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,  [...]


The Only Allen Wrench Set I UseLast month, I ran out of space before I could reveal more about my patent pending invention, which I think has promise to be an actual hit product you’ll see on the market.  Contrary to the advice I give new inventors that there’s little hope companies will notice your patent and offer to buy or license the rights, I think this one could actually be on retail shelves generating royalty checks for yours truly.  But the patent is the easy part, and getting licensees interested comes later. The Problem In engineering school, our product  [...]


After 30 years as a patent attorney, I find that inventing and pursing my own patents keeps me sharp and stimulated. I’ve written about how hobbies that train me in technology (like camera lens repair) make me a smarter patent attorney. Years ago, I got a patent on a drop in part for a Steyr AUG trigger that reduces the heavy pull weight, and it’s been featured in a chapter in my book and a past newsletter. The patent expires in 5 years and has earned me tens of thousands of dollars in profits on the sales of the little plastic devices. What I’ve Learned from My Own  [...]

WHY ARE YOU STILL MARKETING TO POOR PEOPLE? (Our Industry’s Missing Market Segment)

Almost nothing to do with guns, but... Have you ever sat down to a big round table with a bunch of industry folks, and the conversation just didn’t quite get off the ground? I had  dinner some time ago with a good client, but with a bunch of key people I didn’t  yet know very well. When the conversation stalled, I got out my conversational secret weapon: “So what hobbies and enthusiasms do y’all have outside of shooting?” When I ask this old standby question, I learn just how diverse we are. The responses ranged from outdoor garden model railroad layouts  [...]