Questions and Answers
Where does your expertise come from?
I have been working in the patent system for many years and deal with inventors on a daily basis. I therefore know quite well what moves them! In addition, I have gone through the patent attorney training completely, having previously completed a master’s degree in a natural science/technical study. During my training, I worked in a patent law firm, at the German Patent and Trademark Office, and at the Patent Court. In the meantime, I work in the patent department of a large company and am responsible for all patent law in a technical area. European and international patent applications are naturally part of this. Since 2022 I am also a European Patent Attorney.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN DEVELOPERS OR MANAGERS HAVE NO BASIC KNOWLEDGE OF PATENTS?
A lack of basic knowledge leads to a variety of disadvantages. First and foremost, however, a loss of time and money for the company. In most cases, this will have a direct negative impact on the company’s position in the market.
Why is this so?
Again and again I experience that misunderstandings arise between developers/(innovation) managers and patent attorneys. Sometimes they talk completely past each other. This leads to frustration on both sides. The developers/managers sometimes no longer dare to ask questions and have the feeling that they are not being understood. The lawyers may be annoyed because they have to explain the same thing over and over again and somehow it still doesn’t seem to get through. Most of the time, they simply don’t have the time to explain.
What happens then?
Developers are supposed to help with the process all the way to the patent. Lawyers even depend on their assistance. If this does not happen, the lawyer has to make something up with his (half-) knowledge in the special field of the invention. It is clear that this cannot produce the optimal result.
(Innovation) managers often have the task of making decisions on patents. But if they lack the knowledge about the process and the possibilities with patents and they do not know a suitable strategy to solve this task, the decisions made will inevitably also not be optimal.
Both these factors therefore lead to less than optimal use of patents as property rights. This may put the company at a disadvantage vis-à-vis competitors. The market position is weakened.
What advantage do the developers actually have by doing better inventions?
Very good question 🙂
1) Monetary: In Germany there is the so-called Employee Inventors Act (“Arbeitnehmererfindergesetz”). This stipulates that (employee) inventors receive remuneration for their inventions. For this, however, a patent application needs to be filed at the patent office on the basis of the invention and the invention must be used in a product. The inventor then receives a share of the turnover as remuneration.
I know examples where inventors have received amounts in the 6-digit range. So it can be worth it!
However, the inventor must know how to write good invention disclosures and how to optimally accompany the process up to the patent. Otherwise, his idea will end up in a drawer.
2) Psychologically: Making an invention that is later granted as a patent is a great recognition for the work. In addition, think of the following: Everything we humans have created is based on innovation. The fire, the wheel, the cultivation of plants, the building of a house. Isn’t it great to make the world a little better and help others with your idea?
The bottom line is that it saves the inventor a lot of frustration when it comes to patents. It helps him to work through the patent-related tasks faster and better and to improve the result for him personally (keyword remuneration and recognition).
How do you help companies improving their innovative strength?
I work with developers and decision makers in companies.
I show them that patent law is not as cryptic as it seems and that it can be fun.
I teach practical skills so that at the end every developer knows
– how the basics of the patent system work,
– what the criteria for a good invention are,
– how to do proper research,
– how to handle important documents (invention disclosures, office actions from the patent office…),
– how to properly monitor competitors in their field of technology, and
– how to stay motivated in inventing.
With this knowledge I reduce inner resistance to patents, I help to do the tasks better and faster and I save a lot of frustration, time and money.
I AM NEITHER A DEVELOPER NOR A MANAGER BUT WOULD STILL LIKE TO WORK WITH YOU.
If you don’t do any of the activities I described here, it doesn’t matter 🙂 Maybe I can still help you in some way or we can work together. Please just send me a message – I’m looking forward to getting to know you!
For example, I’ve had conversations with university professors, with patent engineers for mentorship, or requests from foreign companies.
Why are you doing this?
In my experience, dealing with patent issues is often not the favorite activity of developers. A basic understanding is essential to do your job well and to help the company position itself better in the market. During my work with inventors, I have noticed again and again that similar questions are being asked concerning basic patent law or practical applications. Patent law is very cryptic (quite understandable!) for many people and difficult to understand. Unfortunately, many patent managers or patent attorneys often do not have time to explain things over and over again. This knowledge is urgently needed to enable the developers to do their job better: namely, inventing!
I have therefore decided to remedy this situation.
What kind of services do you offer?
First of all, I offer a lot of free content on this page. In addition, there will soon be an online training course for developers. Furthermore, I am planning regular webinars within my online course, where you can ask questions.
In addition, I would like to help decision makers / managers in small and medium-sized companies to better understand patent law and to establish it in the company. Whether it is about motivating inventors, introducing incentive systems, calculating inventor compensation or improving decision-making processes – I am happy to be there for you. Preferably in 1:1 or in small groups. Interested? Then feel free to send me a message!
For more information, please see the menu item “Offer”.
When can I book the online training program?
I am currently working on the completion of the training program. There is no exact date yet. Since I also work and am a mom on the side, the program won’t be available until late 2022.
Is this legal advice?
No! Everything I do is not legal advice. Although I have the knowledge and training to work as a patent attorney with legal advice, I do not want that! There are already enough patent attorneys who do a good job – but with my approach I can help many more people/companies. I am convinced of that.
In this respect, all contents on this website are without guarantee and I am not liable for damages. I am there for you as a coach/trainer, not as a lawyer.
However, if you work with me, you can also get access to my network of attorneys. I know patent attorneys in all kinds of technical specialties and can put you in touch with them.
I AM A LAWYER. HOW CAN I WORK WITH YOU?
Again and again I am asked whether I also do legal advice. Since this is not the case, in these situations I refer the potential clients to lawyers in my network. If you would like to work with me so that we can support each other, please feel free to contact me.
The requirement is that you are honest with your clients. I only have lawyers in my network who do not want to “rip off clients”. In other words, they don’t try to sell you the 10th filing when it’s not necessary, or charge you for subsequent filings (without changes) as if they were initial filings. This is extremely important to me. If you can identify with my style and these terms, feel free to send me a message!
If you’d like to recommend me to your clients, feel free to book a get-to-know-you appointment and we’ll see how I can help your clients.