Most of the advice I give seems to revolve around helping my clients manage uncertainty. When things are certain, you probably don’t need anyone’s advice. Now, after many months not talking about the political scene in our nation, there’s a new world to discuss. But my advice remains the same: don’t trust anyone who is certain of anything. Not even me. What makes these uncertain times even more alarming is that the circumstances are unprecedented. And the unprecedented factors are piling up. Fast. WHICH Amendment? I’m even more worried about the first  [...]

How to Be a Smart Patent Investor

The True Cost of Patent Protection, and an Ideal Tool to Make Smarter Patent Decisions Your favorite patent attorney would love to write about all the news of the season, but by the time this old-fashioned printed news reaches you, it would be laughably out of date. My quick summary is that about 5-10% of my top client contacts (owner, CEO) have contracted and recovered from COVID in the past few months, and most of my clients report a number of their own employees have been out with it, all recovering. It’s going around middle America, and I suspect it will burn  [...]


As I’ve written before, sometimes the Patent Office grants a patent that simply shouldn’t have been granted. (Even government employees make a mistake now and then, after all). The important question is what do you do when you’re accused of infringing a patent you think should never have been granted? One famous but harmless example of a bad patent was the “Method of Swinging” involving pulling on the swing set ropes alternately to swing side to side, like every child has done. Oops! Fortunately, no playground moppets received cease-and-desist letters. The  [...]


BRANDING STRATEGY FOR MY NEW PRODUCT Just a mock-up, but getting real. Finally, I can now reveal how a trademark attorney picks brands, and even goes a bit overboard to maximize the potential value of the venture.  It’s all about my hex key tool invention concept I wrote about in August. To recap, I used to get irritated with needing two Allen wrench sets and never knowing whether a socket head screw was metric or standard.  Even with both sets in hand, I not only had to test each set to find the biggest tool that fit, but then had to assess which best fit  [...]

Stop the Worrying!

To SHOT or Not to SHOT? Before I start the main story, I have to address what everyone is asking me about: Will there be a SHOT Show?  My current take is that it might happen in some form but would be a faint shadow of its usual self, with many companies pulled out for the year, and many regular attendees skipping.  Some data points I have heard but can’t confirm:  No product handling - Everything under glass.  Masks required - no lip-reading in a noisy environment.  Clear barriers on conference tables – even harder to hear the person you’re talking to about  [...]

Managing Uncertainty

It’s taken me 30 years of practice to realize it, but most of what I do is help clients manage decision making in an uncertain world.  Getting comfortable with uncertainty, and managing it wisely are keys to success. The Covid-19 pandemic is a good example.  At the outset, it looked like it might be very bad.  I’m talking about ambulances hauling away dead neighbors on my cul-de-sac.  The kind of bad that makes you glad you stayed home from the beginning and sanitized the mail and groceries before touching them.  That was one scenario among many milder ones,  [...]