Ten Ways to Spend Your Bonus: Holiday Gifts for a Patent Attorney

  1. ScreenShot076$350 — Roomba: Even a patent attorney can handle this vacuum. Handsfree cleaning that “makes a difference in the lives of people.” ScreenShot075
  2. $310 — Garmin Nuvi 260 Pocket Vehicle GPS Navigator with Maps for North America. This portable GPS fits in your pocket and works in the car. Voice prompts know streets throughout America.  Although she’s not a patent attorney, I’m getting this for my mother-in-law.
  3. $160 — Ipod Nano.
  4. $120 — Jawbone: a BlueTooth (wireless) headset for your mobile phone that actually works well. According to reports, the noise cancellation is amazing.  Jawbone self reports the “Highest Rated Bluetooth Headset. Ever.”
  5. ScreenShot072$100 — Eye-Fi: A 2GB SD card for your camera. The card has a built-in wi-fi chip so that your pictures are wirelessly uploaded to the computer.ScreenShot077
  6. Pointers: Green laser pointer (no more ugly red). For those of you with romantic delusions, this pointer is strong enough so that the beam can be seen while watching the stars. Perhaps more practical is the wireless presenter (with red laser).
  7. $25 —  Blue Oxford Shirt that is both wrinkle free and stain resistant. Patent attorneys have a standard uniform that includes a blue oxford shirt with a button-down collar. Please nothing fancy or shiny.
  8. ScreenShot074$16 — “Originally developed for the Swedish Department of Defense, Swedish FireSteel is a flash of genius. Its 3,000°C spark makes fire building easy in any weather, at any altitude.” Swedish FireSteel. You may need some MayaDust as well to get the fire started.
  9. ScreenShot079$15 — Reverse Engineer T-Shirt.
  10. Priceless — Several friends suggested the following: new management at the PTO, more technically-trained federal judges, and a Congress that is not for sale. I have been unable to find an appropriate Amazon.com link. Here is one potential solution. ($8).

Bonus Books: Freakonomics; iProperty; Undue Diligence; The Book of Air and Shadows. Happy shopping!

Thanks to all those who contributed ideas!

Dennis Crouch

About Dennis Crouch

Law Professor at the University of Missouri School of Law. Co-director of the Center for Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship.

39 thoughts on “Ten Ways to Spend Your Bonus: Holiday Gifts for a Patent Attorney

  1. Ok Jeff,

    Point well taken. But I think you have to admit, in context, “grammer” was pretty funny, and I find it hard to restrain from being funny (I grew up like that, I wonder why?).

    But I did apologize to anon for making a cheap joke at his expense, and I went on to try to lessen possible embarrassment at his typo by sharing some embarrassment myself with light repartee. Look where that got me – – ready for the funny farm in the eyes of a couple of dim wits.

    By the way, not to be too critical, but I’m having trouble finding “conversants” in the dictionary, but I know what you mean of course, and apparently others also use that “unofficial” word as did you.

    “Conversant” is an adjective, and I don’t think they generally have plurals.

    I did enjoy your comment, and I think it is good advice which I will try to take.

  2. “Denigrating” is not what the conversation is doing, but what the conversants frequently do to each other on this blog. I think the word sought by anon way up there was “degenerating.” If you’re going to pick on each other, learn to notice finer points than obvious misspellings; it will make the banter more interesting and somebody might learn something they didn’t already know.

  3. I actually once had 3 patent attorneys and one legal assistant from the same firm show up at my office all wearing blue oxford cloth shirts and khaki pants. I didn’t realize it was an actual uniform.

  4. big hairy rat,

    He who lives in a glass house shouldn’t throw stones.

    Now go eat your cheese.

  5. JAOI(TM)

    “I don’t mean to be offensive to those what don’t deserve being offended.”

    “My son thinks I tend to be a blogger bully.”

    You are mentally ill. Get help.

  6. Dear anon,

    I couldn’t sleep. I’m not a mean guy at heart. I don’t mean to be offensive to those what don’t deserve being offended. Please forgive me for any offense your may have felt from my comments. I apologize.

    Please do not feel embarrassed about grammer. To be fair, I’d probably have missed the spelling error also had it not been for the spell checker which works automatically, sort of by magic. These computers, with all their widgets, drive me absolutely bats at times. I don’t know what I’d do without my son – – he helps me with software stuff.

    My son thinks I tend to be a blogger bully. He is smarter than I am (praise the Lord of the Universe for that) so he probably is right, but life as just an ordinary inventor sometimes (more often than not) is too tough for me, a tender hearted soul – – you see, when I come to a fork in life, I tend to take the path less traveled, like my Daddy tended to do too.

    Look what it got my dear departed Daddy – – me

    Good night, sleep well and remembar, tomorrow is another day.

    Happy Thanksgiving Weekend; I hope and pray that all is well that ends on a Happy note. I think I’ll sleep better now, and perhaps others who may read this will too.

  7. >I entered “oligarchy” on both Google and Yahoo and
    >did not get a single supported ad or banner ad.

    I noticed that most banner ads appear to have become “smarter” recently.

  8. “What about … USPTO Merchandise?

    See link to usptomuseumstore.org

    I wonder why the trebuchet sold at the above site was not listed as prior art relative to:

    D540,414 Trebuchet

    A device, by the way, which contains absolutely no “ornamentation”.

    Tom

  9. Dear anon,

    Methinks thou protesteth too much and spell too poorly.

    Re:
    “I do wish to teach JAOI(TM) some basic English grammer [sic] for our future reading comfort.”

    As a general rule, I don’t take well to “grammer” lesson from those who spell grammar grammer. You might consider updating your software with a spell checker so you don’t look so silly.

    Re (please note my – – amendments – – and [deletion]):
    “Note the irony that 1-9 are probably all made more expensive by the risk of patent trolls – -’ shyster patent lawyers – – who did absolutely zip/nada/nil in actually helping – – their clients – – [to] develop the products.”

    “Patent troll” is a slur term like “shyster lawyer.” Please refrain from using slur terms whenever possible. (You’ll be a better person for it and you’ll want to thank me in the morning.)

    Perpetuating troll talk casts a stigma on independent, self-employed non-practicing inventors and that is bad for the profession. Look what happened in the S. Ct. eBay debacle: The Supremes’ eBay ruling reserves a patent’s “exclusive Right” for big businesses while denying a patent’s grant of “the exclusive Right” to independent non-manufacturing inventors.

    I’ll spoon feed you again:
    In other words, in some part because of the corrosive anti-patent troll talk atmosphere, the United States Constitution’s “exclusive Right” was unconstitutionally limited (please see my other comments on this subject by following the link below*).

    ————————-

    * For example, I posted this on Thanksgiving at 10:48 AM:

    I hope you didn’t miss the comment I made on: | Nov 09, 2007 at 11:34 AM found on this link:

    link to patentlyo.com

    The comment was made in this thread:

    link to patentlyo.com

    * * * * *

    Dear Everyone,
    In keeping with this holiday’s spirit, bringing families together, bringing the north and south together, bringing patent attorneys and inventors together, and bringing our country together, Happy Thanksgiving. God bless us everyone.

  10. The quality of the conversation is quickly denigrating here. Apologies to Dennis and readers, but unfortunately I do wish to teach JAOI(TM) some basic English grammer for our future reading comfort.

    1. I wrote “Note the irony that 1-9 are probably all made more expensive by the risk of patent trolls who did absolutely zip/nada/nil in actually helping to develop the products.”

    The “probably” qualifies the entire sentence. That is, 1-9 are probably made more expensive by patent trolls who did zip. On the other hand, the statement acknowledges that 1-9 may not be made more expensive by patent trolls who did zip. This may be because (1) they are not more expensive, or (2) they are more expensive but not because of patent trolls.

    2. I did not bad-mouth all self-employed inventors. I bad-mouthed “patent trolls who did absolutely zip/nada/nil in actually helping to develop the products.” That is, I defined patent trolls as those “who did absolutely zip/nada/nil in helping to develop products.” I think that is actually a conservative definition of the term.

    The only person who associated all self-employed inventors with label of patent troll is YOU, Mr. JAOI(TM). I am no psychologist, but it amuses me that you have engaged in such a “rush-to-judgment” in assuming what I said or meant.

  11. Dear anon,

    With all due respect, you are mistaken. How shall I count the ways?

    Firstly, the purpose of patents is to promote progress by prompting publishing, and patents give people, plenty of people, gainful employment.

    Ok, secondly, I’ll spoon feed you.
    Your original offensive comment was illogical and thus made no sense; you said:
    “Note the irony that 1-9 are probably all made more expensive by the risk of patent trolls who did absolutely zip/nada/nil in actually helping to develop the products.”

    You recognized that something was (only) probable yet you then drew an “absolute” conclusion. That is a “rush-to-judgment.”

    Now for your test questions:
    Some Examiners are dumber than a bag of hammers. Does that make all Examiners dumb?

    Some Lawyers would fabricate evidence. Does than make all Lawyers scoundrels?

    In every barrel there may be a bad apple. Does that mean trash all apples?

    Because some self-employed Inventors add “zip/nada/nil,” does that mean you should bad mouth all self-employed Inventors with your silly fairytale troll talk?
    —————

    Get a life, live long and prosper while you live and let live, think things through, at least thrice. You’ll thank me in the morning.

    (Test question answers: no, no, no & no.)

  12. Well, since there are patent trolls that accuse every computer, iPod, SD Card, TV, DVD, Wi-Fi device and more to be infringing on their patents, I guess I am a nefarious infringer — as are you, Mr. JAOI(TM). And if crustless peanut-butter sandwiches and trash bags with Halloween faces on them are patentable, I wouldn’t put it past someone to get a patent on wrinkle free and stain resistant Oxford shirt or a reverse-engineer t-shirt. What part of my comment constituted a rush-to-judgment? Patents make stuff more expensive, that is their intended purpose and probable effect.

  13. Congratulations anon,

    You win the prize for the silliest rush-to-judgment comment so far. If you were a prosecutor, you’d PROBABLY have sent innocents to jail, and I don’t think that washes with the United States Constitution. Shame on you in any case.

    I PROBABLY should know this, but, are you a nefarious infringer, or PROBABLY just a plain old needler (;-?

    Stay well, next time think twice, take two Asperina, and thank me in the morning.

  14. Note the irony that 1-9 are probably all made more expensive by the risk of patent trolls who did absolutely zip/nada/nil in actually helping to develop the products.

  15. May I respecfully suggest my lawyer-created, law-related humor CDs, “The Lawyer’s Holiday Humor Album,” “Legal Holidaze,” “Merry Lexmas From The Lawtunes,” and the new release “The Lawtunes: Live At Blackacre”? Clips are posted and CDs can be ordered at http://www.LawTunes.com. Thanks and Happy Holidays.

  16. “$120 — Jawbone: a BlueTooth (wireless) headset for your mobile phone that actually works well. According to reports, the noise cancellation is amazing.”

    People who wear their phones on their ears are strange.

  17. What Holiday Gifts would you suggest for an Inventor?, beside anti-nausea Rx!, and without whom there would be no patent lawyers.

  18. #7 could at least pretend there are women patent attys out there and post a double link.

    /not really that irritated
    //actually a non-bio woman patent atty with a sense of style that takes it up a notch further than the typical engi-nerd work attire

  19. Dennis: I’m surprised you weren’t able to locate a source for new management at the PTO, technically-trained federal judges, etc. My brother once looked up the word “oligarchy” on Google(R), and found loads of banner adds: “Oligarchy: Download now!” “Oligarchy: Compare products and prices!” “See this week’s featured Oligarchy items!”

    (I am not making this up)

  20. While the Kensington wireless presenter is very handy, the Microsoft Notebook Presenter Mouse has the same features including built-in laser pointer but looks and works just like a regular bluetooth mouse.

    link to microsoft.com

  21. Since the oxford shirt comes in three colors and also has stain release, it should meet the desires and needs of nearly every patent attorney. Thanks for the tip, Dennis.

  22. Green laser pointers, while priceless to amateur astronomers, have become frowned upon by airline pilots, the FAA, and the DOD. :^(

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