Nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen, Nobody knows my sorrows…Oh wait, but they do…..
Its been awhile since I’ve checked in and posted. Honestly, I was flailing in deep troubled waters. Success does not happen overnight. I’m still not there, however, I’m in wading waters for the time and its much easier to check in and share my experiences without screaming & begging for a Life vest.
For those of you just coming to the party, I started off strong then a big personal blow hit me like a city bus and I was a mess. It only got worse when the I learned the driver didn’t recall hitting me.
So first I was capsized then I was run over metaphorically. But I have finally recovered physically and emotionally. Thank God.
And when I emerged from both blows I came up driven and obsessed. As a woman of many talents and skills I found myself unemployable and without any desire to work for someone else, one of my many ideas stepped forward and after 10 years under my bed and 4 months on the coffee table as I toiled, obsessed, picked at, poked at, walked it out and came back for it, I finally took it to someone that could tell me if what I had was worth pursuing.
HOT DAMN, WE HAVE A WINNER!
So of all my wonderful ideas, the one that stood forward was the educational board game I created. Actually, it was almost transcendent. I was a tool in which Spirit worked through. I sat on the floor with my colored pencils, a poster board, a notebook and a package of business card stock and in 20 minutes it was drawn out and a couple hours later I had written out the questions.
Even then as I looked at what I had in front of me, I knew it was going to be big. Next was to try it out on my students. THEY LOVED IT!
Soon after that I slid it under my bed and there it stayed for the next 10 years. I wanted more than anything to get it to market. I went to Small Administration Meetings. I met professionals. I met and bought a book from a Patent Attorney. But the numbers and the process was so intimating and all I heard was horror stories of being duped by big corporations or the attorneys themselves. $15,000 was not in my wheelhouse.
Fast Forward a Decade in slow motion…
And I know I can’t put it off anymore. I prayed for answer and it was time to move forward. I made the necessary connections to meet with the folks that would know if it was a dud or a Holy Cow Pie!
Well it was a Holy Cow Pie. My reflection in his eyes went from a chubby hopeful 40 something year old to dollar signs ($$ $$). He could hardly contain his own enthusiasm. He explained the process, the cost and their 20% for the Life of my idea, which seemed fair to me. Hell, I wouldn’t know what to do, right?
I had a lot to think about. I had to figure out how I was gonna come up with the marketing analysis and the patent search money. Because of the continuing horror stories of Joe’s cousin Jim has a brother in law whose neighbors ex-wife invented ***** and Bleep Bleep Inc etched her out of her own invention and now she had to move back in with him and his new wife because they put all their investments and lifesavings into the prototype.
Hold on, Hold on…
Take a deep breath and lets figure out whats what. Protection is paramount so lets start with the patent. He said they offer a patent search for a discounted price but thats just the search, not the application… I don’t have to be as smart but I need to understand as much as I can about the patent and trademark and copyrighting process as possible.
So I spent two weeks approximately 16 hours a day on at the http://www.uspto.gov site, often wishing I had whiskey barrel to guzzle from and a giant bottle of aspirin when the confusion wasn’t cleared up by the chugging of the whiskey or the next 10 pages to clarify an unfamiliar term.
The more I read the more stressed I became and the less I understood. Well so I thought. Here’s the strange thing about the human mind…It retains far more then we think it does but never when we need to.
I have this ritual of calling my dad. It started when I was sick and going thru it. If I didn’t call him everyday to tell him how I was doing, he’d call me. Not a day went by we didn’t speak. I don’t know if he knows how much I appreciate that. But even in my darkest, especially at my darkest, I’d make jokes about the situation and my condition.
At one point I lost my faith. I stopped believing in God. I cursed Him, I challenged His/Her/Its existence. All I had was my humor and my dad to count on. So I continued our calls and I made it a point to make him laugh at my struggles with self jabs. It was, it is therapeutic. If you can’t laugh at yourself the road to insanity gets that much shorter.
Nice but what has it to do with what you were saying, you might be thinking. Well, I would as I have been call my dad and tell him what a pain it was to research this patenting, trademarking and copyright stuff… How it didn’t make any sense and I would breakdown what it was that I said I didn’t understand but I knew it inspite of my own perception.
By George, I think the Girl has got it!
It was seeping in. My brain was expanding and I knew more than I thought I ever could. I was doing it with everything. Not just the patent, trademarks and copyrighting. I was researching and gorging my brain cells on anything and everything that had to do with my game in even the remotest of ways.
I learned about magnets. I learned about the history and functions of 3D Printers, a bit about printing capabilities (and incapabilities). I learned about stickers and die cutting, I learned (or learning ) about obtaining endorsements and accreditations. I even learned that the American Academy of Pediatrics is a paranoid bunch that doesn’t govern themselves, in the arena of magnet safety to children. They make a federal case of an amendment to put a Federal ban on magnets in children’s toys but tell you when you call them for specifics to ask your local peditrician on whats safe.
Thats three hours of my life I’d like back, please. That was the most useless of all I have learned and researched. I learned about marketing analysis, taking your Invention public as a away of claiming ownership for some, not all works of Intellectual Property. Intellectual Property is your creation, your invention. And I learned about the new laws in Patenting that is worth examining.
Conclusion here but To be Continued later…
Perhaps my next post will be on making small of the Patent, Trademark, Copyrighting and big on Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements in a way that is more pleasantly digestible to the Human Mind. No, I don’t think patent lawyers are of the same species.
I had to put my decoder ring on from 1950 something. Let’s see if I can make it any easier and more interesting. No one enjoys watching paint dry.
Until next we meet Have a string of Happy Face Days!
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