Archive for Archive

2010 Services (archive)

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Art & Innovation

  • Inventors & Inventions
  • Startups & Entrepreneurs
  • Research & Development
  • Intellectual Property
  • Creative Think Tank

New Rates for 2010
Start at $65/hour

Camera, Crew, Editing, Design, Consulting, Budgeting, Management, Research, CAD, Sales Support, Presentation Materials, Web, Advertising Copy, Commercials, Recording & Engineering

Look anywhere.  You’ll have a hard time finding our combination of talent, knowledge, ethics, ambition and experience
(let alone at our rates)

Projects & Partnerships

  • Investors & Partners
    (portions require password)
  • Bids & Opportunities
  • Corporate Information

Movies, Music & Media

  • Audio & Video
    (TV, Film & Radio)
  • Jingles
  • Music & Live Performance
  • Screenwriting
  • Production Budgeting
  • Stage Production
  • Management & Creative
  • Licensing
  • 3rd Party Oversight
  • Executive Producer

A Family of Companies

  • Construction & Real Estate
  • Modeling & Rendering
  • Clients
  • Strategic Associates
  • Publishing
    (ASCAP Member)

————

  • Mahar Contracting
  • Glenn’s Oil Burner Service
  • AutoRevive
  • creditXcite
  • autoXcite
  • HighwayMerge.com

Consumer Core

  • Marketing & Advertising
    (campaigns & copy)
  • Graphic Design
  • Gaming & Fun
  • Internet & Technology
  • HighwayMerge.com

Art & Innovation (archive)

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PAGE ARCHIVE – 2008 Website.  Active links removed (please use the search bar to find new locations for any relevant topics).  Thanks for visiting!

Art & Innovation
We are artists.  We are innovators.
From Concept to Reality…artistic and innovative projects always meet with the most resistance.
We help our clients overcome obstacles.


  • Inventors & Inventions
  • Startups & Entrepreneurs
  • Research & Development
  • Intellectual Property
  • Creative Think Tank

Inventors & Inventions
A SELF-HELP section designed to act as a primer for the basic understanding of “Intellectual Property” and “Licensing”.  Includes information about Patents, Trademarks, Trade Secrets & Copyrights.
Inquire about direct support via email or visit our contact page.


Startups & Entrepreneurs
Learning how to manage your time, ideas, secrets and assets takes practice and dedication.
Thinking big requires an attention to detail.


Research & Development
We assist our clients in define their vision.
Methods, Property, Strategies, Markets and Profit.
Then we help them communicate their vision.


Creative Think Tank
Your resource for “Extreme” creative workshops.
Geeks, Entrepreneurs, Marketing, Advertising & Operational Experts join forces in one room for one day, with one thing on their mind: Your Business.


MEInc ADVERTISEMENT
GET AN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ASSESSMENT
You can hire an MEInc Consultant to go through your company, products & services with a fine tooth comb.  We sign a non-disclosure agreement and systematically review every nuance of your business for exploitable property (confidentially).
After thorough review we will label all of the unique components and claims that we think should be considered for formal treatment (as part of your “intellectual property portfolio”).  We will also recommend ways for your company to exploit intellectual property for profit and/or use your property to leverage other business enhancements (things like marketing, licensing & product placement through our network).

Free Initial Phone Consultation
CONTACT US for an Intellectual Property Review

Audio & Video (archive)

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PAGE ARCHIVE – 2008 Website, links disabled (please use our search bar to find information on any relevant topics and their new location on our site).  Thanks for visiting!

Audio & Video

We have an outstanding resume in Entertainment & Production.

-more information coming soon-

RECORDINGS & PRODUCTION (Broadcast Quality)

  • Voice Over / Narration (Training & Educational Materials)
  • Website / Phone Automated Attendant (Send us your script, you only pay us if you use our submitted recording for it).
  • Jingles & Radio Commercials (Custom radio-ready jingles and ad spots)
    Sample 1 [moved] Sample 2 [moved]
  • Multi-Track Recording (Bands, Live Events)
  • Mixing & Mastering (Recording Artists &
  • Public Address Systems / Live Amplification
  • FUN – See Parodaoke (Parody Karaoke)
  • Royalty Free Music (single fee, yours to use forever)

VIDEO PRODUCTION (Broadcast Television and Theatrical Film)

  • Live Event Tapings (Concerts, Banquets, Wedding Receptions Ceremonies)
  • 1100 Pictures™ Photo Slideshow DVD (1100pictures.com coming soon)
  • Website / Podcast Streaming Video
  • Industrial Videos
  • Commercial Documentaries
  • Product Demos & Expo Presentations
  • Television Commercials
  • Audition / Candidate Screenings and Interviews
  • Depositions & Accident Scenes
  • Animation & Special Effects
  • Movies (including full-length Feature Films for Box Office Release)
  • Camera, Crew, Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production support

CONTRACTED PRODUCTION SUPPORT (Radio, Film, Television, Stage)

  • Writers
  • Producers
  • Directors
  • Actors
  • Promotional Models
  • Professional Presenters & Speakers
  • Live Event Entertainment

Have a project that you’d like to tell us about?

CONTACT

Careless Moon Rough (archive)

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PAGE ARCHIVE – Website 2007, some links and images disabled. Please use the search bar to find the new location for any relevant content on our site. Thanks for visiting!

Rough Session Cuts for Mark Mahar’s ‘Careless Moon’ CD (musician’s preview):

ALL ARTIST CONTENT has been relocated to respective artist sites:

http://www.BostonSwing.com and http://www.MarkMahar.com

“Heart Says We”  By Mark Mahar
(Head Says Wow)

“Got No Heart” By Mark Mahar

“Dancing Desiree” By Mark Mahar

“New New Orleans” By Mark Mahar
(this session take or the live concert cut)

“Leave It Alone” By Mark Mahar

“Let’s Kiss” By Mark Mahar
(And Make It Better)

Straighten Up And Fly Right/Route 66 (medley)

Other tracks are still pending the mixes and I’m determining whether the session take or the concert cut will be used on the CD (will be added as available & decided) – thanks for a great session and concert guys!

(note: These rough mixes include: Mark Mahar, Mark Rasmussen, Mike Lavoie, Steve Silverstein, & Trent Austin – tracks now available on iTunes and wherever CD’s are sold)

Hire Us (archive)

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PAGE ARCHIVE – Website 2006.

[status - redirect http://www.maharenterprises.com/contact-us/]

NOTE: We ARE inventors- PLEASE wait until we have requested sensitive information with the appropriate documentation before disclosing anything that may be construed as potentially harming your proprietary interest (or ours).

LAUNCH * CREATE * MANAGE * MANEUVER

Inventors & Inventions (archive)

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PAGE ARCHIVE – Website 2006 – Some content, images, links and formatting has been abandoned.  For the most current information on these topics, please enter a relevant search term in the  Search Box.  Thanks for visiting!

NOTE: 2010 UPDATE -  Mahar IP Brochure (Knowledge Primer)

- – - -

Inventors & Inventions
Patents, Trademarks, Trade Secrets & Copyrights…these are a few ways of describing “Intellectual Property”.  Like any property or business expense, “Intellectual Property” should be counted among your strategic considerations.

JUMP TO FREE GENERAL INFORMATION
(below)
$45 One-ON-One CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION
Topic: “Music Licensing and Copyrights for MUSICIANS”
Topic: “Licensing and Copyrights for FILM MAKERS”
Topic: “FUNDRAISING FOR A SECRET ”

The general topic of “Intellectual Property” is well within the comprehension of most entrepreneurs.  It isn’t nearly as difficult to understand the process and categories of “intellectual rights” as some attorneys and consultants would have you believe.  Knowing what qualifies as “property” (and how it qualifies) is a fairly straight-forward idea.

Let’s face it- you probably know a good idea when you see one. The hard part is putting that understanding and knowledge on paper in a legal and technical format (making it acceptable for filing via application or claim with the appropriate entity).  Harder still is using language that is enforceable by the appropriate entity.

We have built our reputation on making bold claims- so here you go:

1. YOU can learn enough in ONE HOUR to speak intelligently with a professional about your Intellectual Property (and keep a keen eye on confidentiality).

2. EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW to start an intelligent conversation on Intellectual Property IS LISTED AND LINKED on this ONE PAGE

3. THIS INFO IS FREE…
We also happen to think we’ve created the cleanest and easiest place on the web to learn about all this “gobblety-gook”

We do our best to say things without getting too technical.
You can hire us if you’d like but either way we want you to be smarter.  We put our money where our mouth is and invested time and energy FOR YOU…on this page.
Don’t be intimidated by the information.  Spend an hour or more.  Come back later if you have to (this page isn’t going anywhere and neither are we).

Getting Educated on the broad strokes of Intellectual Property could be the most important HOUR you’ve ever spent on the Internet.

TO BE CLEAR: Intellectual Property Documentation should be done by a professional.  Our aim is simply to help you understand the topic (“talk the talk” so-to-speak).  Then you can make educated decisions.
Your business, your rights and even your personal confidence depend on your ability to understand complicated topics in as little time as possible.  Jump to free info…

The simple fact remains that Intellectual Property is a “documentation” game.  If you have hired someone to design a website or a slide presentation then you realize the power of documentation- it gets the point across in ways that a conversation can’t (especially when documented by somebody who knows how to communicate in their chosen medium).

After an hour of “clicking around” (here or somewhere else) you should be able to confidently guide a conversation towards “Documenting Your Property”. Jump to free info…

Labeling YOUR PROPERTY (and understanding its value) is monumentally more important than getting a Patent, Trademark or Copyright!  Understanding “value” is your most important job as an entrepreneur.  Documenting the value of and the claims you should make (about what you discover, create or own) should remain the job of a professional (just as taxes, lawsuits and web design are reserved for those documentation professionals).

We “get” how the entrepreneurial mind works and we don’t insult your intelligence.  If you are on this page of our website it means you are “thinking about Intellectual Property” and that is precisely what we believe any competent entrepreneur should be doing. Jump to free info…

If this topic was “common knowledge” you wouldn’t be here – but you ARE here and willing to learn what you need to know.  That alone sets you apart from your competition and we are pleased to share this knowledge with people like you.  Enjoy…

feel free to drop us an email if you have a question
Jump to free info…

MEInc ADVERTISEMENT
GET AN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ASSESSMENT

You can hire an MEInc Consultant to go through your company, products & services with a fine tooth comb.  We sign a non-disclosure agreement and systematically review every nuance of your business for exploitable property (confidentially).
After thorough review we will label all of the unique components and claims that we think should be considered for formal treatment (as part of your “intellectual property portfolio”).  We will also recommend ways for your company to exploit intellectual property for profit and/or use your property to leverage other business enhancements (things like marketing, licensing & product placement through our network).

Free Initial Phone Consultation
CONTACT US for an Intellectual Property Review

Who should be thinking about Intellectual Property ?

(click for specific tips [coming soon])
Writers
Producers
Engineers
Inventors
Architects
Chefs
Artists
Photographers
Graphic Designers
Web Developers
Songwriters & Musicians
Recording Artists / Performing Artists
Videographers
Consultants
Business Owners
ANYONE who “creates” products, services, art or methods”
(and especially if those things are an important part of your business).

When you own or serve a business there are many forms of intellectual property that can potentially outweigh the billable or retail value of your actual goods and services.  On a day-to-day basis the average person is bombarded with legally protected goods, services, marks, designs and art.  Odds are that you too have a long list of legal property (information, products and ideas) that are the lifeblood of your business income.

A properly executed Patent, Trademark or Copyright (even Trade Secrets) can enhance the value of your company in profound ways with substantial legal benefits.
On the other hand…being aware of intellectual property law will prevent you from making costly mistakes.

Our primary business is managing intellectual property (not registering intellectual property).  We have gathered various pieces of general information to help you navigate a very complicated topic:

FREE GENERAL INFORMATION

All opinions and information contained herein are provided free of charge and are NOT INTENDED to act as a substitute for appropriate Legal and/or Marketing advice.  Intellectual Property (and the exploitation of intellectual property for financial gain) is an extremely specialized and legal field.  We recommend consulting a professional.

WHO

Government Entities, Attorneys, Agents, Consultants, Contractors and a slew of other people (including MEInc) all make their living through intellectual property management (if you profit from the sale or purchase of anything, you will almost certainly have reasonable cause to work with these type of people).  When it comes time for you to weigh the impact of protecting, licensing or otherwise exploiting your intellectual property (or someone else’s property) is not a time to try and “go it alone”.  Below is a list of the people and agencies that make up the intellectual property workforce:

PRIVATE SECTOR
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS
MEInc CONSULTANTS

WHAT

Trade Secrets do not need to be registered (if they were made public they wouldn’t be a secret).  When you are ready to make a claim of ownership for the public record (an invention, art, method, etc…) you can formally file your claims and rights with the appropriate organization/entity (and hire the help you want).

FIRST DETERMINE WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
MEInc QUICK PROPERTY CHART
(Intellectual Property is a “strategy” item in your business)

Then read more about the appropriate information from the list below:

PATENTS
TRADEMARKS
SERVICE MARKS
COPYRIGHTS
TRADE SECRETS
PUBLIC DOMAIN

WHEN & WHY

There are a long list of factors that go into deciding the best time to protect your property, when to keep it private and when to make it public.  We outline some of the basic considerations below:
NOTE: This is our particular area of expertise and support for our clients

COST
INCUBATION
PRIVACY (GOOD & BAD)
PUBLICITY (GOOD & BAD)
CONTRACTS
RESEARCH
BUSINESS STRATEGY
LICENSE OR LAUNCH
CONFIDENTIALITY
TAX CONSEQUENCES
USING THE LEGAL SYMBOLS:
“©, ®, P, TM & SM “

COPYRIGHTS
(WARNING: COPYRIGHTS DO NOT PROTECT INVENTIONS)

WHERE

Information and resources exists all over the Internet.  There are countless books and reference materials on the topic of intellectual property.  For convenience we have collected a list of some of these resources:

LINKS
BOOKS
OTHER RESOURCES

Like any good Government Agency the United States Patent & Trademark Office has a website that is completely dizzy with vast amounts of information.
Most of the basic knowledge that you will find helpful (or need) is listed in between a wide array of redundant bulletins, notices and policies that you really couldn’t care less about.
www.uspto.gov
Note: They are commonly referred to as “the PTO”.

Domain Name Registration
(see if “YourIdea.com” is available)


Read our very HELPFUL Domain Name TUTORIAL
AND WEBSITE INFO

if you found this page useful please drop us a note and let us know
EMAIL

“It has taken me 16 years as an architectural designer, construction contractor, writer, recording artist and entertainer to digest the legal and financial process of managing intellectual property and performance art.  I have become well versed on the topic.  I went through the expense of putting this information together for you because YOU NEED TO KNOW and WE EDUCATE our clients.  All the same, I strongly advise even my most competent clients to limit ‘Do It Yourself’ activities to ‘Copyrights & Trademarks’.
Legal language can be a dangerous double-edged sword.  Anyone who is considering filing a PATENT should enlist the help of a qualified legal patent professional.” – Mark Mahar

History (archive)

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PAGE ARCHIVE – Website 2005 -Formatting, Links and Some images may have been abandoned – please use the search box for the most recent content on our new site.  Thanks for visiting!

Established 2000
Incorporated 2002


Mahar
Enterprises was started by our President (Mark Mahar).  As Mark’s
personal career began to bloom,
ME, Inc
became a holding company and
consulting firm.

The
company direction was initially based on Mark’s
personal resume and has now evolved to match a
complete corporate vision surrounding our network of
consultants and the team aim of consistent growth – as a hub of art & innovation.

Our
Industry Strengths have evolved too – they are now Entertainment, Brand
Development, Media & Marketing.


As a
national performing artist and award winning songwriter,
Mark has had an opportunity to meet and associate with
the nation’s best stage & business talent (and many
other industries).

Since
its inception ME Inc. has endeavored to
capitalize on entertainment industry growth opportunities, establish intellectual property,
and create a support system for our creative associates.  At our core is the music
and film industry, but our company continues to render
competent advice and business support in the areas of:


  • Entertainment (Music, Film, Television, Radio,
    Education, Stage & Creative)


  • Construction (Design, Feasibility, Estimating,
    Drafting, Rendering, Project Management, Oversight)


  • Retail & Restaurant (Theme, Training, Architectural
    Design)


  • Service (General Administrative; Business to
    Business; Trades)


  • Marketing (Brand Development; Co-Branding,
    Strategies, Print, Web)


  • Auto (Custom Fabrication, Retail, Consumer
    Education)

  • General Business


ME Inc.
prides itself on remaining true to our core
business without letting it hinder our creativity and ambitions.  The strategic associations and
entertainment resume of our management team allows us to continue growing in our
preferred direction (while we continue to enjoy growth in our existing areas of
expertise).


ME Inc.’s
entertainment
industry presence has taken 6 years to establish.
We now have an admirable posture for Music & Film. We retain our strength
as a consultant firm through our continued involvement
with more and diverse clients.

With a belief that competitive service providers can in fact
enforce each other’s business goals, some amazing relationships and
projects have been developed. Good
business practices and a well executed marketing
strategy are fairly universal components.  At  

ME, Inc. we take pride
in how well we understand both (and how well we learn
our client’s obstacles).


“We bring a little piece of the entertainment world to
every client and project.

“Understanding an audience helps us understand how to
reach consumers on an emotional level.

“Just
among our management we are poised to reach very deeply into the fields of
entertainment, construction, real estate, restaurant, gaming and
technology…that’s a very comfortable and fun set of boundaries for any
business.

– Mark Mahar, President


What if:


…your
products and services
provoked your customers and associates to
celebrate their relationship with you (and you
celebrated your relationship with them)?


…you believed
enough in the value of your products and
services that you could confidently make a
profit without sales tactics (and you understood
why it was valuable)?


…owning your
company and serving your customers actually
filled you with as much satisfaction and a
general sense of achievement as your High School
Graduation Day (Owning your first New Car, a
Wedding Day, a Major Promotion or even the Birth
of a Child)?


…owning and
operating your business felt like
you “hit the lottery” on a monthly or weekly
(even daily) basis?

 

…a business
transaction had the power to enhance lives (even
your life) a those transactions were for “your products and
services”?


…your ethical
behavior and business savvy was rewarded with
expedited market access, investor/lender support,
consumer trust and business growth (instead of
losing ground to your less ethical competitors)?


…you had a
constant flow of new ideas and innovations
within your company and the means to achieve
them?


…your company
became the center of gravity for momentum and
innovation in your market or your region (your
field, even your industry)?


…your
company and products were “cool”.

These are the
types of companies we help our clients build.


Mahar
Enterprises, Inc. IS that type of company.


We work with
some of the most noble, innovative, creative and
ethical businesses in the country (if you
haven’t heard of them, you will).

Success starts
with your motives.  If your goal is to make money
you can become a “curiosity” worthy of national
headlines and charge people for your new-found “freak
show” (it isn’t very tough- companies and
individuals do it daily- punch a nail in your face,
get a “male boob job” and join the talk-show circuit
spouting your “psychic conversations with aliens”).

 

If you want to
build something that will bring you joy and success,
you have to believe in something noble…and riskier
still, you have to believe in your personal ability
to make it a reality.  If you believe in something
noble (and believe in yourself) we want to help you!

We bend over
backwards to help companies and products that matter to
society.

ART &
INNOVATION

“I personally live by the
power and nobility of the entrepreneurial spirit
because I jumped careers and started a corporation
with no money in the bank (and no customers in
place).  I began accomplishing my vision from a
basement home office.  If I can do it, I genuinely
believe anyone can do it.  The trick is having a
vision and wanting more out of your business than
profit.   Unlike most business owners who design a
life built around their business I have designed my
business around my life (and that has made all the
difference).”
– Mark Mahar, President

IP WHEN & WHY (archive)

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WHEN & WHY

There are a long list of factors that go into deciding the best time to protect your property, when to keep it private, when to make it public and when to look for help.  We outline some of the basic considerations below:

COST

If you have the financial means to obtain patent protection for a truly unique invention (and/or the means to engage in a marketing campaign for a product or service), congratulations!  You are ONE IN A THOUSAND.  You should be working feverishly on it right now.
CONTACT US and we’ll introduce you to trustworthy people that can speed things up…or let us know when you are ready to plan your marketing strategy.

If you are one of the other 999 people that visit this site, here is some math and alternative thinking for you:

(Remember, we pride ourselves on “making and keeping bold promises”)

Patents cost $2k-20k (not counting “research & development) FOR 20 YEARS
Trademarks cost $300-$3,000 (depending on qty, design, documentation [excluding renewals])
Copyrights cost $35-$1,000 (depending on “what and how many”) FOREVER
Trade Secrets cost “the price of keeping a secret” (not free, but what is your secret worth?) AS LONG AS YOU CAN KEEP IT A SECRET

What would you do with a website and a good national marketing campaign?:

If you “JUST KNOW” your idea will be the next big thing if it only had the right marketing push, we are here to tell you that YOU CAN “get there before your competition” by designing a company around a TRADEMARK instead of your INVENTION.
Executed properly, your BRAND can act as a device to prevent the competition from edging you out of a market (regardless if they have the ability to make a better mousetrap…and especially if YOU CREATE the market).
Lots of people drink coffee, but nobody can sell a cup of Starbucks brand coffee except Starbucks.

Proverb: “What is new is pleasing, what is old is satisfying”
(translation: If you become the “familiar brand” you win)

We can take you and your product national for $15k!
——-

What if the cost of patenting your innovation would cost more than actually “making it” for sale?

You might be better off if you just “start selling” your invention OR file a PATENT for the “one thing” that makes your invention truly unique (so you CAN market it).
WARNING- IF YOU OFFER YOUR PRODUCT FOR SALE TO THE PUBLIC BEFORE YOU APPLY FOR A PATENT, YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR A PATENT
(See “PUBLICITY”, below)

Basically, sell it quietly in your market until it proves profitable (keep a keen eye on TRADEMARKS) and then use your profit to fund a more aggressive PATENT process after making “advances to the original model or design”.  We’re not saying it is “WISE” to start selling something without a PATENT (especially if it can be PATENTED) but it may be financially practical to do it that way.

A simple rule of business and life is that there is a fine line between wisdom and prudence.

Proverb: “He who hesitates is lost”
(translation: he who hesitates is lost :-)

Spend $5k and market the “use of your idea” (license) to a national company who has the money to patent it for you.
——

SPENDING MONEY TO RAISE MONEY:
Preparing the documentation, strategy, brand identity, labeling your property and defining a market is essentially “designing the assets and a plan to give them value“.  If you are not prepared to do this yourself you must hire a support system or accept a partner.  Somebody has to do it- if not you than who?

In addition, you should be prepared to compensate anyone who helps you with your invention and have a contract prepared for them to sign (see CONTRACTS, below).  Every person that works with you should have a contracted value and a contracted label for their involvement (with a beginning and an end to their involvement & rights).

If their contracted label isn’t OWNER. PARTNER, MANAGER OR EMPLOYEE.  That leaves two other categories for help: CONTRACTOR and VOLUNTEER (and volunteers are for charity).

Most of your initial spending will be with CONTRACTORS (See also the “WHO” Section of our site)

CONSULTANTS are typically CONTRACTORS (and some require another label if they put up money or defer a portion of their fee).

A GOOD CONSULTANT works with you in complete confidence, protects your secrets and helps you organize your thoughts and ideas until you have a documented plan for success (without becoming anything more than a Contractor)

A GREAT Consultant will also work without you to create, discover, label and map things that you haven’t thought about and will even design for profit and cost-savings that you didn’t realize were available…then presents those things for you to include in your plan for success.

MEInc has a team of GREAT Consultants.

MEInc is invaluable when it comes to design and strategy.

Under the right circumstances we will consider PARTNERSHIP and DEFERRED COMPENSATION (but never 100% Deferred)

INCUBATION

At MEInc we treat INCUBATION very seriously and consider it part of our strategy for success (particularly for our own ideas and inventions).
Most of our own Intellectual Property also has a marketing component so we have come to rely heavily on TRADE SECRETS.  Basically, we keep our ideas a secret until we see a genuine market opportunity to exploit the profit potential.  When we have the budget and design (or it fits the right client) we move forward .
Some of our greatest inventions are actually “promotional opportunities” and “alternative packaging” (and those are only protected AFTER they get to market as identifiable BRANDS, if they are protected at all).

INCUBATION IS A 3 PART PROCESS
1. Determine if you are eligible for financial support (Great Idea, Team, Market & Marketing)
Note: This also means “can I afford to do it alone?”
2. Prove it on paper (confidentially).  This means “documenting your idea AND your ability to execute it”.
3. Execute (“Sell it”, “Launch It” )  now is the time to start turning your “secret” into “property rights”.

Not every invention and innovation has to race to market (and frankly, not many small start-up companies can afford the financial burden of patent application fees, lawyers, draftsmen, specification writers and a thorough patent search). 
If
MEInc tried to PATENT or TRADEMARK everything that our imaginative team came up with we’d go broke.  We can’t afford the expense of countless TRADEMARKS & PATENTS and we don’t expect our clients can either.

IN FACT, sometimes it is actually better just to be the “first to market” or create a new “product category” and take your chances (particularly if your innovation is not overly unique but does have great BRAND potential or serve a strong market niche).

The most common question we get asked (and we ask ourselves) is “how do you raise money for a great company based on ideas without disclosing the great ideas?” ANSWER: YOU DON’T (See also “CONTRACTS”, below).

For “creative companies” like ours we also ask: “How do you charge clients for great ideas without giving away the ideas before you get paid?” (this is a difficulty we face on a daily basis with our potential clients).  ANSWER: WE DON’T (we get our clients by making bold promises and demonstrating our creativity in more generic ways- then we apply our sensibilities to their company and blow their mind).

Intellectual Property is “intellectual” and most of us charge our customers for things that are “REAL” (not for stuff that is in our heads).  That is precisely why INCUBATION is such an important part of the “small business” equation (and a fundraising strategy).

The best way to INCUBATE your idea is to learn everything you can about the associated costs, the market potential and your competitors.  ADOPT a mentality of TRADE SECRETS and GET TO WORK:

DIVIDE YOUR IDEA INTO PIECES: Take your new toy invention and separately list your parts, vendors, competitors, distributors, etc…  The first thing that will validate the merit of your idea is whether or not you can actually “get it made and deliver it to people who want it”.

GET SUPPORT ON THE PIECES: Get quotes or drawings of the various parts from various vendors.  You may learn that your idea is too expensive or inefficient (or that your company will need more than just “seed money” because of an expensive fabrication process).  By not letting anyone see the “whole idea at once” you can protect the integrity of your idea.  In any case you’ll know your product and the actual costs better than anyone- and that is critically important (more important than a patent).

GET SIGNED CONTRACTS (See also “CONTRACTS”, below):
VALIDATE YOUR MARKET (Instead of your Idea): You may have an innovative way of  into a mold, but if concrete is being replaced in the market with
RESEARCH YOUR COMPETITORS
CONSIDER “LICENSING”
(Instead of Launching)
CONSIDER A “STEPPING STONE” START:  If you have a great idea for
(like opening a welding business so you can make your own prototype in secret)

WHEN OUR CLIENTS IGNORE THE INCUBATION PROCESS WE WALK AWAY…and we have walked away from some pretty cool stuff (sadly).

Failure to properly document and develop your creative potential and innovation is a recipe for disaster

The only way to make up for poor INCUBATION is with an AGGRESSIVE marketing or patent budget (your property only has a value if it is “First to Market in a big way” or “First to Patent with multiple claims”).  Trademarks don’t matter in the incubation period because they can only be secured if marketing is involved.

That raises another point: If you are marketing during the INCUBATION period you might be getting yourself in trouble (see “PUBLICITY”, below).
The rest is a TRADE SECRET and therein lies the STRATEGY of INCUBATION.

PRIVACY (GOOD & BAD)
PUBLICITY (GOOD & BAD)

PRIVACY and PUBLICITY will have a dramatic impact on the value of your intellectual property.

LEGAL: You may not qualify for a patent if you have had an article about your invention be widely distributed (or if something was considered an “advertisement” for your invention).

FUNCTIONAL: Market Impact depends on getting the markets attention (the first time, the first one there, and with the right impression).

VALUE: If you ruin your chance of “exclusivity”, by opening the door for your competition or launching without the right push, you could miss your shot at the market.  You may still achieve success but not on the scale you could have.  For example:

  • Your patent expires before you’ve truly captured the market and now you have to compete with better funded competitors
  • Your trademark exists but isn’t associated with the “leading product” because you didn’t kick the door open hard enough on a campaign (and some savvy competitor bought their way into the hearts of the consumer with your idea).
  • Marketing budget wasn’t there so you licensed your original song to another performer and they made it a hit so you missed your “golden ticket” to fame.

WHEN TO ACT PRIVATELY

  • TRADE SECRETS are only valuable if you keep them a secret (and you only have legal recourse against theft if you can prove in a court of law that you did everything within your reasonable power to keep it a secret [that's if you can collect at all - once the secret is out it is out]).
  • During the INCUBATION period you want to exercise good judgment on “what you share with who”.  (See “CONTRACTS”, below)
  • MARKETING CAMPAIGNS AND METHODS OF MANUFACTURING should be considered TRADE SECRETS
  • If your INVENTION is OFFERED FOR SALE TO THE PUBLIC before you apply for a PATENT you won’t qualify for a PATENT (you can’t make a claim that “nothing like this is being sold in the market” if you have already tried to sell it publicly).

WHEN TO GO PUBLIC

  • If you have a uniquely identifiable TRADEMARK you need to be using it in commerce in order to maintain your legal rights (and that legal right is exclusive- so it is worth maintaining).
  • If having access to sales revenue with your great idea is more important than having exclusive access to a market (a simple business decision, and only you know the answer).
  • If your TRADE SECRET is a marketing campaign it is only as good as “how fast” you get to market.  Start pushing hard and fast (and don’t stop until you beat your competitors).  Eventually they will figure out your strategy or method- make sure you are on solid ground before they do.

CONTRACTS

CONTRACTS ARE A PLAN FOR PROGRESS (they are not obstacles): When two or more parties execute an agreement it is the written expression of “a mutually beneficial meeting of the minds”.  If you don’t view contracts as a “good thing” you are really just getting in your own intellectual way.
EMBRACE CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENTS as if they were your best friend (because they are).

“NON-DISCLOSURE”
“ROYALTIES”
“LICENSE FEES”
“EXCLUSIVITY”
“SALES COMMISSION”
“OWNERSHIP”
“MANAGEMENT”
“NON-COMPETE”
“CONFIDENTIALITY”

These are all terms that mean PROGRESS AND PLANNING are on the table (that’s good right?).
Every agreement has provisions for “what happens if things go south”…but get used to seeing these handful of paragraphs and you won’t dwell on them.  Concentrate on PROGRESS.

If you plan to proceed without a written agreement, you do so at your own peril.

When our clients start accepting money and help without documentation we walk away.

1.  Don’t be afraid of CONTRACTS. If you view your CONTRACTUAL relationships as “documented agreements” that is what they will become.  If you or your associates are afraid of CONTRACTS it is an indication that a “fear of commitment” exists (and fear is a problem for everyone involved).  Savvy Executives can smell fear.  If you need help understanding a document, get the help you need (and don’t wait to get help if you think you need it).
2. Agreements are only as good as the people who sign them. Choose your business associates carefully and communicate constantly (before, during and after the contract).  The biggest failure we have found with our clients occurs when one of us stops calling the other one on a regular basis.  Things change in business on a daily basis.  Agreements are a written commitment to co-exist in business (because companies are joined in liability and potential- risk and reward).  Moving in tandem requires a united direction and that means being “mutually informed”.
3.  Risk should equal Reward and Intellectual Property should be treated like an Asset. PERIOD.  Any good agreement will follow those very simple principles.  INCUBATION is important (See “INCUBATION”, above).  You should label the risks, rewards and assets of whatever brought you to this website.  Break out the value of all the things that go into “building a successful company around your great idea” and label them “RISK”, “REWARD” and “ASSET”.

  • RISK (Money, Time, Energy, )
  • REWARD (Profit, Market Access, Network, Industry Promotion)
  • ASSETS (Intellectual Property, Real Property, Personnel, Inventory, Profit/Dividends)

Things like Databases, Programming Code, Mailing Lists, Test Results, Phone Logs, Product Catalogues, Demographic/Customer info and even “customer service phone technique” are all part of our Intellectual Property…treat them like an asset and they will become an asset.

4. UNDERSTANDING YOUR ROLE ENHANCES CLARITY AND PEACE OF MIND.  Define where you fit into the equation and be flexible about “who is in control”.

STOP!  PAY ATTENTION!
IF YOU REMEMBER NOTHING ELSE FROM YOUR VISIT TO OUR WEBSITE, REMEMBER THIS:

One side of your brain:
The person who owns the ASSETS controls THE COMPANY.
The person who MANAGES THE COMPANY controls the VALUE OF ASSETS (and thereby the value of the company).

The other side of your brain:
ASSETS ARE CREATED & MANAGED BY PEOPLE
(including Intellectual Property)
COMPANIES
ARE “VALUED” BASED ON ASSETS

Both sides of your brain:
OWNERSHIP & PROFIT ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS
(See “Entrepreneurs” Section of our site)

5. ACCEPTANCE and EXPIRATION: Every contract (whether during incubation or while executing your plan) should have a date for “when it starts”, “when it ends” and “what is being delivered”.  We included this knowing that it is common sense.  The real trick in Intellectual Property agreements is how the parties are obligated “after delivery” (Royalties, Profit-Share, etc…).  If you include terms and conditions in your agreements that extend beyond the life of the actual “scope of work”, you should make sure that each one of those things ALSO has an expiration date.  If those things aren’t included, you should make sure they are specifically EXCLUDED.  This is a common mistake.  A contract may be executed and set to expire “upon delivery” (like with a profit share) but there is no language for when the profit-share ends (or a separate agreement to make sure that the original agreement can be “filed away”).  If you extend someone a set of rights be sure they have an EXPIRATION DATE (or, if possible, a legal way of revoking that right if you should have to [default, financial trouble, reputation, sale, etc...]).  The contract follows the “property” (so keep it limited to the property in any way you can).

SAMPLE AGREEMENTS:

- more info coming soon -

RESEARCH

Research & Development Tips
Draw it, put it into words, build it, test it (or your theory) and document the results (not everyone is a scientist or an engineer – just do your best).  If you don’t “research” or “express”  your idea or invention, you can’t possibly consider a Patent, License, Trademark or even a copyright.  Here are some things to think about:

Existing Research: Has someone else organized demographic information or tested parts of your idea?

-more info coming soon-

Existing Patents & Trademarks: Search the database at The PTO for anything resembling your idea?

-more info coming soon-

Trusted 3rd Parties: Get a contract in place for privacy and get a second opinion.  In some cases it might cost you very little (maybe even only the cost of the contract).  If a 3rd party likes your idea and sees the potential you may well on your way.

-more info coming soon-

BUSINESS STRATEGY

SEE ALSO “Entrepreneurs” Section of our website.

Intellectual Property should be part of your business strategy (along with your normal strategic business planning).  When you create a plan you will have a design for something you can accomplish.  Raising money requires a plan.  Success, with or without a budget, requires a plan.

YOU AND YOUR COMPANY:

WHO are your employees, contractors, owners & partners and how do they contribute to innovation and planning?
Will you be the main force behind your innovation or will you be depending on other people?

WHAT is your idea/plan and your legal obligation to the people who will help you achieve it?
WHEN will your ideas become valuable (and when do contributors to your idea benefit)?
WHERE is your innovation most marketable and how do you reach that market?
WHY is your innovation so unique that a company can be built around it?
HOW is it being paid for?

You don’t have to have concrete answers to these questions, but if you CAN answer them (even in a general manner) you will quickly realize that you “have a plan” and you are ready to get help, raise money and start executing your plan.  Sometimes having a plan only means you “understand” what needs to be done (and who can help you do it).

Any good strategy for managing “ideas” should first measure the difference between “what you are selling” and “what helps you sell it”.

Example: At MEInc we know what we are selling (imagination, ingenuity, creativity, strategy, etc…) and we’d love to put that on our website for FREE but we can’t (or we wouldn’t be able to charge for it).  This website is part of “our plan” to keep our clients educated and informed while demonstrating our understanding of complex and creative concepts in business.
We made it FREE because it would actually cost us more to educate each one of our clients if we did it “one client at a time”…and by making it FREE we hope to earn the trust of people who find it useful.

We measured the difference between “what we are selling” (what we know) and “what helps us sell it”.  As such, we decided to make some of what we know available for FREE.

YOUR COMPETITION:

Some of your competitors have better market position, more marketing dollars and bigger budgets for research.  They may have an entire team of accountants, lawyers and patent professionals, etc… If you are going to compete with them on a smaller budget you will need to think strategically:

WHO do they use as a support system?
Your competitors hire contractors and those folks will work with anyone that has a budget.
Our partner company autoXcite.com set out to create a a consumer website for automobile consumers and was able to get several quotes from some of the vendors that had actually worked for autoXcite.com’s notable competitors.

WHAT are they doing (more importantly “not doing”) that you can afford to do as well (if not better than them)?
The strength of “Big Business” is also its weakness: They don’t see the same thing you do.  As a startup you have the benefit of focus…it is the difference between a solar panel (a large market solution) and a magnifying glass.

WHEN are they going to see the same market?
Sometimes your competitors are planning the same thing you are (but your idea might be better).
Sometimes you simply see a need before your competitors because you have “hands on” experience.
Great minds think alike (that’s why movie studios seem to be copying each other- it isn’t coincidence, its just that companies who serve the same audience understand their need in a similarly creative way).
If you can make some calculated estimate of how they might try to capture a predictable part of the market you can also take it one step further and narrow your scope a little more.  If you are truly more in-tune with why your innovation is so “needed”, you’ll be better equipped than your competition.

WHERE are they doing business (more importantly “not doing business”) and can you compete with them in those markets?
Your competition is the “familiar brand” and they did it through years of customer relationships and/or lots of marketing dollars.

WHY is your product or service better that your competition (cheaper, easier, friendlier).
Sometimes being better than your competition in a service industry just means “doing what you say you will”
Sometimes being better than your competition in a product industry just means being “more convenient”.

HOW quickly can your competition adjust to YOUR IDEA?
If you do a regional or national marketing campaign, how quickly can your competition figure out a way to tap into a market that you create.
Sometimes it is better to license your idea to your competitor (especially if they can crush you as soon as they catch on – better to have a piece of their market than all of yours).

NOTE: One small enhancement to an existing product or service (however small and even if it is “someone else’s idea”) can be manipulated and applied for quick profit.  We have clients who have used this concept very easily and effectively.  We’ll feature them here on our website as we find time.  The point is that you don’t always have to invent and protect your inventions (sometimes just “getting there first” with a common idea is more important).

We say:  “Doing a common thing better than anyone else is an innovation”

See how the “Get A Rocket!” campaign uses someone else’s invention to create a strategic market position that makes ONE LOCAL DEALER more MEMORABLE for that type of service (and creates potential for a national brand as a “dealership”).

-more information coming soon-

LICENSE OR LAUNCH

-more info coming soon-

CONFIDENTIALITY

-more info coming soon-

TAX CONSEQUENCES

-more info coming soon-

USING THE LEGAL SYMBOLS:
“©, ®, P, TM & SM “

COPYRIGHTS
(Facts & Fiction)

PROPERLY FILED AND MANAGED COPYRIGHTS CAN BE A SURPRISINGLY POWERFUL SOURCE OF REVENUE FOR ANY COMPANY…if the expression is useful.

Domain Name Registration
(see if “YourIdea.com” is available)


Read our very HELPFUL Domain Name TUTORIAL
AND WEBSITE INFO

if you found this page useful please drop us a note and let us know
EMAIL

“After 8 years as an architectural designer/contractor and entertainer I invested another 8 years learning the legal and financial process of managing intellectual property and performance art.  I have become well versed on the topic.  I strongly advise even my most competent clients to limit ‘Do It Yourself’ activities to ‘Copyrights and Trademarks’.  For a whole host of reasons (not the least of which is that legal language can be a dangerous double-edged sword) anyone who is considering filing a PATENT should enlist the help of a qualified legal patent professional.” – Mark Mahar

IP WHO (archive)

By · January 1, 2011 · Filed in Archive · No Comments »

PAGE ARCHIVE – links, content and/or images may have been abandoned.  For most current information, please enter a search word or phrase in the Search Box.  Thanks for visiting!

WHO

Government Entities, Attorneys, Agents, Consultants, Contractors and a slew of other people (including MEInc) all make their living through intellectual property management (if you buy or sell anything, you will almost certainly have reasonable cause to work with these type of people).  When it comes time for you to weigh the impact of protecting, licensing or otherwise exploiting your intellectual property (or someone else’s property) is not a time to try and “go it alone”.  Below is a list of the people and agencies that make up the intellectual property workforce:

PRIVATE SECTOR

PATENT/PROPERTY ATTORNEYS: Legally Registered Law Professionals (a PATENT LAWYER or PATENT ATTORNEY is a legal professional who understand and can legally represent you in a court of law).  You don’t need to be represented by a lawyer to deal with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).  The PTO is required by LAW to deal with you (and help you) if you want to file your own patent/trademark as without a lawyer.

PATENT/PROPERTY AGENTS: Anyone who acts on the behalf of someone else (and who’s signature is binding for that someone else).  The PTO has an “agent certification” system in place to put their seal of approval on the agency process.  Agents are not required to be certified.  You can choose who “represents your interest”.  The PTO is required by LAW to deal with you (and help you) if you want to file your own patent/trademark as without a lawyer.  MEInc is an Agent for COPYRIGHTS ONLY (and only as a courtesy for our clients).  We do not process PATENTS/TRADEMARKS on behalf of our clients.  Our business is “Property Management” and “LICENSING” (meaning our clients already have their patents, trademarks and copyrights).  We help our clients exploit and enhance the value of what they already own.

PATENT/PROPERTY CONSULTANTS: Savvy people who understand the patent process and will lend advice, guidance and strategy based on the review of your portfolio/ideas.  Some consultants will act as an agent, some will help you fill out forms and even contract for certain services (like drawings or specifications).  Generally speaking a consultant’s job is to help you help yourself and to develop a strategy for exploiting the value of your intellectual property.  MEInc is a Consultant Company.  We help our clients Identify and Manage their Property (and find a market for it).

CONTRACTORS: Those who provide a  particular scope of work for a fee.  This includes the company you hire for drawings, logo designs, engineering data, documentation, specifications, a prototype manufacturer, presentation animators and even your “beta testers”.  MEInc is a Contractor (but only for our Consulting Clients).  If we are performing duties under a consulting agreement or as an Agent, we will provide contracted support services in order to help our clients save money on the cost of securing their rights (or to make their rights more profitable).

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT

United States Patent & Trademark Office

Library of Congress

FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS

-more info coming soon-

MEInc CONSULTANTS

MEInc is a hybrid consulting and management company.

Our team IS the next generation of inventors, advertisers, designers and strategists.

We work with our clients to make their products and services more valuable…then we help our clients find the people who are willing to pay for it.

At the heart of any successful marketing and advertising campaign is a long list of Intellectual Property.  At the heart of any successful business is KNOWING WHAT YOUR PROPERTY IS.

We are experts in measuring people and ideas.

YOUR FIRST CONSULTATION IS FREE

Domain Name Registration
(see if “YourIdea.com” is available)


Read our very HELPFUL Domain Name TUTORIAL
AND WEBSITE INFO

if you found this page useful please drop us a note and let us know
EMAIL

IP WHERE (archive)

By · January 1, 2011 · Filed in Archive · No Comments »

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WHERE

Information and resources exists all over the Internet.  There are countless books and reference materials on the topic of intellectual property.  For convenience we have collected a list of some of these resources:

LINKS

United States Patent & Trademark Office
(Trademarks, Service Marks, Patents)
“The PTO”

If you want to see what a properly filed patent application looks like, you can do a “QUICK SEARCH” for a couple key words in your industry at: http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html

To explain the true patent search process would take too long. But if you are feeling up to a little more of a challenge try the “ADVANCED SEARCH” at: http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/search-adv.htm

United States Library Of Congress, Copyright Office
(Copyrights: Sound Recordings, Performance, Art)
“The LOC”

WWW.GNU.ORG has an interesting collection of VOCABULARY suggestions and ADVICE for SOFTWARE related stuff.  http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html

BOOKS

The Entrepreneurs Guide to Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks, Trade Secrets & Licensing by Jill Gilbert: A great book to learn in detail about all of the things that we only covered quickly on this website.  It contains more in-depth content on copyrights, computer software and references to case law (who picked a fight over what and whether they won or lost) than the other books listed here.  Excellent for general knowledge and dodging common mistakes.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cashing In On Your Invention by Richard C. Levy: The author holds more than 30 patents and is something of a toy and consumer product guru.  It is an easy read with a comedic approach and is an excellent “general information” book to spark your creativity and enthusiasm.

Patent It Yourself by David Pressman: This book takes you step by step through the process of filing a PATENT with advice on the applications process.  The book does what it claims to do and shows you how to PATENT your idea.  The reference materials are actual forms and PATENT examples.  This is a textbook style publication, very informative and thorough.  David has a companion to this book which helps the average person understand the “drawings” component of PATENTS.  That book is called How To Make Patent Drawings.

The 22 Irrefutable Laws of Advertising (and when to violate them) by Michael Newman: This book contains 22 separate chapters by 22 separate advertising executives/creators.  It is geared towards folks who understand the advertising world (and the history of advertising).  Despite the sometimes empty references of movers and shakers in the ad world it is an excellent creative resource for tapping into your own ideas about the American Consumer.

-more info coming soon-

OTHER RESOURCES

-more info coming soon-

$45 One-ON-One CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION
Topic: “Music Licensing and Copyrights for MUSICIANS”
Topic: “Licensing and Copyrights for FILM MAKERS”
Topic: “FUNDRAISING FOR A SECRET “

Domain Name Registration
(see if “YourIdea.com” is available)


Read our very HELPFUL Domain Name TUTORIAL
AND WEBSITE INFO

if you found this page useful please drop us a note and let us know
EMAIL

“After 8 years as an architectural designer/contractor and entertainer I invested another 8 years learning the legal and financial process of managing intellectual property and performance art.  I have become well versed on the topic.  I strongly advise even my most competent clients to limit ‘Do It Yourself’ activities to ‘Copyrights and Trademarks’.  For a whole host of reasons (not the least of which is that legal language can be a dangerous double-edged sword) anyone who is considering filing a PATENT should enlist the help of a qualified legal patent professional.” – Mark Mahar