Saturday, September 27, 2008

Diving into the Crazy World of Patents


After a search online, I noticed that uspto.gov offer patent libraries around the US. Here is a link that lists the services the library provides http://www.uspto.gov/go/ptdl/ptdlserv.htm . I found I am fortunate to have one of those libraries close to me, so I drove to it in hopes of gaining more wisdom about the unknown that is patents. I was a bit disappointed to find that the 'patent library' is nothing but about 3 book shelves full of books somehow relating to patents or invention. And where as the website says that you will have knowledgeable staff who will be able to help you along the way, it seems like they have gotten rid of the library, and you might find some left over staff from the 'ol glory days from the library. Supposedly a volunteer comes in 5 days a week, a couple of hours a day to help out, so I'll make a visit to hopefully visit the 'Wizard of OZ'.

I think the hardest part of all of this is tracking down the resources I need to help me along my way. Once I have my resources in place, it'll be smooth sailing. Until then, I still need to do a LOT of figuring out the ropes. But I guess it is this way with any new job or location. You spend the first weeks-months just figuring out where you are and where are the resources that can help you. And, lord knows I've done that more than a few times in my life, so I think I'll be OK. I just know through this journey I'll come out knowing so much more than when I started. If I ever venture into the corporate world again, it'll be an interesting thing trying to 'quantify' my knowledge. Because in the 'real world' it is all about quantitative and not qualitative. But I'm hoping with my quest I'll achieve results that I can happily hold in my hand and exclaim, 'I did this...I did this.'.

The one thing the Patent Depositories have is a computer with a Database called 'PubWest'. 'PubWEST is a collection of patent databases available only at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Alexandria, VA and at Patent Depository libraries. Searching PubWEST is more flexible and efficient than searching the USPTO Website.'

I have no clue on how to use it today, or if the previous passage is indeed correct.. but I have used the USPTO.gov website before... and after that, I'm thinking that anything can be easier. Luckily for me in a couple of weeks there will be a class offered on PubWEST, and I'll be able to determine the true value of the program.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Pattent Attorney search continues


So, spent some time today looking for a lawyer.. I'm still confused. So, you have an idea.. and you need information, but you can't give away any real information because you want your idea to be hush hush. So its this stupid games of asking general questions in the hope that you can find out enough information without disclosing all the information that you have. So that's the first part of the dilemma.

Then, I'm trying to find a patent lawyer with certain expertise, and I want a good lawyer with a certain background... and the people who would know such information would either be companies.. who, if they are big enough would have in house lawyers. Then if they are smaller companies, they may not want to disclose their lawyer. And then if you contact a lawyer for a referral, they just want your business... so how do you find a really good lawyer.. with cold calling?

I guess this is one of those things you figure out along the way. Or.. if anyone has any advice or guidance, I'd love to hear it!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

SWF seeking IPL


So today I did some preliminary research to find an Intellectual Property Lawyer. I was walking around the library today and came across “The Best Lawyers in America 2007” I figured that was a good starting point. First you look up by the state you are in, and then the categories are broken into types of lawyers. There are even little symbols that notate if a lawyer has been appeared in the book for the last 10 or 20 years. I guess tomorrow I will begin my first round of calling.

The other thing I discovered today is that my (and probably your) library subscribes to different online resources that you can access from home with just your library card in hand. So, even if you can't make it to the library, you can still access more credible sites than your standard 'wikipedia'!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Starting up...


I attended my first class today, the instructor's name is Doug Kelly, he's a pretty smart and cool guy. The class is about 2 hours in length, but he's knowledgeable and entertaining, so the time went by in good time. Its nice to finally be able to attend a class because I want to, and not because I'm required to. There are too many decisions in life that are made for us, and not enough we willingly make for ourselves.

We will be writing a business plan in the course, which is great, because I know I need to learn to write one, and it'll be good to have a guiding hand. It's also really nice to be in a crowded room (minus the crowded) full of people who want success on their own terms. It'll be interesting to see how the dynamics of the course work out. I wonder what will come out of taking this course.

And I must say.. to walk on a college campus again to once again take a course...felt so strange/happy/sad. Stanford's entrance and Main campus is breath taking.... they have SO MUCH MONEY. It felt like I was in Europe, courtyards with groomed landscapes, sculptures, arches, and pillars. I was completely amazed. Today Stanford started classes, and as I walked on campus.. it was...6 years ago that I started college...scary. I definitely miss school and all my great friends. *sigh* But, it was a nice feeling to be back on a college campus, its such a great sense of community.

But out of this course thus far, I've been advised to seek legal help about my idea. Legal help=money *poof*, but I suppose that is an important investment that I will need to make...probably better than putting my money in Wall Street!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's a Sunday...


So, today was kind of a lazy day, a very lazy day. But here's an update.

Tomorrow I start my first class after completion of my undergraduate degree. I will be taking a class at Stanford called 'Startups: from Idea to IPO' which hopefully will be completely relevant and awe-inspiring. I'm hoping to work on my product idea in parallel to the course. Hopefully that'll fire me up! Maybe I'll even make some connections to help me along my way. How great it would be to be successful at what I love to do!

I've also again posted the Wedding Photography and Videography ad on Craigslist to get some events on my calendar. Our website is at http://www.sharonandisaac.com , and we are based out of Mountain View, CA.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Start or End? Of my blog...


Archived Post. September 11, 2008.

So, I might be starting something new. I'll try to keep some kind of blog, but since I don't really do well with keeping habits up, there is no guarantee that this will be a permanent or even temporary thing.

I quit my job as a Mechanical Engineer at an Industrial gases company August 1st, 2008. Was it because I wasn't making enough money? no. There are many reasons why I quit, but to simplify it, I was bored. I was bored out of my mind. I would sit in my cube and feel the walls close in on me. I would look at that clock, and wish that they day would pass, but at the same time hated that I just waited for the clock to run out. Why spend your life wishing that your youth would just fly by? I wanted to live every minute, not after my 'work' was done. I want to be passionate about my work, and life, even if that means combining the two.

So, that brings me to today. On July 18th, 2008 I printed off and handed in my two weeks notice, and I have this huge grin I could not wipe off my face even if I tried. I felt like that piece of paper was the key to my freedom. On August 1st I had my last day, and inside I was jumping up and down... ok, maybe on the outside too. On that day I felt like the movie Aladdin when the genie gets his cuffs off. August 4th I used my one way ticket to Silicon Valley, CA, on my way to start my new life.

So, today is September 11th, I'm now settled in my new place... you might be wondering what the heck am I doing anyway, and where did I get the nerve to quit my job? I've been doing so many things in my new life, that time is flying flying faster that it has ever before. I'm putting my hands in all kinds of things. I have started a Videography/Photography business, http://www.sharonandisaac.com and I've already done 1 wedding, and have at least a couple more on the horizon. I am now a private tennis teacher twice a week, and enjoy that. I just signed up for a 3 week 'fitness study', so I get a personal trainer 3 times a week, for 3 weeks, full access to the gym, and the best part? Its free. My back has been bothering me for the last 3 years, and I have a chiropractic appointment next week for it. I bike weekly to the farmer's market, buy fresh fruit, and meet interesting people. I've explored a couple of cities around here, talked to the shop owners, met people having lunch... its great.. people live here. Many people are here chasing down their dreams and doing what they WANT to do.. not just want people are telling them they should do.

And.. I'm exploring my ideas and passions. Things are going well here. I have to say though, quitting my job hasn't done away my stress though. While I was 'employed' I was constantly stressed that I wasn't being used for my potential, and that I was wasting my life away. Now I'm stressed that I never have enough time to do all the things I want to get done!

So, for me its a constant battle to find that balance between...everything. I'm out to achieve happiness, and so far I feel I'm pretty damn close.