registered trademarks are
investments that only make sense
when part of an overall business
plan. They are not “get rich quick
schemes”. And a business plan is not
something you buy from an invention
promotion company. Common sense and
diligence are required. Do as much
research as you can on the market
and competing products or ideas.
There are self help resources that
can provide some assistance. I would
like to think this website can
provide some help.
In the Houston area,
there are organizations that provide
seminars and training regarding
creating realistic business plans.
These organizations include the
Houston Technology Center,
MIT Enterprise Forum,
and Houston Inventors Association.
Some basic “facts” are that the
patenting process takes two or three
years and possibly longer. A
trademark application for
registration on the Principal
Register of the USPTO can take one
to two years.
Thomson Reuters has
reported (February 2009) that 47.3
percent of filed applications are
issued as patents. The
percentage of patents issued as a
percentage of filed applications has
been decreasing in recent years.
It is becoming harder to obtain a
Both patents and registered
trademarks require periodic payment
of fees in order to remain in force.
Registered trademarks also require
filing of statements of continued
use. Missing deadlines can cause
your rights to be abandoned.
It is possible to obtain
international patent and trademark
protection, but requires following
separate filing and fee protocols.
Patents, copyrights and trademarks
are property and like all other
property, can have great or little
(As a general matter,
I would encourage you to avoid
invention promotion companies.
I have seen too many examples of
people paying thousands of dollars
without a patent application ever
Finally, I am
becoming increasingly vocal in
discouraging individuals from
attempting to write and prosecute
their own utility patent
application. Claim drafting
and supporting text of the
application specification require
experience and knowledge to be
performed competently. For
example "a widget" will be
interpreted to mean "one or more
widgets". Special rules of
interpretation apply to claim