The COVID-19 crisis has brought unprecedented demands on small businesses and inventors. Through these challenging times, we know that so many are making courageous sacrifices to preserve employee well-being while keeping the lights on. Consistent with our mission to support emerging growth companies, we feel that such sacrifices should not include the loss of hard-fought R&D efforts.
We'd like to help. Aurora Consulting is proud to announce the RISE Award, which offers a free provisional U.S. patent application or $5,000 towards a non-provisional U.S. patent application to a selected applicant. We hope that this award can help provide stability and encouragement to diligent innovators.
By: Josh Sloat
COVID-19 is touching all aspects of our personal and work lives in profound ways. Below you'll find a roundup of our best coverage on how this is impacting venture-backed startups, what we might learn coming out of this crisis, some tips on how to navigate the Paycheck Protection Program, and a guide to effectively working from home.
By: Josh Sloat
The COVID-19 crisis has triggered a tsunami of folks working from home. This has spurred a ton of questions from friends, family, and not yet liberated former colleagues about remote work. As a company that has been fully distributed since day 1, we have some thoughts. We’ve seen people harness the autonomy and do the best work of their lives. We’ve seen others fail hard. This guide has been assembled with much love to help sway the balance in your favor … at least as much as is humanly possible under present circumstances.
By: Daniel D. Wright
Patent sytem participation rates
In 2018, Congress passed the Study of Underrepresented Classes Chasing Engineering and Science Success (SUCCESS) Act to authorize an investigation into the demographics that participate in our patent system. The final report, delivered in October 2019, provided some predictable results. Working with limited raw data and third party literature on the topic, the report concluded that despite a promising uptick in women’s percentage of patenting (from about 3% in 1976 up to 12% in 2016; p.8), women and minorities are still underrepresented before our patent system in comparison to nationwide population statistics in ways not entirely explicable by economic or education backgrounds (p.13). Furthermore, it identified that not only are corporations the largest filers for patents but also present some of the lowest women participation rates (p.2).
A more inclusive patent system
Late this past month, the USPTO launched its Expanding Innovation Initiative, one of its first projects born from the SUCCESS Act to help bridge these gaps. Along with the SUCCESS Act report itself and other statistical references, the Initiative presents a number of materials designed for would-be inventors and experienced practitioners alike to foster innovation. For the former, the Initiative offers a free accessible crash-course in the fundamentals of patent prosecution, hoping to “demystify” the patent system for those intimidated by the Office’s stern formalities and rigorous procedures. For the latter, the online repository provides various toolkits to jumpstart potential mentoring or community outreach programs to better enable those who are willing to extend a helpful hand. In these kits, you can find a Quickstart guide and some sample paperwork to set up your own program either within your current business or in your larger community.
Take the next step
So whether you’re a backyard inventor looking to get started on protecting your idea or a successful IP practitioner or inventor looking to encourage others down that path, we at Aurora invite you to engage these brand new resources at the USPTO.
Ashley Sloat, Ph.D.
Startups have a unique set of patent strategy needs - so let this blog be a resource to you as you embark on your patent strategy journey.