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Death of a Relationship c/o Lazy Technology Patentlawman Today

I’m going to show my age. Technology can lead to bad business. Most of you younger folks are going to think I’m an old idiot and a dinosaur. Well, so be it, but I’m going to proceed down this road of self-conviction anyway.
Communication with new and old clients requires some work. It is so easy to use texting and e-mail, and I’m very guilty of relying on it to communicate with my clients and friends. Almost every communication “faux pas”, a/k/a miscommunication, in my experience is due to either a context misunderstanding or an inflection misunderstanding. When you read words presented in communication, you can’t tell the difference between a joke or a serious comment. You also can’t tell if someone is showing concern or care as opposed to scorn or ridicule. (See “Bless your heart”)
How many times have we seen celebrities or politicians have to retract a statement they have made that resulted in unpopular media attention and their excuse for making the comment is “I didn’t mean that” or “you misunderstood me”. Seems to work for them. However, in the business world it can result in unforgivable harm or damage to a professional relationship.
I found out with my mobile phone that not only can I send a text or e-mail, but it can still make a call. I also found out that sometime putting a little mileage on my car to work out a problem without billing a client for it can salvage hurt feelings, resolve a non-existent dispute and give me an opportunity to avoid future miscommunication issues and keep them as a happy client. I’m going to call that “direct communication strategy”. Pretty clever, huh? (See, it looks like I’m serious and cocky, but the last comment was just a joke.)
Call me old fashioned. I’ll take it. However, I’m never going to apologize for not making every attempt to maintain a good relationship with my clients. I am a firm believer in talking, shaking hands, sharing a meal, arguing over who pays the tab, and turning my clients into lifelong friends. Call me a dinosaur, I don’t care. I’m just glad you called me instead of texting me. 
Respectfully submitted;
Randal Homburg, www.patentlawman.com

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Perpetual Transportation Fuel Patentlawman Today

I don’t believe in the last 19 years of patent practice that I have ever seen a client with a world changing patent and process. I have also never presented their idea to anyone other than the patent office. I tend to stay out of the marketing and promotion business, just providing patent application assistance. I can’t keep this idea to myself.
Let me give you some history first. Years ago, some scientist developed the process of converting algae to diesel, gasoline and aviation fuel. It works and has been proven to be the same quality fuel as that derived from oil reserves. There has been a problem, however, in making enough algae to present this fuel source alternative as a practical alternative to drilling, extraction and distilling oil and converting it to transportation fuel.
My client, Ronny Collins, solved this quantitative limitation experienced in past and present algae production. Ronny’s product and process uses a sustainable algae production device (photobioreactor) creates a perfect environment to grow algae in a virtually perfect artificial system without environmentally induced damage or contamination (temperature, sunlight, pH, contamination). His device and process devours CO2, which climate change experts find most damaging and the leading source of greenhouse gas problems, and emits pure oxygen as an end product emission. Other “green” byproducts include clean water and steam, which can be converted to operate the system and the process requirements. Process the algae and you get transportation fuel. End process algae after oil extraction can be used for animal feed. Water is recycled into the next batch of algae. 
This system takes up approximately 0.5 percent of pond growth algae farms and can supply more than 1.7 million barrels of crude algae oil per acre per year in a single battery of devices. Cost of the crude algae provides transportation fuels at approximately $4-5 per barrel. The product can be shipped wet or dry and the shipped product has no risk to the environment if accidental spill occurs during transport. It poses no known environmental risk or damage at any point until converted to the actual transportation fuel.
If anyone is interested, Ronny is looking for partnerships, assignments or licenses for his patented and patent pending device and process. There is no known comparable technology in existence that can duplicate this production. Contact me at rhomburg@cox.net if you have a serious inquiry. I can put you in touch with Mr. Collins and provide further details. This is not a hoax. The science supports itself and should be compatible with the views of supporters of climate change, reducing CO2 and preventing damage and impact on the environment. Contact me for details.

www.patentlawman.com

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Choosing Direction in Education

I imagine that my connections on LinkedIn have or may soon experience what I enjoyed this year – getting one through college. What a wonderful sense of pride I had as a father watching my daughter complete her education in a field of her choice!
All her new hope was made possible by her hard work and stubbornness through good and bad times – with maybe a little help from mom and dad once in a while. Credit to those at the school she attended who actually assisted her in obtaining her degree. Shame to those who did not.
Leading to the point – our children have a right to choose their educational pathways, if not in whole, at least in a big part. We both learned a lot before, during and after our higher educational experience. The main thing I learned was that education has many options, benefits and pitfalls that can be avoided.
I am a big fan of tech schools, community colleges for general educational requirements and universities for 4 year degree completion (usually 5 years anymore). Not all career pathways require a 4 year degree any more than a 4 year degree provides you with a career. Sometimes, alternative degrees and program may be best suited for our sons and daughters.
Tech schools prepare their students for training and education in a certain field. These students don’t necessarily consider tuition expensive general educational requirements necessary for a particular skill set. These tech schools have a good feel for the job market and have vast networks in their communities for career opportunities. They have an excellent cost to value. They also have dedicated professional who guide their students into the skilled and highly technical labor force.
Community colleges are great opportunities to obtain general educational requirements and associate degrees which should transfer to a 4 year school if necessary, provided they have an arrangement with that 4 year university. They feature low student teacher ratios, Inexpensive tuition without all the grossly inflated fees. They also seldom feature classes taught by graduate assistants, research assistants, teaching assistants or folks who were not listed on the enrollment guide as the “professor”. I have also found better communication between professors and students at these schools mainly due to numbers – 30 students per class instead of 400 or more in a lecture hall.
Four year universities spend enough money on PR that I’m not going to say anything good or bad other than what I’ve already said. They advertise on television for heaven’s sake. These schools are different now than they were before they invented the INTERNET. I had real professors, paper tests and class attendance was required. We had no on-line programs. My college was not heralded, but it was a true and valuable education I had to have to be admitted to law school and my science education was a pre-requisite to taking the patent bar. I had real visits with my professors and didn’t wait for a response by e-mail. I walked in their office during hours and we spoke. They showed by how to do my work with a pencil on a piece of paper.
I simply encouraging you to check out and advise your students as to alternatives and make the education fit the career. Nothing is wrong with saving money and getting the best education for your dollar. My clients seldom ask me where I went to school. They ask me how much I charge and what have I done in my profession in the past. 
Education is a combination of tears and cheers and lots of hugs. Happy graduation my dearest. (Isn’t she cute in that hat?)
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

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GIVING BACK – The Chance of a Lifetime

Life tends to turn into a series of one busy day after another. We focus on our careers, our families, our hobbies and our passions. I am self-employed, have a family, live to fish and play music and spend time with a few close friends. For the most part, I have nothing to complain about. I am a busy guy who has been truly blessed and shielded from unexpected tragedy, sorrow and hardship, even though growing up relatively poor and mostly unpopular with the exception of a few close friends. I had an amazing family. SO – I have nothing legitimate to complain about. However, there was a hole up until a few years ago caused by a lack of good use of my spare time. That’s when I discovered the best activity ever – community service. I live in a small community, attend a small church and live a rather invisible life outside work. I started observing things of interest – students, local education, unfortunate people in my community. It dawned on me that instead of looking for another hobby that focuses on ME, maybe I could find a hobby that focuses on WE. I’m not telling you what activities I found to involve myself in because this article isn’t intended to promote ME. I’m trying to focus on WE.

WE have an opportunity to get involved in local student lives through volunteer activities in our schools. WE have an opportunity to find other men and women to create groups that simply devote a few hours on an otherwise boring Saturday morning to find elderly people who need help with their homes and living conditions. WE have an opportunity to mentor young people to bring them hope and fulfillment, especially those who are being raised in single parent homes. WE have an opportunity to contribute something much more than a few dollars for a cause. WE have an opportunity to share time, talent and experience with those in our local communities.

I love my family. I love my patent practice and my clients. I love my hobbies. I cherish the time I spend with my friends. But I will tell you right now, the absolute most fulfilling activity I have ever done is giving – mostly anonymously – my time to some people I never knew before, but really found could use my help. If all of us – WE- did a little bit every week to help those in our community, whether each of us has any real talent and skills or not, WE might have a chance to get more out of life – spiritually and psychologically – than we give.

Catch a real buzz. Give your time away to someone who needs you. 
As always in sincerity.

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Goofy patent prices- Shop around!

It amazes me when I hear how much prospective clients pay for their Intellectual property legal work. Depending on what part of the country they live, I have heard of folks paying tens of thousands of dollars for a simple domestic patent application. I guess each locale has its own tolerance for what is considered value. This is especially true for certain corporate clients. I would imagine overhead costs contribute mostly to inflated prices for comparable legal work. However, you don’t have to overpay for your legal work.
Imagine going to a store and shopping for a particular item. If it is a high cost item – like a car – wouldn’t you shop around for the best price and best deal? Some will pay whatever the cost in order to buy local. I admire that in principle, but is that truly the best value? (I try to do this myself – shopping local, but sometimes cannot afford it.)

I have never been offended when a client asks me how much it costs for certain legal work. If my price is too high, then I don’t blame my client for moving on. However, I kind of view it like ” kissing on the first date”. We might as well get past this scary part early, so neither of us waste any more time than we should and allow each other to move on. If the prospective client doesn’t bring it up, I usually do. Some attorney even publish their fee schedules for certain work. That makes it even easier.

All registered patent attorneys and agents have to take the same federal bar tests for their licensing. It doesn’t come from the state bar association – it is a national standard test. If you are dealing with a licensed patent attorney or agent, they have been vetted. I can’t think of any registered patent attorney or agent I have ever met that is too stupid to competently practice IP law.

You can also research your attorney or agent by conducting a free search at the patent website. If you were searching for me, you would conduct an advanced search and type in “Lrep/Homburg”, and it would reveal almost every patent I worked on. This “resume” or “body of work” would be a good place to start your interview of the attorney or agent you are going to work with. After you check this out, make sure you find out how much the work will cost. Some charge hourly while some offer flat rate fees. If you sense hesitation when this question is asked, you might want to move down the list. Its kind of like going to a restaurant that doesn’t show prices on the menu. SCARY!

Good luck on your IP needs and for gosh sake, don’t be Goofy and overpay for your work. Three words – shop, shop, shop.

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HOMBURG “HATS OFF” – Rollin’ down the highway 

For years now, I have watched my neighbor drag his trailer over to the house and load up his motorcycle on really long trips. I admire his spunk to “leather up” and hit the road, but have always felt sorry that he had that big old trailer to tow and store year round.

Then along came Chad Level, my client from Bixby, Oklahoma. He came up with a very nice hitch mounted motorcycle transport caddy that hooks up to your box trailer hitch and uses the electrical power from the vehicle wiring system to raise and lower a front wheel frame. You load your bike’s front wheel on the ground level platform, cinch up your bike, raise the platform to a transport height, make sure the bike’s in neutral, and take off. You can even hook up the motorcycle electronics for signal purposes. He had U.S. Patent No. 9,233,634 issue in January 2016, so congrats to Chad and a hearty HATS OFF!
Best regards and born to be wild.
Randy Homburg
#patentlawman
#motorcycle

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Tribute: E. Melvin Porter

We in Oklahoma recently lost a great man. While his passing was quiet and peaceful, his life was not quiet, but it was indeed peaceful as a warrior for the civil rights movement in Oklahoma.

Senator E. Melvin Porter passed away in his home at age 86. Its not really important how he died. It is very important, however, how he lived.
He was a man of peace, but a ferocious advocate for civil right, marching with Dr. Martin Luther King and Clara Luper in Oklahoma for racial equality in the 60s. This was after he was admitted into the first class at Vanderbilt Law School admitting blacks graduating with honors in 1959 and the first black senator elected to serve in Oklahoma in 1964. He fought to include black history in school textbooks in the state, was president of the local NAACP, a prominent attorney representing folks who couldn’t afford an attorney and was the father of 7 children, all of whom have grown into successful and charming adults, just like their father.
As I set with hundreds at his funeral last Saturday, I was struck with the amount of love and respect that members of our community had for this wonderful man. He made a difference. He did it by a show of respect for his fellow man, his respect for the law, his respect for the constitution and his respect for what it meant to be a father of his children. I’m certain that he had his flaws, much like we all do. However, at the moment of his final respects, those flaws were not mentioned. Only those kind and historically meaningful and inspiring deeds demonstrated by this great man were highlighted, as was proper.
Most important in the Senator’s life is his legacy of inspiration and of peaceful change in the face of resistance serves as a challenge to us all as well as his responsibility as a father actively raising 7 children. 
I left with the inspiration that we all have a limited opportunity to make a difference while we are here. What kind of difference we make is a measure of our integrity and character. 
For more about this great man, please google E. Melvin Porter. He is truly inspirational.
Thank you for being part of Oklahoma, Senator Porter! Thank you for your inspiration of hope and your light to this world.

HOMBURG “HATS OFF” – GOLD!!!!!!

Mike Pung and his partner Stevan Wilcox received a patent on a new portable gold pan in U.S. Patent No. D757,142. They had previously patent a Gold Cube, which is a device that operates on running water over a series of ramps to separate gold from other minerals. 

Well, this little guy can be carried to a gold bearing water source and used to separate gold using a panning technique and it works like a little champ. They are inexpensive and selling like hotcakes. You can check them out at www.goldcube.net or contact Mike at mike@goldcube.net or by phone at (405) 650-0542. These products have been featured on several television shows that deal with prospectors and the product users all seen to submit kind reviews.
Way to go again, Mike and Steve! Eureka! Patent Gold.
Randy (Randal) Homburg

HOMBURG “HATS OFF”Steven Urick

Steven Urick is an inventor of mine out of Camas, Washington. He is a gold prospector who developed a simple magnetic spin device that is used to separate magnetic particles in black sands and spin off the non-magnetic particles in a batch of gold bearing material. It is working like a charm. That patent just issued as U.S. Patent No. 9,358,550. I am cheering him on and hoping soon, with enough travel and sales opportunities, he can devote his whole time to making, selling, using and advertising for use this product at shows all over the country and especially up north in Alaska, where this product sells like hotcakes (or in the case of Alaska – a hot anything).

http://pimg-fpiw.uspto.gov/fdd/50/585/093/0.pdf
Congrats and hats off to Steve. As always – come see me.

Randy Homburg

Hatts off to Matt Risley Innovations

My good friend, Matt Risley, with Matt Risley Innovations out of Phoenix, Arizona, had his patent issue (U.S. Patent No. 9,375,056) on his secure fastener for motorcycle accessory applications. His shop specializes in motorcycle customization, and this new fastener provides LED lightening incorporated within the fastener for maximizing illumination as an accent or as a visual aid. Its pretty cool and one of the many items Matt has come up with to make his company a leader in custom motorcycle parts and accessories. Congrats Matt and hats off.

As always –
Randy Homburg