As an experienced, Florida Bar certified intellectual property attorney and U.S. registered patent attorney, I've helped hundreds of companies to own, protect and grow their IP, over the years. One-on-one consultations with a board certified IP attorney is a great alternative, but be prepared to spend tens of thousands of dollars.
I've spent decades learning what I know, both technical and legal, and my law firm's fair flat fees reflect my extensive expertise, education, training and experience.
However, there simply aren't enough Florida Bar certified IP attorneys for all of the small businesses that need help. That's why I created IPmasterclass.
**DISCLAIMER: IP masterclass is a great investment, because Paradies IP Solutions LLC is not a law firm and does not provide legal services. Instead, IP masterclass gives you what you need to master your IP, yourself, step by step, in easy to follow weekly training modules with assistance of bar certified IP counsel to assist you with your fieldwork, without you having to become an IP master, yourself.
You can try to find the lowest cost provider.
Advice from an attorney that spends only a little time filing trademarks -- in between real estate closings, tax advice, corporate securities work or setting up trusts -- is not an option for a small business.
Also, beware of the young attorney that professes to be an intellectual property attorney but has little or no practical experience. How many years of IP law experience does this "expert" have?
What state or states is the person admitted to practice law? Is the "expert" certified by a state bar in intellectual property? Check the Florida Bar website for Florida Bar certified IP attorneys.
What about a "patent agent"? A patent agent can't help you with anything other than preparing and filing a patent application. That means no agreements or any other IP.
If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Bad advice, even if free, has a long term cost, lulling you into complacency and getting you sued.
MYTH: THERE IS A CHEAP ALTERNATIVE TO IP
One entrepreneur said he was told that he could safeguard his rights by mailing a letter to himself. He called it a poor man's patent. WRONG!
Bad advice is worse than useless. Bad advice could prevent you from doing the right thing to own your company's copyrights, trade secrets or patentable inventions.
Knowing what to do and when and how to do it isn't simple when it comes to IP. IP is a minefield for small businesses, especially for first time entrepreneurs. But it doesn't have to be.
MYTH: I CAN WAIT UNTIL I RECEIVE AN INFRINGEMENT LETTER.
WRONG! I've seen lawsuits that could have been avoided, easily, if an entrepreneur had asked advice from IP counsel, BUT ENDED UP COSTING 10's OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS.
This isn't rare either. It's common for startups to get into trouble with bigger brands just when the startup is getting traction in the marketplace.
The costs don't stop necessarily, even after a startup "ceases and desists" all of the activities that caused the bigger brand to sue.
MYTH: I dON'T HAVE ANY IP OR I CAN WAIT 'TIL LATER?
One very popular option is to do nothing and wait until your company can "afford" IP counsel. Bad idea!
If you don't OWN your startup's IP, then somebody else does!
It can be very expensive to fix the "ownership" issue down the road, after your company is generating revenue.
Suddenly, IP that could have been transferred for FREE is seen as very valuable indeed.
Success breeds envy, envy greed, and greed... greed gets expensive.
How much is it going to cost you ... to buy your IP back ... if you can?
Or how much will it cost to rebrand, recreate new content, redesign your marketing, rewrite your software?
How many sales will you miss? How much would you have made if you could have kept the momentum going?
How much does it really cost?
More than you can imagine?
Retooling and recalibrating a system that was working. Reintroducing your brand?
If you do nothing...
...the chance your company actually owns its valuable IP is zero, zip, nada!
You've got to take action to own your IP.
Another path that can lead to disaster is to rely on IP advice:
- of a friend
- a mentor
- some online guru
- a more experienced entrepreneur
- anything but a board certified, experienced IP attorney...
Sometimes, if you're lucky, advice from a self-styled "expert" might be better than doing nothing.
Other times, not so much.
So, in the words of Harry Callihan (References Clint Eastwood's character in "Dirty Harry", a dark crime film from back in the 70's):
"Do ya feel lucky?"
Then, there is the do-it-yourselfer (DYI'er).
Well-intentioned and seeing no affordable alternatives, the DYI'er sets out to learn and do everything needed to own, protect and grow the value of his or her IP on his or her own. Good for you.
After spending weeks reading and digesting everything available, confusion sets in.
Mistakes are made.
Any money saved doesn't compare to the delay caused by losing focus...
...focus on your customer... focus on your product ... focus on your brand ... focus on sales ...
No serious entrepreneur should consider an IP plan based on self-study as a viable solution.
It takes an IP attorney many years to become good at his or her job under supervision of a seasoned IP counsel, working full time.
Needless to say, the DYI'er is going to spend countless hours only to learn his or her mistakes the hard way, through painful personal experience.
INVENTION PROMOTION COMPANY
There are scammers out there looking to part eager inventors from their money.
Every invention is a great idea, they'll say.
You can pay us to license your invention, they'll say.
Invention promotion firms are notorious and go by many names. In fact, these firms often change names frequently, for a reason.
If any company claims to have a way of licensing your invention to a list of companies ready to pay you for your idea, it's likely a scam.
Beware if you see an ad like this...
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO SUCCEED. We’ve Got You Covered. From Friendly And Helpful Support, Fast Patent Application Process, High Quality Prototype Designs To A Huge Network Of Companies Eager To Pay Royalties For New Inventions.
Here's a typical review:
They promised me the world, and told me what a great invention i had. They are nothing but a bunch of thieves!!! Remember they are there to take your money, so no invention will be bad to them. BEWARE!!!!
There are no companies "...eager to pay royalties for new inventions."
There are companies that are willing to steal your idea and pay you little or nothing.
These companies know how to set the hook, and an eager inventor is the fish. Don't be a fish.
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