Six years ago, I spoke to an Inventors association in Silicon Valley California. The organization was InventorsAlliance.org and its president was Andrew Krauss.
I’d only been to one other Inventors association meeting before speaking to the Inventors Alliance, so I didn’t know what to expect. I have to say I was quite impressed. It was a well-organized group made up of a wide range of inventors. As I’ve heard Andrew say, “our members span a wide range. Everyone from housewives to astrophysists attend our meetings.”
The meetings at Inventors Alliance feature expert speakers that help bring inventors up to speed on filing patents, creating prototypes, and selling their ideas.
Andrew has been rubbing elbows with the successful inventors, patent attorneys and manufacturing experts that speak at his association for the past 11 years. He knows the needs of independent inventors better than anyone I know.
So I guess I wasn’t very surprised when the Obama transition team contacted Andrew to be one of the people that represented the independent inventor community on a conference call.
The purpose of the call was to seek feedback from leaders in the inventors community as to what changes should be made at the United States Patent Office (USPTO) going into the next four years.
On a side note, I also recognized that Andrew was truly dedicated to helping the independent inventor. That’s why I co-founded inventRight.com with him over six years ago.
Andrew told me that he was very impressed with the Obama team. He said they seemed genuinely interested in the needs of independent inventors. The transition team wanted to know what changes independent inventors would like to see at the USPTO.
Andrew said, “ I have to admit, it was a little strange representing the over four thousand inventors that the Inventors Alliance reaches. After all, inventors are individuals and every one has an opinion. However, having run Inventors Alliance for over 11 years now, I knew that there were certain suggestions I could make that I knew all or at least 99% of our members would approve of. So I stuck to simple straight forward suggestions based on my experience and the feedback I’ve been receiving for the past 11 years from independent inventors.”
The suggestions Andrew and other Inventor community leaders made will be given to the new Secretary of Commerce to act on – or not act on, depending on how optimistic or pessimistic you are about the new administration being pro Independent Inventor.
Andrew said, “I’m very impressed that part of the Obama transition team even bothered to hear what the independent inventor community had to say. I’ve never gotten that call before from anyone in government. Independent inventors don’t have a lobby and very little influence as a group with the powers that be.”
I too am very impressed that the Obama camp has made this gesture. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if they implement any suggestions made by Andrew or other inventor group leaders that were on that conference call. When government asks the opinion of an underrepresented group such as independent inventors, that’s a step in the right direction in my opinion.