So I want to start with the kind of your company—it understands the invention process and what it takes to bring the product to market. There's no set, like, single set of steps, for, but there's got to be some general guidelines. So talk to us a little bit about that. What would you say is the—is your process, even though it's a lot more fluid than the process of protecting an idea through legally getting a patent?
Well, thanks, John, for having me, I appreciate it. And you're exactly right. The patent process is kind of in its own silo, when it comes to all the things that have got to be done. And there's times when, you know, that people are going through the patent process, they'll be doing other things simultaneously. But as the pendulum swings, and that's kind of what we look at is, you know, all of this the phases, we've got seven phases that we go through from, “I have an idea” to get into the marketplace. And those are in the Inventor’s Galaxy Guide, which is on my website. We're currently updating it because, you know, things change. But somebody can go, they can download it, it's free, and just about a 30-minute read, and it kind of goes through the phases; gives a price range on each phase. So that, you know, when somebody says, “Oh, well, you know, I spent $50,000 on my patent,” it's like, find a different attorney, because it shouldn't be that much. And you know, especially when they're still going through the process, it hasn't even been issued yet. So, you know, there's just certain things that, you know, that we look at when an inventor calls us. As a licensing agent, I don't get paid till they get paid. So the sooner I can kind of get an inventor onto the right track, the better chance we have of being able to license the intellectual property. And if I asked them, you know—a good licensee, a legitimate licensee is going to ask, you know, three or four questions right at the beginning. And if you don't have the right answers to all of them, they're done. It's over. So like I said, the sooner I can coach somebody to the right answers, and one of the first big ones is, “Did you use a registered patent attorney to file a patent?” And if they say no, the conversation is pretty much over. And so that's one of the things that, you know, early in the process, I always guide them. It's like, if you haven't started out with a registered patent attorney, you need to find a registered patent attorney because otherwise a licensee just can't, you know, go down that road with someone that filed Pro Se. Now there are other groups out there who will say, “Oh, yes, you know, you can do it yourself. You can take an idea.” No. Ideas are like belly buttons. Everybody's got one. It doesn't matter how cute yours is. I cannot sell it.
10394 W Sample Rd #201,
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