An invention is only as good as the disclosure (data and description) upon which it is based. Disclosure planning and preparation are among our fortes. If you need assistance we can help. We have some four decades of experience in developing the technical sides of inventions and reducing them to practice. This "engineering" is best done before a disclosure is written. We can provide assistance with experimental design, concept development, reducing inventions to practice or a prototype and writing disclosures. A disclosure is a formal document that provides the basis upon which a patent application is drafted. At that point, your idea is ready for submission to your patent attorney, or agent, as you may wish. Alternatively, we have associates who are patent attorneys. Once again: An invention is only as good as the disclosure (data and description) upon which it is based.

In like manner, your application will be only as good as your understanding of just what it is that you have invented. This is especially true of utility patents where there are several types that can be obtained from a single application (the only immediate cost is the fee attending the division). For example a disclosure may provide bases for claiming a method for making something (method), that something (apparatus) and the composition of that something. Unless every possible angle is covered, the new inventor risks losing key coverage and in any event does not have the breadth of coverage otherwise possible. If you claim too much, there is no penalty. Such claims are simply not allowed. Some regard it as a matter of pride that a patent is issued without any objections. We take a different view. If we do not get any rejections we look hard for claims we might have missed and we also do an additional search for prior art that we all might have missed. Only after those two follow up procedures do we feel comfortable allowing the patent to issue. A patent that can be challenged may end up worth little or nothing.

If you have a great idea but have never filed for a patent, you may wish to visit Basic Facts about Inventions for a primer before proceeding. You may also wish to visit Entrepreneurship and Creativity. You can also browse Inventor Help online for Pressman's classic "Patent It Yourself". This book is best used in preparing you, the inventor, to communicate with your patent attorney or agent in writing your application.

If you have an idea, and have not already done so, protecting your intellectual property should be your first order of business. Any such description should be as complete as you can make it. Your preferred method, structure or product should be clearly explained and pointed out. Explain how your invention is useful and novel over prior art. Also make sure to list each inventor. Inventorship is best determined by an attorney, but a working rule is: name any and all who contributed an enabling idea to one or more claims. A typical patent application will contain:

1) title, list of inventors and abstract,
2) background with references to all known prior art,
3) brief description,
4) detailed description with examples, drawings and data,
5) a statement of preferred practice (best mode if there is one) and
6) claims.

There are various types of patents and overlapping is frequent. Wording is important. Competent patent counsel is suggested for such determinations. For further information you may visit U.S. Patent and Trade Mark Office or seek the advice of a competent patent attorney or agent. For further information and research try: PTO Sites.

Now for "...ship" part of Inventorship

Inventorship is as much art as science or business. It certainly involves more than just curiosity and resourcefulness. To be a successful entrepreneur also requires a temperament fit for that task in addition to the basic business skills.

Are you well suited for what you want to do? What follows is intended to help you find out for yourself.

What motivates you?
What motivates just about everyone?
What is creativity?
How do you handle ideas suggested by another?
Do you use inductive reasoning? Deductive reasoning? Which do you prefer?
Are you curious?
Do you like to try out wild guesses?
Are you creative? How do you know?
Describe something creative you have done that you are proud of.
What is creativity, basically?
Are groups more creative than individuals? Why or why not?
What is the difference between creativity and resourcefulness?
When are your most creative moments?
Is your workplace
Always neat?
Order within Disorder?
Total Chaos?
Does it matter?
How do you follow up on ideas presented by
A colleague?
Your boss?
Your spouse or sibling?
By a friend?
How energetic are you?
Would you like to get rich?
If so, why?
What is generally meant by "brain-storming"?
What do you mean by that term?
Does brain-storming work?
Do you prefer inductive thinking over deductive thinking? Why?
What makes team-work work?
Are most people team players?
If you could retire, what would you do with the rest of your life?
Are most people inventive?
Are most people curious?
Who is your role-model inventor?
Who is your role-model scientist?
Have you studied that person's life?
Who is your role-model entrepreneur? Discuss.
What is the content of your casual reading?
Can most people be trusted?If not, why not?
Are two heads really better than one?
Discuss your answer.
If you could boil the word creativity down to one or two sentences, what would it (they) be?
What traits set inventors apart from he rest of us?
What traits do most inventors share?

The above is self-scoring; you are your own judge.
Do you measure up to your own standards?
For a similar review see Entrepreneurship.


Inventorship is, of course, more complex than a response to environment—or a questionnaire. In part the skill is in our genes, in part it is shaped by our learning experiences and yes, it is in part situational. Most great inventions happened in response to obvious or not so obvious needs (situations). Edison is a prime example of the lifelong-prolific type. Tesla, to contrast a contemporary, offered a brilliant and winning alternative to one of Edison's most basic inventions. Tesla won one technology battle, yet Edison won the lifelong war—who remembers Tesla? Ironically, Tesla realized virtually nothing from his invention of three phase power generation, conversion and distribution while Edison became rich and famous from his many other inventions. Tesla also held numerous other patents, but could not realize enough from any to even live on or be remembered by. Patrons kept him alive. It seems the real race is not always to the swift but to those who keep on running. So also, rewards come not just from brilliance, a la Tesla, but from careful persistence in the manner of Edison. Edison concentrated on the business of invention; Tesla, ever the brilliant dramatist, failed to round the bases after the only real home run he ever hit. Tesla surely left the world better than he found it, but at great cost to himself as well as to his benefactors. Nevertheless, Tesla was a great physicist as well as inventor. Edison and Tesla illustrate vividly what a difference temperament can make. We know similar experiences first hand.

Integrity also plays a role in the advancement of knowledge. Students beginning their study of calculus soon encounter L'Hospital's Rule, after the Marquis de L'Hospital who published a method for evaluating expressions of the type 0/0. Thereby the Marquis became part of the history of mathematics. However the discovery was not his, but that of Johann Bernoulli. The Marquis it seems had money and used it to become the patron of poor Johann who did not. The Marquis, wanting to be famous, struck a Devil's bargain with the unsuspecting Bernoulli—"Give me exclusive use of your solutions to problems I give and I will support you." The Marquis did indeed become famous, to Johann's surprise and at his expense. It is easy to imagine what happened to their relationship. Experiences such as this too, are in our background.

These vignettes (and a variety of others) are replayed daily in our times. The moral directives we draw are simple. We will stay the course only with those for whom ethical team play is natural to their modus operendi. In mutual integrity enduring relationships maintain. To avoid the modern Marquis, we are selective in searching out those with integrity who will stay the course and pay attention to the real business at hand.

While we are open to any and all ideas and individuals, we reserve the right to select those whom we will support, hire or associate or collaborate with. Resonance in core values and management philosophy are necessary. Staying power will also be important. A spirit of team work with common values and goals ensure lasting relationships. But we will not stay with a "bad marriage", should one occur. That will be "boiler plate" up front.

We look not for the self-serving whose primary goal is to get rich and/or powerful at the expense of all else, but for those for whom ethical team play is in their spirit and who will stay the course. We are results oriented. We hope you are too.

I f you think you have an idea worth patenting, see: Provisional Patent.

Notice: Nothing on this page or any other page of this site is to be construed as legal advice. Our intent is to illustrate how we proceed and what we expect. For example, we expect you to obtain competent legal advise BEFORE dealing with us. Thanks in advance.

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