Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Project No. P131203 #00023

Submission Number:
William Redmann
(solo inventor)
Initiative Name:
Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Project No. P131203
Matter Number:


Thank you for considering these comments. As an employee of a large company, my work-related inventions are patented and licensed by that company, by a battalion of attorneys skilled in that activity. However, when I operate those same inventive skills to obtain a patent on my own, or in conjunction with a small business entity, my ability to license such patents is limited, primarily by the threat that merely asking an infringer to consider a license to my patent gives them cause to initiate a declaratory judgement lawsuit in federal court that would exceed my financial ability to answer. The practical effect is that acting as a solo inventor or a small business, my patents are effectively locked out of a direct "inventor to would-be licensee" intellectual property marketplace. In a watershed moment, my co-inventor was approached by a first PAE offering to buy an issued patent that, with a small company, we had tried unsuccessfully to commercialize. At that time, the world was not ready for self-organized Internet-based conference calls. Being cold-called by that first PAE inspired me to conduct a little investigation and I determined that the issued patent corresponded to the activities of quite a few conference call technology vendors. The result of that initial contact by a first PAE and subsequent negotiations with them and with other competing PAEs, concluded with the sale of that patent to a different, more competitively bidding PAE. We had tried to bring an innovative product to market ahead of its time, but were not successful. Having a marketplace where a patent born of that attempt could be offered for sale without threat of financial ruin allowed us to extract value from our patent that was not otherwise available to us. As a result, those who had invested in our ideas and vision were able to recoup their investment, and this was tremendously satisfying for me. Thus, PAEs produce a safe marketplace, accessible to a small inventor, where patents can be offered for sale, without fear of retribution. This experience affirmed that my patents as a small inventor can be as valued as those inventions I make while in the employ of a large company, which in turn inspires me to try with my next invention, and the one after that, because I have experienced that it is not futile. -William Redmann