|Volume 2: No. 02|
Need help getting started with a patent application? You can call Elizabeth Robertson, (202) 377-0659, at the U.S. Dept. of Commerce; Fred Hart, (301) 975-5120, at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); or Raymond Watts, (509) 376-4348, at the U.S. Dept. of Energy. [Design News, 9/23.]
Beware of commercial services that help inventors. A few may be reputable -- especially those run by universities -- but many are in business only to sell you reports. (One report on an automatic golf teeing device assured the inventor that the U.S. has sufficient supplies of plastic and aluminum for his needs.) You do not need a $7,000 report to file a patent application, nor do you need to spend such sums to mail letters to manufacturing companies.
Can't afford to prosecute a patent infringement? Some lawyers are now syndicating lawsuits -- getting investors to line up for a share of the settlement. One Los Angeles bank offers a line of credit for such lawsuits. [Across the Board. Inc., 10/91.]