Kelly Slater’s Rough Ride: Part 1
Kelly Slater is best known for being an 11-time World Surfing Champion to date, but he is also the first listed inventor on a patent application, 12/274,321, SURFACE GRAVITY WAVE GENERATOR AND WAVE POOL, published on May 20, 2010, as publication number 20100124459, soon to become a patent, on a wave pool device that generates surfing waves. The application and patent prosecution process is an interesting one, and provides some common sense knowledge for the novice inventor. Everything in this article was obtained through a public record search of the United States Patent & Trademark search engine.
Why use this as an example? Well, first, surfing technology is interesting to me. Second, any invention relating to generating surfing waves in artificial environments is of particular interest to me, as my wife and I have small resort on an island in Thailand which is so blocked from the Indian Ocean that a big day of surf is 6 inches (don’t believe me? Just go to www.Thai-West.com and look at the pictures – trust me, we need any wave machine technology we could get).
So, let’s go through the patent application and prosecution process and see how Kelly ended up with a patent nearly four years after first taking off on the wave.
Step 1. Invent something, get patent application filed.
In November of 2008, Kelly’s application was filed. It included separate documents for the abstract (150-word or less summary of the invention), specification (written portion), drawings (black and white illustrations showing the key parts of the invention and how it works), and claims (the most important part of a patent, where his patent attorney set forth the key parts of the invention he hoped to protect). His application also included an oath, where Kelly and his co-inventor swore that they with the “first and true inventors” of this device. In it, Kelly and his co-inventor, Adam Fincham, also claimed “small entity status”, which allows them to pay half the usual fees for patent application filing.
Small Entity Status: The United States Patent & Trademark Office has a program under which small entity inventors, generally considered those with fewer than 500 employees, qualify for a 50% reduction in fees, as compared with large businesses with over 500 employees. So, Kelly and Adam are two guys – not Microsoft – so they filed as a small entity. Small entity status can actually get a bit tricky, as you can lose small entity status if you enter in a number of business transactions, including licensing, with a large entity.
….to be continuedread more
Deb Beddoe to be Guest Speaker at Inventing Profit Meeting September 12th.
Our next Inventing Profit meeting is just around the corner. The theme for this month is “How to “Start-up” Your Business” with Deb Beddoe of Your Ops Manager, Carlsbad. She will walk you through some of the things you should consider before starting your business. Please join us Wednesday, September 12th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce.
Running a small business or start up in today’s competitive environment is a challenge for any entrepreneur or inventor. Having a dream,an idea, or a product, is just the first step in the process of bringing it to the marketplace and making it a reality. Along the way there are hurdles, obstacles, laws and regulations that must be addressed, adhered to and managed before you can even begin to realize that dream.
Your Ops Manager is a system of services that assist small businesses by implementing a “do it for you” system that will complete the business operations tasks that most business owners want to avoid including human resources, accounting, payroll, compliance, events, benefits and strategic management.
Deb is on the board of directors of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce and is actively involved with many other business associations. Your Ops Manager is recognized as Small Business of the Year for 2012 by the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce.
Please mark your calendars for Wednesday the 12th of September. Meetings are free to attend and you may sign up at http://bit.ly/MA13Tu.
Meetings will continue to be held on the second Wednesday of each month. If you have any questions, please email Dina Dennis at email@example.com.
Thank you all for your continued support!
The Inventing Profit Team