect any information which you share with us and consider proprietary, subject to the limitations explained on the NDA form. It is your responsibility to identify, clearly and completely, what information that is.
When the NDA’s in place, we can start discussing your invention in detail and defining just what you’d like VentorBridge to do for you. Another warning, though: it may be that we’re already working on something like your idea for another client. If so, we’ll tell you that up front (though not the client’s name!) and regretfully turn down the job to avoid any possible conflict of interest. You’ll still be protected by the NDA.
(3) There are, of course, areas of expertise VentorBridge lacks. Among myself and some close friends I can call on for help*, we’re good at electrical, mechanical and materials engineering, chemistry organic and otherwise, botany, geology, and the food and health sciences; familiar with most manufacturing processes; and know our way around computers. Also, we’re fast learners. Give us a challenge in a new field, though, and it may take us longer to get up to speed. If it’s something we’re not reasonably sure we can pick up in time to help, we’ll tell you that up front.
* If I bring in others, they’ll also be bound by your NDA.
(4) Similarly, there are some things we can’t currently do in-house. If you want us to help reduce your invention to practice, we may need to ask you to provide or loan us samples, supplies or equipment related to your invention.
(5) And, there are some things we just don’t work with. Among them are…
- Human or animal pathogens (disease organisms).
- Known or suspect carcinogens or mutagens.
- Highly toxic or radioactive materials.
- Drugs, legal or otherwise, and paraphernalia.
- Invasive medical products or procedures.
- Items for critical applications such as life support.
- Explosives or devices for use with them.
- Anything requiring specific Government licensing.
We may be able to help you conceive an invention in one of these areas, write the specification, and/or defend the claims. In some cases, we may be able to find a safer “stand-in” for some hazardous item or material in at least a partial reduction to practice. Otherwise, the reduction (if any) will be up to you.