PITCH PERFECT–WHEN YOU PITCH YOUR IDEA TO POTENTIAL INVESTORS?December 20, 2017 by Rick Martin FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail Since the debut of Shark Tank in 2009, a number of similar contests and competitions involving entrepreneurs publicly “pitching” their idea or invention to a group of people have arisen across the country. The general premise is that a select number of entrepreneurs have a limited amount of time (say 3 minutes) to pitch their idea to those in attendance. At the end of the evening a panel, or in some cases all those in attendance, vote for their favorite and awards are given for the best pitches. In some cases, seed money is awarded to the winning entrepreneurs to help move their project forward.For the entrepreneur, making such a public pitch before filing an application for patent protection is potentially devastating. Securing patent protection for an invention provides a huge competitive advantage to a start-up – the ability to exclude all others from making, using, importing, selling or offering to sell your patented invention for up to 20 years. In many cases, without proper patent protection, the barriers to entering the market are so low that good ideas can be legally copied by those with market influence leaving the entrepreneur/inventor empty handed. The best way to avoid such a devastating loss – file at least a provisional patent application that provides “full disclosure” of your invention prior to making your pitch.Prior to the America Invents Act (AIA), which took effect on March 13, 2013, inventors had a one-year grace period after a public disclosure to file their application for patent in the United States before that disclosure would be considered to be prior art barring issuance of a patent. The biggest change in the AIA was going from a “first to invent” system to a “first to file” system. Accordingly, if two patent applications are filed after March 13, 2013 claiming the same invention, the USPTO does not consider who was the first to “invent”, but rather who won the race to the Patent Office by filing first. An inventor who publicly pitches an idea before filing for patent protection runs the risk that someone in the audience will take that idea, modify or expand on it, and file for patent protection first, effectively precluding the pitching inventor from securing patent protection.Another potential problem that may arise when an inventor pitches before filing is the subsequent re-disclosure of the invention by a third party. Consider the following common scenario – Inventor discloses her idea at a Pitch Competition on December 22, 2016. A third party who was in attendance presents his “improvement” to the original pitch to potential investors on July 10, 2017. Inventor files her provisional application on December 21, 2017. One would think that the one-year grace period clearly applies under these circumstances. However, the answer, as is often the case in the law, is not so clear cut.Under the AIA, the inventor’s ability to overcome the July 10, 2017 third party prior art is significantly limited. First, in order to avoid the third party prior art, the inventor must first prove that the third party did indeed obtain the information form the inventor. If third party was in attendance at the December 22, 2016 presentation, proof of that may not be too difficult. However, as is often the case, the third party may have received the information indirectly such as from another person who was in attendance. As the link to the original presentation becomes more distant, it becomes more difficult to prove the third party’s disclosure was obtained from the inventor. If such a situation arises, affidavits must be prepared and filed with the USPTO during the prosecution of the patent application, adding significant time and cost to the process of obtaining a patent.All of this can be avoided by simply filing an “appropriate” provisional application before the pitch is made. For the application to be “appropriate”, it must include a written description that enables a person of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention. Thus, while a provisional application can be a useful tool for establishing an early filing date, simply filing academic papers, white papers, inventor notes or anything else that may be lying around does not necessarily provide protection. Therefore, when filing a provisional application, it is a good idea to seek the assistance of a registered patent attorney or agent who is experienced and familiar with the written description requirement of the USPTO.To further complicate the one-year grace period, it can often times be difficult to establish just exactly when the grace period begins. Clearly, pitching your invention at a pitch completion attended by the public would trigger the start of the grace period. But looking deeper, was there some other activity that you engaged in earlier that may have triggered an earlier start to the grace period? Has there been another earlier “public” disclosure of the invention or an “offer to sell” the invention? There are a variety of risks associated with reliance on the one-year grace period that make it easy for an inventor to misjudge the actual beginning and end dates of the grace period.Lastly, if you have global aspirations for your invention (which you should), most other countries have no such grace period, and such prior public disclosures are considered to be an “absolute bar” to obtaining patent protection. Australia and Canada operate under a 12-month grace period similar to the United States. Japan, Europe and the UK operate under a 6-month grace period, but under very limited circumstances. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) maintains a for a number of countries throughout the world. The filing of an appropriate US provisional application prior to any public disclosure as discussed above effectively gives a one-year grace period from the date of filing to the inventor for purposes of pursuing foreign patents. A knowledgeable patent attorney will be able to devise a filing strategy to best fit the needs of any inventor.Are you about to pitch your idea to potential investors and/or the public in a pitch competition and concerned about protecting your patent rights? If so, contact us to see how we can help BEFORE you pitch and potentially compromise your patent rights.EDITORS FOOTNOTES: Martin IP Law Group is not a typical law firm. Their practice focuses on Intellectual Property – Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights and Trade Secrets. They will help you build value in your business by protecting your ideas, inventions and identity, including:Identifying and assessing the value of intellectual property;Preparing and prosecuting US and International patent and trademark applications.Preparing freedom-to-operate opinions, validity/invalidity opinions and infringement/ non-infringement opinions.Conducting due diligence of third party IP portfolios for acquisition, litigation and/or design-around.Conducting negotiations and drafting agreements relating to assignment, licensing, and other transactions affecting intellectual property. If you have any questions concerning Patents | Trademarks | Copyrights please contact Mr. Martin at 318 Main Street | Suite 503 | Evansville, IN 47708 ( 812.492.4478 | [email protected] or |www.IPSolutionsLaw.com
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wall Street Journal:Federal trade officials are recommending that the Trump administration impose an import tariff of up to 35% on solar panels to protect U.S. solar manufacturers from low-price imports that have undercut the companies’ ability to compete.Members of the U.S. International Trade Commission outlined their various recommendations Tuesday, which also included import quotas and a licensing fee. They must now send them to the White House, which has until January to decide what, if any, actions to take.The recommendations come several months after two embattled solar-panel makers, Suniva Inc. and SolarWorld Americas Inc., petitioned the ITC for a tariff on imported solar cells, the component of a solar panel that converts sunlight to electricity and which both companies make. Suniva and SolarWorld had also sought either a floor price on solar modules or a quota on imported cells and modules in order to help domestic manufacturers compete against the imports, mostly coming from Asia.On Tuesday, a majority of trade commissioners recommended the president implement tariffs on imported solar panels and cells. But the size of the tariffs varied, and fell short of both the 25 cents a watt tariff that Suniva and SolarWorld had requested on cells and the 32 cents requested for panels. Panel installers and others in the solar industry counter that a tariff would raise prices for consumers and hurt demand for solar arrays that were made more affordable by cheap imports. Both sides have claimed thousands of American jobs are on the line.Abigail Ross Hopper, chief executive of the Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group that has opposed the petition, said she was heartened that the ITC recommendations fell short of what the companies had requested, but still sees them as being “intensely harmful” to the broader U.S. solar industry.More ($): U.S. Trade Panel Backs Solar Tariffs U.S. Trade Panel Recommends Up to 35% Tariff on Imported Solar Panels
Renders of Sunday on The Esplanade, Paradise Point. DG Projects director Paul Dolso said his company was driven to create a statement project overlooking the Broadwater.“In my view the Broadwater is one of the most iconic locations in the city, with a very distinct feel and culture apart from the beachside neighbourhoods,” Mr Dolso said.“In lifestyle it reminds me very much of Sydney’s Pittwater in that there is a clear transition from the surf culture of the southern suburbs to a way of life centred more on boating.“This lifestyle is what initially made us focus on Paradise Point and the decision to build is driven by our desire to create a neighbourhood benchmark for design and amenities — in a location that is currently somewhat overlooked in terms of new building activity.” More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa14 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoRenders of Sunday on The Esplanade, Paradise Point. Renders of Sunday on The Esplanade, Paradise Point.PARADISE Point luxury apartment project Sunday on The Esplanade is set to add to the transformation of the suburb.Located at 116 The Esplanade, Paradise Point, Sunday on The Esplanade features five apartments across three-storeys, each priced from $1.45 million.Its apartment mix includes four three-bedroom, two-bathroom residences across the second and third floors, with the ground floor housing a four-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment.Each apartment has two car spaces in an underground carpark, with each apartment accessible by lift. Renders of Sunday on The Esplanade, Paradise Point. Renders of Sunday on The Esplanade, Paradise Point. Sunday on The Esplanade is DG Projects second development on the Gold Coast following Canopy in Palm Beach.“We understand that the city is in the midst of a $30 billion investment boom and saw the opportunity to expand our reach by choosing Paradise Point as the next location for us to build,” Mr Dolso said“We saw that it’s ideally situated to capitalise on its proximity to the northern-growth corridor and relative closeness to Brisbane.” Sunday — on the Esplanade is expected to be complete by late 2019.
It took two minutes and 52 seconds after kick-off for keeper David Forde to become the first Irishman to get a meaningful touch of the ball. As Xavi, Pedro, Andres Iniesta, David Silva and David Villa went through their full range of tricks, Ireland deployed their most effective weapons, bravery, commitment and organisation, and although there were several real scares along the way, they managed to get to half-time without conceding. Indeed, they might have returned to the dressing room with an unlikely lead had Derby striker Conor Sammon been able to find a finish off a great opportunity. He looked odds on to score when he caught Gerard Pique, who had earlier seen a header cleared off the line by James McCarthy, in possession with 27 minutes gone and raced through on goal, only to prod his shot wide. Del Bosque replaced Silva with £14.9million Manchester City new boy Jesus Navas at the break, but the pattern of the first half was largely repeated with Spain dominating possession and Ireland hanging on for dear life. Spain came in wave after wave, but simply could not break down the Irish ranks with Forde coming from his line to pluck Pedro’s 55th-minute cross off Villa’s head after good work by Navas. Del Bosque shuffled his pack as the hour mark approached with Victor Valdes, Iniesta and Villa making way for Iker Casillas, Cesc Fabregas and Soldado. McShane survived penalty appeals with Jordi Alba ambitiously claiming he had handled his 65th-minute cross, but Ireland were not so fortunate four minutes later. Full-back Alvaro Arbeloa turned up inside the box and prodded the ball towards Soldado, whose crisp volley flew beyond Forde and into the bottom corner. Casillas pulled off a notable stop to turn Stephen Kelly’s near-post header on to the bar, and when the ball came back off the post, St Ledger controlled and fired home only to have his big moment ruined by the officials. Worse was to follow when Mata, who had replaced Pedro in the immediate aftermath of the first Spanish goal, rubbed salt into the wound with a coolly-taken second two minutes from time to cement victory. Press Association The reigning World and European champions were leading through substitute Roberto Soldado’s 69th-minute strike when central defender St Ledger stabbed home what he thought was an equaliser with nine minutes remaining. However, an offside flag against team-mate Simon Cox cut short his celebrations and those of the Irish contingent among a crowd of 39,368 at Yankee Stadium. Juan Mata made sure of the win two minutes from time, but while there was no doubting his side were worthy of their advantage after dominating much of the contest, Ireland, who also went close to levelling through substitute James McClean, left the pitch aggrieved at their misfortune. Sean St Ledger had hero status snatched from his grasp as Ireland very nearly held Spain to a draw before they suffered a 2-0 defeat in New York.
Hoddle, brought in by Redknapp at the start of the season, has spoken of his surprise at developments as he also confirmed he would be leaving. The 57-year-old, in a statement to Zapsportz.com, said: “I am a bit shocked and surprised, to tell you the truth. We all know football is a results-orientated businesss but I always felt that given a few more games, Harry could have turned it around down there at the bottom. “It would have only taken a couple of good results to have achieved that as it is very tight down there. “But that’s football for you. I have enjoyed coming back into coaching and I thanked Harry for giving me that opportunity to tip my toe back into the coaching arena. “I have enjoyed every minute. I wished him all the best and I do sincerely hope QPR can stay up. I would love the players to turn it around as I have enjoyed working with them – and hope I have improved them.” QPR are 19th in the Premier League with 19 points from 23 games but are just a point off 17th. Redknapp failed to save the club from relegation in 2013 but led them back to the top flight at the first attempt. They have failed to maintain that momentum this term and, having been told he needs replacements for both knees, Redknapp feels someone else should take the reins. He said: “I’m struggling so badly now. I can’t walk, I can barely stand and watch. I’m in pain all the time. “I’ve been putting it off and putting it off but it has got to the stage where I cannot do the job. “I went to bed thinking I would sleep on it, but then I couldn’t sleep a wink. “That’s when I decided to call Tony. It must have been 5.30am. I just told him he needed someone who could properly coach and manage the team in the next 10 weeks. “It’s such an important time. They need someone who can give it everything.” Despite Redknapp’s comments, there did appear differences between him and Fernandes as the reinforcements the manager had often said he needed did not arrive. Fernandes tweeted: “No more cheque book. We have good players. Bought all the players manager asked for in summer. Our players not mercenaries. Good guys.” On Tuesday, Fernandes adopted a more gracious tone as he accepted Redknapp’s resignation. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Harry for everything he has done for QPR during his time in charge,” he said in a statement. “We part on good terms and I would personally like to wish him all the best for the future.” Redknapp, who won the FA Cup in charge of Portsmouth and has also managed Bournemouth, West Ham and Southampton, will now take time out but does not think his career is over. He said: “I still don’t think I’m finished with football. When I’ve had the operations, I’ll be looking for work again, I know that. I can’t imagine my life without it. But right now, I’ve got to make my health the priority.” Harry Redknapp insists he did not resign as QPR manager because of the club’s lack of signings in the January transfer window. Redknapp made his decision on Tuesday morning, hours after Rangers had failed to land a number of targets on transfer deadline day and owner Tony Fernandes had tweeted there would be “no more cheque book”. But Redknapp, 67, has stressed he had not fallen out with Fernandes over the matter. Redknapp told the Daily Mail: “I haven’t got the hump. We haven’t had a row. I knew some while ago that we were not going to be able to get much done in January. “We had one real target on the last day, Emmanuel Adebayor, because we are short up front. But he was too much money. I accept that. “There are no hard feelings on my part – I’ve not had a problem with Tony Fernandes in all my time there.” He added: “I know what people think – that I’ve been sacked, or stormed off because we couldn’t get the players in. “My son Jamie said that my timing has to be the worst in the world. When I look back on my career, it certainly isn’t my strong point but I can’t control what people think.” Head of football operations Les Ferdinand has taken temporary charge of the side and will be supported by Chris Ramsey while QPR seek a new manager. Veteran boss Redknapp has quit as boss of the Barclays Premier League strugglers citing imminent knee replacement surgery as his reason. And his first-team coach Glenn Hoddle, the former England manager, has also confirmed that he has left his position at Loftus Road following Redknapp’s departure. Press Association