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Showing posts from 2011

Richard Bransons latest book

I am only a few pages into Richard's latest book and it is really interesting reading. The basic premise is that corporations should have a social conscience.

Interestingly this was the complaint of Michael Moore's movie about corporations back in the 90s. By designing corporations so that they could outlive individual shareholders and directors the idea was to give a company a multiple generational value to a family and allow the value to easily transfer from owner to owner as stock was bought and sold.

But giving a corporation the rights of an individual without the moral accountability that the law expects of a real person allowed directors to make decisions that were purely profit driven and devoid of normal social accountabilities. Branson reasons that corporate social and environmental accountability are the only viable long term approach to business.

It really is an upbeat and positive message and worth a look.…

Siri. iPhone and Bluetooth glasses. Mmmmm

It's about time for some new glasses and the latest idea is some Bluetooth sunglasses that can link up with the voice control on my iPhone. Wonder how heavy they are? Oh. And I'll do my old trick of putting normal prescription lenses in them.

People often say they like my glasses and are amused to find out that they are tortoiseshell Ray Bans with prescription lenses. Simple. Obvious. Like a lot of my inventions yet still unique in a simple way.

My latest office location

Hard at work finalizing a patent for a Japanese company and some problem solving for Fortescue Metal.

Secret Project Codename: TZ

Sounds all very mysterious... and it is... a new technology that will really surprise most people in its simplicity and its pervasiveness... it has been around a little while now and was the reason behind my announcement about three weeks back of a special event in Sydney.

Well there is good news and bad news. The bad news is that the special event in Sydney has been delayed.... but that is because the good news is that there will be instead a US release some time later in the year. Yes things are moving along and unfortunately for Australia, again the technology has quickly migrated to the US.

Please accept my apologies if you had signed up to be at the event. I really appreciate the support. And as soon as it comes to do the Australian press release (probably after the US press event) I will make sure you all all taken care of... unfortunately by that time the cat will be out of the bag.

Sorry for the disappointment, but exciting none-the-less.

With some inventor friends and a great designer and prototyping expert

Thought I'd just share with you  a photo from my lunch today with some dear friends who are also fellow inventors. We had lunch together with a really fine designer and prototyping expert named Mark Boardman who I have worked with over the last 18 months...

The couples invention is yet to be publicly announced so I will have to wait to share their story with you but I thought Id share Mark Boardman's expertise with you... most of my projects are fairly large scale and dont require 3D printing or CAD CAM rendering but most of you who want help from me usually do... Mark has a day gig working for a 4 wheel accessories company but he is open to doing jobs for inventors on the side... hes not cheap, but he's good and solid... and delivers... which is why I work with him.

If you need a 3D print or a simulated cadcam rendering of your invention give him a call.

Mark Boardman

Just because he works with me does not mean he does the freeby thing …

Handy texting for iPhone concept

One of the young gentlemen I give time to on a Friday morning asked me about the idea of a simple device to enable fast texting without having to get your phone out.

This concept is what I came up with. His logic is that there are millions of people out there who learned to text on an old phone keyboard made sense... simply hook an old style keyboard to your iPhone using Bluetooth and your off.



I met with an optimistic fellow name Max Dumais yesterday who needed some patent and start up advice for he and a friend who are the brains behind the idea of Aquamation... using hydrolysis which is a high speed decomposition process to replace cremation as a earth-friendly way of burial.

Here are some incredible facts: 1. That 15% of the mercury in the atmosphere in the UK is from smoke related to the burning of human remains; 2. That using Aquamation in place of cremation would do the equivalent of taking 35,000 cars of the road every year in Australia and; 3. The way the EU is dealing with the issue of cremation is by enforcing a law that requires a $300,000 chemical and carbon scrubber be placed on the flew of every cremation burner.

A quick survey of some of my personal network uncovered that over 60% of Australia's crematoriums are owned by one off shore American, and that Cremation has obtained an exception under the Australian carbon tax laws. Obviously the government wan…

Ric's Hobbies

Ric has a few past times he enjoys that he like to share with some of the sites visitors. These include:

Playing and Writing MusicList of Music he's written and or recordedRic playing the lead guitar from Deep Purple "Smoke on the Water" in the last 5 minutes of Australian Story.His latest gear/ setup (Marshall Stack and Fender Strat)SurfingVideo of Ric Surfing as a young man (from 1984) was only a foot or so but its a good memory.Motorbike RidingVideo from unused section of Australian StoryKaren's abuse of Ric's monster bike by putting streamers on itVideo of Ric climbing a rock face on his bikeVideo of Ric's mates practicing Monos in the 90'sWriting BooksJason's Toy (A Novel)The Patent FallacyMaking Your Ideas Fly

About the Van

Ric uses a Ford Transit Van as a mobile office. For some reason it seams to have grabbed the imagination of a lot of Aussies and seems to be one of the most popular visited subjects. It's nothing much. Just a regular van with a comfy office chair and a desk in the back and most days a really great view.

Various articels about Ric's invention Van:

One of the most recent locations for Ric's Van officeIdeas for fitting out Ric's vanHow Ric uses the Van to help the invention process.The Van appears in the Sydney Morning Herald.


Siri works... amazingly

I've had my iPhone 4s for a few weeks now and just realized something really significant has happened in the way I use technology. I found myself actually PREFERRING to reply to emails using my phone and voice dictation than typing at my PC.

The key was realizing that you can actually edit the text in the Siri screen after it shows you dictation results and also realizing that this actually helps the voice recognition system improve.

This became clear when I was constantly signing off emails as Ric and Siri would type out "Rick". When I started editing the emails, Siri picked up on the problem and started to spell my name correctly. Someone who says "this stuff has been around for a long time" is not a serious user of it..

I remeber when I used a mouse and a WYSIWYG display for the first time (on my first Mac and Amiga). The feeling was empowering... this darn phone is giving me the same feeling... a paradigm shift.

Inside the new fitted-out Dick Mobile... Man in the Van goes upscale

Nah, only joking... but looks impressive just the same. Came across this on Basically it appears that New Yorkers are fitting out transit vans and cruising around in things like this in between meetings...

Actually I like my thing more. I can put my dirt bike in it... my surfboard.. it opens out to let the breeze through and I don't have to lock it... best of all it has no computers, no screens.. just a good solid desk, a comfy chair and a big picture window that lets me choose any scene from around Byron Bay as my daily inspiration... Mmmmmm... I think I have it over these New Yorkers and probably for a tenth of the cost!
No I have not upgraded to a Mercedes.. still have the old Transit Van but this is the Van the guys in New York tend to use...

What has Ric been up to lately?

A lot of you have been asking what's been happening lately... well I've been pretty flat out! Last month I did a speaking event in Adelaide and a week ago to a great bunch of innovation managers for mid to large size corporations... I also have helped a handful of fellow inventors inch their projects forward.

Most mornings I start at 5am often working on problem solving for Fortescue Metal. They are really fun people to work with. Besides these I have the preparation for the new technology role out in January (that I have mentioned in this blog), another hush hush technology announcement that I have NOT discussed before (I'm waiting to see if the team involved hits their deadlines) and three other projects I can discuss.

These include a website to help Model Agencies get control over their clients photos and copyright, a group of Japanese businessmen visiting me to rethink the worlds Digital Rights Management systems and to design an inter-operative and better flavor of D…

Pretty big technology announcement coming within 4-6 weeks.

Update. This project has gone worldwide and will probably be announced in the US initially. An Australian announcement will follow so I will make sure to notify everyone in due course however it means that the main announcement will have already hit the press.

To those of you who keep track of what's happening in the world of Ric, there is a pretty big technology release and press event coming in the next month or so... it will be in Sydney at a location yet to be finalized and will involve as much of the press as is willing to turn up on the day, but I promise not to waste their time..

For those who visit this site often Id like to know if you would like to come along to see a little bit of new technology so if you would like to send me your email address (send to [email address removed due to abuse]) I will send an invite to you when it's all locked down...
Here's a clue... it is not an Apple iPhone App but everyone coming including the press will be invited to downloa…

Every good turn deserves... at least a thank you.

I have a little sad story to share... About a month ago, I asked the cashier at my families favorite Chinese restaurant why they didn't have a web site? She said they were not real technical and would not know what to do and in a moment of community spirit I offered to put up a quick site up for them as a favor... no obligation just a bit of a thank you to one of the local businesses...

I was thinking that I help local inventors a lot but it's nice to do something for someone outside of inventing every now and then.
So  I went home and dared myself to do a site in less than 30 minutes...
This is what I came up with....
It's pretty basic... just a scan of the takeaway menu and a Google Map etc but it was fun to do since it was an opportunity to learn how to use the new Adobe Muse software.
As a favor I registered the .au domain and got it directing to the site at a $20-$30 domain reg and DNS redirect cost... thats all ok...
Then I proudly ring the rest…

Fwd: notice of allowance for 11/470,235

Just received this email today from the Uniloc patent lawyer:

Gentlemen, On November 3 the USPTO issued a Notice of Allowance for Ric's invention entitled: METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DETECTION OF TAMPERING ATTACKS Congratulations to Ric Richardson on another U.S. Patent!  Sean D. Burdick, P.E. | Uniloc USA, Inc, Patent Counsel.

Another patent granted. I feel very privileged. This patent tracks to see if a hardware system is trying to fool the fingerprinting software into thinking its running on a registered device when it is really not... cool stuff even if I do say so myself... it was fun doing that invention.

APTX site to help inventors

Just been working on the Australian Patent Trading Exchange and getting ready for a beta in a few days/ weeks. Its designed as a way for inventors to get their patents looked at and to generate sponsorship to help them get their provisional patent converted to full apps... and some other great things thrown in...

Come join us for the beta.. we'd love you to be involved.

Incubators new look

Please have a look at the NEWIncubator web site.

After many months of experimenting with a wiki based format for the Incubator, I finally gave up on the free form but messy approach and opted for the simpler more structured approach of the new site design that combines automation from a back end database I'm very familiar with and the new design tool from Adobe called use.

The design is also changed to focus more on specifically getting the project managers to walk step by step through my own project development process designed to make it easier for inventor types to move as quickly as possible from idea to patent to execution and market entry. The process is also explained on the site... I am still adding projects to the site so that it can be formally released in a short while.

Uniloc and band Kulcha first music and interactive CD ever?

Wow this was a blast from the past! Was going through old video footage from my early days running Uniloc and came across this project... a multimedia CD which Warner Music advertised as the worlds first music and computer game CD!

It featured a hip hop band called Kulcha and a Uniloc protected copy of Doom on the same CD..
I remember working out how to mask the data to stop the speakers from blowing up when the CD player tried to playback the game data... we came up with the trick of setting the track number for the data to track number zero which in most cases fooled the CD player to go straight to track one and ignore the data on the CD... CDROM drives could see the data and install from it... pretty cool for 94.

Wow. We really did a lot of cool things over the years.
At the end of the video the Warner voice over says that it was the WORLDS FIRST interactive music and game CD.... maybe it was! What an honour.

Cherio from Ric to all the visitors coming in from the Sydney Morning Herald news site.

A little message for all of you visiting from the Sydney Morning Herald article that appeared today.

Sydney Morning Herald runs Good Weekend story

Asher Moses from the Sydney Morning Herald emailed me yesterday to tell me they were running the Good Weekend story online soon and it popped up just now.The link to the story is this: a bit of background on some of the projects mentioned in the story please click the special welcome in the right column to Good Weekend Readers. Some extra news for you is that Microsoft’s attempt to have the Uniloc patent questioned by the US Patent office failed last Friday. The patent office ruled that the 216 patent is legal and stands in its entirety despite claims by Microsoft that there were prior inventions… now all that is left is to get a Jury to give us a good damages amount and then wait to see if Microsoft appeals that decision and then tries for the Supreme Court… well that’s my understanding of what’s ahead… it’s been a long battle but I’m not complaining… anything w…

Carbon Tax explained… a non political explanation.

Please note that I personally am completely neutral on political matters and do not have an opinion one way or the other regarding governmental initiatives.
That said, I also would like to weigh in on clarifying how the carbon tax seems to have been designed to work.
A basic fact:
According to government figures Australians per capita produce more carbon than anyone in the western world mainly due to the use of coal for generating electricity. To stem this tide the government is introducing a tax on carbon. It is really a tax on dirty energy generation.
To understand how this works you may want to consider import duty. The idea behind an import duty is to artificially raise the price of imported goods so that locally produced (more expensive goods) can compete on a level playing ground even though the basic costs of producing Australian goods are higher due to Australia’s higher hourly worker rate etc.
The duty is then redistributed to Australian tax payers and probably results in less…

Wonderful Feedback on Good Weekend article

Wow what a title… I suppose with a headline like that I should expect to be brought back to earth with some hassling about my weight.Surprisingly, many of my friends and readers commented that the article was really inspiring despite the digs about my size. So far I have received about a hundred emails, most of whom are fellow inventors looking for a little support or advice.If you missed the article there seems to be no place on the web where the article was published digitally so for those of you who weren’t able to pickup a physical copy I have done a PDF of it and it is available here to download.That photo was taken near our home at a place I actually do use for brainstorming… lovely fig trees and a lovely grassy area to have a play with Max between mind grinds.

Yeah I get it… I’ve got to lose weight

“Yeah I get it… Ive got to lose weight” was my first words to Jane Cadzow when I rang her just now to thank her for the article in the Good Weekend.After a good laugh Kaz had a talk to her and we thanked her for her open and candid, but interesting article… somehow great writers make a pretty normal person look really interesting… Kaz and I are amazed that the people in the newspaper are us….Also it feels really current even though the $500 mill win was over two years ago. As always our pets steal the show and the van gets another shot… great photos…. if you have a read, thanks for showing the interest…Thanks,Ric and Kaz, and Oscar the horse and Max the dog and Blanch, Noddy, Betty, Hazel, Hilda, Bev and Edie the chooks.

Ric in Good Weekend mag- Sydney Morning Herald

I’m currently up in Townsville without access to the normal Fairfax newspapers like the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age so I have no idea yet how good the article is that appeared today in the Good Weekend Magazine today… but by the emails I've started to get the reaction must be good.So far everyone seems to been a little bit inspired by the story of a normal Aussie caught up in very abnormal circumstances. I've got some important things to do today so will not read the story till later but feel very privileged that an award winning writer like Jane Cadzow thought enough of the story to pour her considerable talents into writing it…

Welcome Good Weekend Readers

Hi, and thanks for taking the time to look for me on the web after reading the excellent article in this weekends Good Weekend Magazine.

First of all, let me share with you that it was a real privilege to be interviewed by Jane Cadzow. Even though she walloped me regarding my weight :-) she seemed to catch every nuance of our time together. After reading her article it seems now that she must have been watching everything with laser beam eye sight! Her insightful questions about my child hood also also highlighted how important my parents influence was on our family. You know we all just grow up and think that everyone had a childhood just like ours but after an interview like that you realize the special things your parents do.

Thanks Jane.

Some of the things mentioned in the article are explained in other articles on this blog if you are interested.
These include:

Logarex - an explanation of what it is and how it works
Rail Trucking - Herb Elliott mentions it in his part of the inte…

Customize your iPhone home screen with your own icons and weblinks

iPhone users. Have you ever been frustrated at not being able to put links to important things on the home screen of your phone with their own custom icons?An icon that calls your best friend with one touch?An icon that opens a new email to your wife?An icon that opens your favorite app using a custom script or instruction?I searched far and wide without someone supplying an answer.It seems Apple likes to control what can and can’t be displayed on your screen.Well there is a work around. Apple supplies a utility to corporations called the iPhone Configuration Utility that is available to the public.It is used by large corporations to configure iPhones for their employees for all the fiddly stuff like security protocols, wifi logons etc. But the utility also has a desktop icon writing capability which allows you to place any URL inside a button on your iPhone home screen!For example I use Filemaker Go on my iPhone. I need a link on my home screen to quickly open a Filemaker file and ru…

Provisional Patent for Sale $3,500

No. It’s not one of my patents. But pretty good in any case. A pretty relentless inventor I have been helping has asked me to see if I can help him sell a provisional patent we have worked on together to cover an unexpected cost he has to cover.The patent covers an invention he came up with to vent toilet bowls as they are used rather than venting all the air in the bathroom after the fact.How it works?Basically a tube connects the toilet bowl with the toilet s-bend and contains a fan activated by sitting on the toilet seat that sucks the air out of the bowl direct to the S-bend when the user is sitting on the toilet.I did the prior art search myself and it looks pretty clear…Some people may ask, your well off Ric, why don’t you buy it? Well I have always been tempted to buy or get in on good inventions but that would compromise my ability to help people and be seen to be neutral… also I hate doing business, and the gentlemen I rely on to bring my inventions to life ask me to only wor…

Using sound to triangulate location

When most people think of Sonar they think of submarine pings are bats finding mozzies. The problem is that the power needed to tune in on echoes is pretty advanced stuff and beyond the capabilities of most smart devices... But sound presents some wonderful location possibilities compared to radio waves.
One problem with radio waves is that they travel at the speed of light and this means that if you use the signals themselves for measuring distance, you have to have a timing system that is accurate to parts of a nanosecond to measure small distances..
Here is my proof: 
speed = distance/ time speed of light ie 186,000 m/per hr=  186,000miles/ 1hr
To measure 10 metres at the speed of light is a flash of time.
According to my research most smart phones can accurately measure time down to as little as 14 nanoseconds i.e. 14 billionths of a second.
So at 299,792,458 m/s (speed of light) the accuracy in meters of a smart device able to measure time at 14 nanoseconds or more is
14* 0.000…

Ric's system for delegating email to his PA using screen recording

Just thought Id let you in on a little experiment I am running at my office with my PA Danielle. Since our work times don't coincide I've been looking for ways to allow her to help me as much as possible without having to spend much time face to face.

Besides my penchant for hanging a voice recorder around my neck an uploading the voice messages to Evernote for her to work on, the next best thing we have done is using screen recorders.

Here is how it works:

I have a screen recording app running all the time. It is set to record only the window I am working in. When an email comes in I work out if I can handle it immediately or if not I quickly summarize in my mind what I want to do and then hot record.While looking at the actual email (I use GMail) I record my instructions using my voice while highlighting things on the screen so that Danielle can see exactly what I'm talking about.When I click the stop button the file is recorded to a time stamped video file on my desktop…

Collaborative shipping–an Amazon book should cost 6 cents

When I moved home from the States in 2009 we brought all our stuff over from the US in a 40ft container fro $3500. Two lounge suites, California king, motorbike, side tables, everything. But for me to get some books from Amazon cost me $75…
At the same rate as I paid it should have cost me $0.06 cents!

Are my facts wrong? Don’t think so. So what do we do about it… this is my idea:
Get a consignment quote for one container to be shipped to your neighbourhood. In my case it would be consignment at an address in LA (where we have our stuff sent to).Then get a quote for customs handling (every package must be under $1,000 AUD in value.And a shipping truck rate from the port to your location ($300 from Brisbane to Byron Bay)Then get your neighbours to put the dimensions of the products they want onto a website that calculates the total volume and as soon as it makes sense everyone puts in their orders and waits for the shipment to arrive…Yeah. Go the Aussie dollar. What do you think…

Cool keyboard invention

I met with a Byron local who had one of those wake up epiphanies… literally…. and ended up with a new approach to the way a computer keyboard works. Today we sat in one of my favourite Byron Cafes and discussed, then drew, then dictated the nuts and bolts of a provisional patent over the course of a bit over an hour and a really nice Fettuccini.I cant go into details of Paul Nicholls patent as he may want to have some filing options but when he  is ready I’d love to share with you this great idea.For me its so much fun to sit with an inventor who has a simple well thought out idea that is also new and practical… congratulations Paul.

Writing patents for others… disappointment

Some time back an acquaintance approached me about the patentability of their invention and I helped them brainstorm on what was patentable and what was not. After all, I do have a bit of experience on these things.As I recall they were having trouble getting their head around working out if anything they were doing was patentable. They also said they didn’t have money and when I offered to help draft their patent my invitation was enthusiastically accepted. They really did have a cool idea.As always, I offered my help for FREE. However I don’t like being used as a transcriptionist or a technical drawing expert. When I write patents I like to make notes, record audio transcriptions and do hand drawings… its fast spontaneous and allows me to capture the essence of the idea at the time it is most fresh… the moment the idea hits me on how to handle the patent… in many cases the inventor I am helping is sitting across from me at a Cafe and the drawings and the outline of the patent are do…

The latest on Uniloc vs Microsoft

In case you have lost track of where the case between Uniloc and Microsoft is at these days here is the latest:

We won the appeal that reversed the judges decision to ignore the Jury's $388 million win in 2009.But the appeal judges made us go back to court to review the settlement amount.Uniloc tried to have the appeal judges consider just letting us go with the original $388 but they were persistent. Note this does not mean a LOWER figure... just a figure based on a calculation that does not use the 25% rule... a bit confusing.Uniloc is waiting to hear when it will have a court date to go after a damages amount, but this time we do it with the courts ruling that Microsoft IS GUILTY.So there it is... that's the latest
Note: The 25% rule has been used a lot to determine what percentage of the product should be paid in damages if someone uses a patented technology illegally.

VoiceTING... text messaging but with your voice!

Whats this? Imagine texting....

Yes I'm dubbing it Voiceting... as in texting but with your voice... what do you think? Ive put a form below so you can give me some feedback... It's really important to me so please make the effort.
Here is how it works. You go to the Voicy messaging app like you would the standard text messaging app on your phone and you choose a recipient from your phone book but instead of typing a message you hold a little record button and speak your message. Then SEND.

The recipient gets a message notification saying XXX has sent you a message and you can choose to play or cancel and play later.

They see who sent the message then here your message and then can reply by... voice. How cool.
When you get their response back you can hear the last few seconds of the message you first sent and then their response is played back to you, and the conversation goes on as needed... back and forth. In the example above I am planning to add the a…

5 out of 10. 5 to go.

From Uniloc legal counsel:“Yesterday the USPTO mailed a Notice of Allowance for Ric’s invention entitled “Method and Apparatus for Using Imperfections in Computing Devices for Device Authentication”.This will be the 5th US patent granted to Ric Richardson and Uniloc.”Another milestone. This marks the halfway of the granting of the patents I did for Uniloc before I left day to day at Uniloc back in 07. This patent covers the use of making a fingerprint not only from devices within or attached to a computing device but also by looking at imperfections and damage to any of those parts or devices… for example some CPUs take longer or shorter time to compute certain calculations based on impurities in their design… its a very cool idea and I feel privileged to have had the USPTO grant me inventorship.

Can RailTrucking alleviate Australia's trucking congestion?

Over the months since I started working on RailTrucking the idea has been growing from an interesting idea to be handed off to a captain of industry to something that is a real need and should be executed properly sooner rather than later.

The idea of taking over 5,000 trucks off the road between Brisbane and Sydney may sound audacious, but it is also critical in so many ways.

Diesel conservation/ carbon conservation. Trucks on rail can safely travel at 135km/p hr instead of 100 on rail that has a co-efficient of friction that is a fraction of road tire friction. Plus rail has a maximum 4% grade compared to 8 or even 10 on some parts of the Pacific highway. Better yet the minimum radius of a turn on rail is 1km. Road turn radius's can be as short as 150 metres!
Driver fatigue. While the drivers do have to hit a dead-mans brake button (a braking system that kicks in if the driver does not respond) the level of concentration compared to driving on the road is far less stressful and fa…

Why the Van helps Ric get thing’s done

Ever found yourself solving big problems on a jog, or on the ferry on the way to work, or while quietly enjoying a cappuccino in your favourite cafe. It’s not uncommon. Some people like the discipline of a cubicle or an office… but for creativity I find that most of the people I ask, they say very little is accomplished in a traditional work setting.The van is simply a tool that helps me kick start the process that happens when most people run in a park or find their favourite seat on a ferry going across Sydney harbour. You clear the head, in an environment with no reminders of the myriad pressing matters that scream at us every minute of most working days, and let the mind move. Let your mind pace itself and settle on the issue or opportunity that presents itself when the noise quiets down.If my van was in a tech feature film or a tech blog you would expect a battery supply, AC power points, wall to wall monitors and a fridge. Sure there is a comfy office chair and a steel foldaway …

Computer screen for the blind

Flying back from Fortescue last week I was thinking about a doco I saw
on the Senior Australian of the year who is a blind gentleman. I have
seen the audio support for windows that uses text-to-speech to help
blind people know what is on the screen but it struck me as odd that
the blind person has to sit in front of a screen that they obviously
can't see... So I came up with...
... what if?
What if each pixel on the screen was a pin head and the pins raised by
a millimeter or two to separate black text from white background...
the whole screen could become a braille space... amazingly the
gentleman I saw was an amazingly fast touch typist so the input is not
the issue... its the output and the feedback... it will be interesting
to see where this project goes.

Refining how to get the Incubator working

There is a famous American Baseball movie that touts the phrase “if you build it, they will come…” well frankly, getting the Incubator going is resisting our efforts to make it really go fast.
It has received a lot of interest from inventors especially the brave hearts who were on the Inventor Roadshow with us but it is obvious that something more is needed to get things heating up.
So this blog is opening up the idea of a “Hatchery”. A special process for those that want to avail themselves of a service where I am prepared to volunteer my time to help with strategic advice pro bono as long as the project founders are willing to invest a little money in covering the time of the professionals I want to use to help hold your hand through the process.
This enables me to help lots of people and keep the costs to a minimum by using business helpers that are relatively cheap but can help you implement the advice I share with you and are familiar with the process.
The steps are fairly stra…

Tip for filing trademarks overseas

Just a little idea I have used but have not shared with you is how to file Trademarks with overseas trademark offices such as the USPTO.One of the biggest issues is working out what categories to file your trademark in. Its all pretty confusing, however I use this simple trick. When I search for the appropriate category I just look for trademarks of products in your same space or even your competitors trademarks to see what categories they have registered in… its pretty easy to search and it can help you make sense of that countries category labelling system.

My first book published on Amazon Kindle

The provisional patent Fallacy.. and why it’s all good news is my first published book on Amazon.I’d love to hand out some discount coupons to many of you so you can have a look without the full retail expense of USD$9.99 but Amazon doesn't cater to that service unlike iTunes unfortunately. What’s the book about?Basically it addresses what I feel is the fallacy that you have to pay for what amounts to a full patent application just to get patent protection while you explore the invention and its opportunities. The whole idea of the provisional patent was for you to find out if you have a commercially viable idea BEFORE you have the full expense of a patent… but somehow this wonderful provision by the patent office has been completely nullified by the practise of submitting provisional patents that have taken as much work as full applications to produce… this is bunkum!As a taster I have included the first chapter here for you to read if you think you may like to download the full …

Innovation Festival–My privilege to help kick-off

Just now I got back from doing the keynote speech for the Innovation Festival that will run over the next month in the North Coast area of New South Wales.As usual I tried to make the talk about the audience and not just Ric pushing one of his pet agenda’s and it seemed to work well. We explored two areas around innovation:Answering the question “What is innovation?” and;For maximum innovation how important it is to do what you do best and find team mates and partners who compliment your strengths to bring maximum impact to your innovations.In one interesting section of the talk I asked the audience to tell us about the top two problems they have in their business… I was really surprised to find that many of the answers showed that people were really actively solving problems for their businesses and most were really clued in on how to get solutions.One lady taught health and safety using mannequins to simulate CPR as she travelled around Australia and her biggest issue was the size a…

A new patent licensing model – SELL A BOOK!

Traditional patent licensing is a pretty complicated and long winded affair.  Some big hearted souls even go through the cost, expense and work of a patent only to end up making it public domain… good for them but not really the point of getting patent protection.So what can be done to make money from your invention that fills the space between full commercial licenses and giving away licences. Here is my idea:Include a licence with the cost of purchasing a book. Wha? Yes, include the cost of a patent licence when you sell a book about your invention.Still confused?  Think about this. Besides the few dozen companies that may ultimately pay  a decent royalty for your invention there may be literally thousands of people who may want to use your idea for their own project. How do you give them a relatively cheap way to licence your patent AND give them all the info they need to understand and implement your patent?The answer is obvious when you think about it. An eBook. A vehicle that co…

Collaberative Location finding for mobile devices

Over a week ago a gentleman approached me about his idea of an application to help people collaborate and share information and a common phone based experience while sharing the same event or location. The idea really needed a way of using a combination of location data to refine how each device determines its location.

The result of that session was a collaborative location finding system that I am in the middle of doing a provisional filing for... its one of those things that you think would be pretty obvious but no one seems to have done.

I will supply more details once the business paperwork and prov patent filing are complete, but it's really exciting.

LESANZ dinner guest speaker

LESANZ is the License Executives Association of Australia and New Zealand, but as the world chairman of the Society agreed with me, it’s more likely Society of Professionals who make a living from Intellectual Property…I had no idea who was going to be in the room when I came to speak. During the day leading up to speaking I found out that Judge Randall Rader (from the Uniloc appeal court hearing) was going to be in the audience as was going to be most of Sydney’s IP elite. The location was just spectacular. With the backdrop of the City’s Woolloomooloo district and surrounded by excellent art I waffled on about some of the stories from my Uniloc days, some recent work with Fortescue Metals and some ideas about how to capitalize on Australia’s heritage as a nation of tinkerers and how rosy the future is when we have to rely on the collective Australian brain when our back yard of minerals starts to run out or lose it’s attractiveness.What a great night.

My mate Matt–Entrepreneur of the year

Last Thursday, after running late to be a panel member at the SydStart conference in Sydney, I sat down next to monster entrepreneur Matt Barrie (on stage), only to find his face looking up at me from the panel table. What a great achievement... good on you Matt. Matt and I started our friendship/ rivalry back in 2010 at the Funding Connect event in the Quay in Sydney... a good natured argument broke out about how Aussies are not aware of their strengths because our culture teaches us to think of ourselves as the same as everybody else... Matt's argument was "everyone can do what he did... it's easy". The audience sided with me that “no... sorry we are not all super proactive leader types”... and “no... most of us need to partner with guys like Matt to make something really happen...”… since then a lot of others have sided with my side of the argument to the amusement of most people that know Matt and I.As a result Matt wrote this little ditty on the copy of the maga…

Another US Patent granted

Just got this from the Uniloc in house counsel:“Today we received the Issue Notification for this patent entitled “System and Method for Auditing Software Usage” invented by Ric and assigned to Uniloc.  The patent will officially issue on March 15, 2011.Congratulations to Ric on another patent!”This patent follows a thread that I originally wanted for the Uniloc patent which was to regulate rather than stop sharing all together… fair use says that you should be able to share to a reasonable degree your own property. This technology allows software licenses to accomplish that. I remember writing this when I was back in the States. What a great environment to do business… I really miss Craig and the vibe of the team over there. But then again the view out my office at the time wasn’t this…Ha… what a gloater!

More on the location wiki project

Wow… a lot of feedback on the idea of a location based wiki but obviously I have not explained what the idea is because everyone seemed to miss the point…To me wiki’s are two things:A communal resource for information and A convenient way for me to collect information conveniently for myself…The idea of a location wiki is simply the ability to link a location to a page and the ability to search by location and not only keyword… ie a button at the top of the wiki that says find pages near here (where you are now)… to me the results would be presented in two columns…1. Pages that have location identities that are nearby your current location irrespective of keyword and…2. Pages in another column that are my private notes from pages with location ids that are nearby and sorted by distance from your current location…So going into Byron I see:On the public side of the page list – a picture and page of a street busker from last Thursday night, a review of a cafe two doors down the street, a…

Intellectual Ventures… let’s see what happens

Back in December last year I ran into the Australian team that is running a patent acquisition company based in the states called Intellectual Ventures. They buy patents and inventions and put them into portfolios for licensing to large companies giving the inventor a stipend of the royalty stream.While I would probably not use this model for any of my major projects it certainly sounds interesting so this month I’ve decided to run some ideas past them and see what strikes their fancy.  They have a list of areas that they are actively buying solutions for and out of those I chose the area of Grey Water utilization and water conservation.I submitted two ideas to them and it will be interesting to see if either of them strike a chord. There is certainly a place for this business model as there are really prolific minds out there who can solve problems quickly but don’t have the resources or skills to turn them into businesses… maybe this is a way to go.

Location based wiki concept

Searching is so proactive… every time you want to find something you have to initiate the search… what if relevant stuff was presented to you simply based on location?This idea is being worked on at an operating system level by one of the inventors we help but my idea is a lot simpler… what about a Wikipedia that showed you search results based on your location rather than a search term?Here is a for instance…I go into Byron and look in my location wiki… I can switch between a list of the nearest notes/ wiki pages I’ve written myself or pages by others but I can do things like…See the latest photos from locations near where I am standing… see the notes of the waiters name at my favourite restaurant just up the block.Or that the book shop around the corner is having a special on Clive Cussler books.What would it take to do something like this?A simple interface to Google Maps where a pin sts the location of your note or wiki page, a second list allows you to associate the location with…

Inventor Roadshow on TV News

What a great day this was… congrats to everyone especially the inventors who showed over 70 different projects to experts who flew in from Sydney and drove down from Murwillumbah.The above news segment was featured on NBN TV News and covered some of the many interesting inventions presented on the day… the event ran from 11am to 3pm with a few people turning up even then…Thanks so much to everyone for the support and interest.Ric

In the Wall Street Journal again

Over the weekend Julia Angwin’s (Senior Technical Editor) counterpart talked to me about the appeal result… quite rightly she focussed on the real issue. Guilt.

It seems the technical workings of the damages calculation machine has overshadowed the most important thing. Next after this is making sure the fair thing happens.

The fact that Microsoft in their own documents say that they made $5.5 billion from Activation should go a long way to making sure justice prevails… if someone uses another persons idea illegally then they ought to be made to recognise that they can not profit from doing so… that’s the fair thing.
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