Monthly Archives: November 2021

Bruce Stanko explains how to file a patent in 6 steps

Bruce Stanko is inventive. And he has the paperwork to prove it.

The retired CEO owns two patents stemming from his work in the medical field. The Erie, PA inventor has spent his entire career in the industry, managing and operating two companies that develop medical products. He has even been honored for this work. In 1992, he was named Pittsburgh Business Man of the Year for these patents and other accomplishments.

To say Bruce Stanko understands the U.S. patent process is an understatement. Obtaining a patent can be a long, complex journey. On the surface, it can seem intimidating. Fortunately, he can help. 

Using his experience, Bruce Stanko breaks down how to file a patent in six easy-to-follow steps.

Understand your invention

First, you need to know your invention inside and out. Start by determining what is new and useful about your product, focusing on how it differs from options currently available on the market. Then, consider other uses. With additional modifications, can other fields benefit from your work? Asking this question upfront provides better protection, more strategic advantages, and an overall more valuable patent.

Research your invention

Patents are only issued for unique products. It requires absolute novelty. Before investing any more money, conduct a search to see if your idea already exists. Comb through publications, presentations, brochures, or online search engines. You can even search directly with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In fact, the USPTO requires any applicant to disclose these findings.

Choose the right protection

All patents are not created equal. There are actually three types. Utility patents are the most common, covering any new process, machine, composition of matters, or article of manufacturing. As the name implies, a design patent protects an original or ornamental design for an article of manufacturing. A plant patent exclusively applies to new varieties of plants or other horticulture. Knowing what intellectual property protection you need is important.

File provisionally and quickly

Time is of the essence. As Bruce Stanko points out, the U.S. is a first-to-file process. Being first to invent is meaningless without a patent. A provisional patent helps you move faster. This generates a layer of protection against claims that another person had an idea first. Provisional patents are held for a full year.

Draft the complete application

A provisional application grants you time as you gather information and prepare for the formal process. Bruce Stanko advises that specificity is key. On average, a complete review of a patent can take one to three years. Get it as close to comprehensive as possible on the first try, avoiding unnecessary mistakes and errors. Among other things, you’ll be required to include an abstract, summary, detailed description, and the legal scope of your proposed patent. 

Consider a patent attorney

The DIY approach isn’t always the best. There’s no shame in needing a little help. Adding the assistance of an experienced attorney can make the entire process much more simple. They will be able to handle a lot of the details and communication on your behalf. Also, through their experience, they can perhaps limit costly mistakes.

The dos and don’ts of corporate gifting

Choosing or giving corporate gifts is a lot more complicated than the usual practice of gift-giving. There is a certain etiquette that needs to be followed and rules that govern this act of gift-giving. When you’re faced with the task of giving a corporate gift to a client, a business partner, or your employee there is a list of dos and don’ts that need to be considered.

1. Using your logo to brand your gift

Do’s: While putting your logo on the gift make sure you keep it tasteful. The size, colour, and positioning of the logo on the object all matter. So make sure you keep it simple and elegant.

Don’ts: Make absolutely sure that you are not representing the brand poorly. Using oversized logos, colours that are not compatible can show your company in poor light.

2. When to send

Do’s: Certain times are considered appropriate for giving corporate gifts. Immediately after an important meeting, after making an important deal, or in case of a special occasion or holiday are all appropriate instances to give away corporate gifts. This way you can ensure that your company is on top of their mind.

Don’ts: One of the most important rules of corporate gift-giving is that you show your appreciation and that you want them to continue working with you, but never come across as giving a bribe.

3. Picking the right gift

Do’s: Make sure you pick something relevant to the occasion on which you’re giving the gift. If it’s a regular client or an employee whom you know well you can gift something a little more personal.

Don’ts: Ensure that your gift doesn’t come across as too promotional. Instead of a selling technique, it should be more of a sweet gesture

4. Gifting one person

Do’s: It is important to show your appreciation and also that you care. If you tend to work with a specific contact in the other company, choose something small and in some way related to their interests.

Don’ts:

If you work with several people in the organization, make sure you pick equal or the same corporate gifts. Don’t give the impression of playing favourites.

5. Gifting an entire office

Do’s:

Treats, snacks, cake, etc. are a good choice when you want to gift an entire office. The most important thing is to send something that will be appreciated by a wide variety of people.

Don’ts:

Don’t go overboard. Opt for something small. Do not send gifts that can be mistaken as promotional material.