I realized the value of hard work at a young age. My grandmother, the mother of my mother, put me to work in her yard when I was around 8 years old and I did not stop taking care of her yard until I moved off to Auburn University for college (Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering 2010). Many hard lessons were learned on her property over the years, all of which I look back on and value so dearly. My grandfather, the father of my father, lived through the depression in the 20’s, and my father was raised from that perspective. Fortunately, my father was able to sufficiently provide for his family, however, he instilled so many values in me that I still hold so dearly today, two of which are hard work and pursuing your dreams with the understanding that anyone in the United States of America can achieve anything they want should they put 100% of their mind and effort behind it. The American Dream! Indeed, George Petrie said it best: “I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.” (The Auburn Creed - 1943).
Experiencing the value of hard work and not enjoying working on an hourly wage, I began to envision myself pursuing the American Dream. As I matured, I became more and more determined to become a successful entrepreneur by pursuing my passions and dreams.
Fast forward to the year 2011, I began working at a boutique intellectual property law firm (Gardner Groff & Greenwald, PC) as a junior associate / Mechanical Specialist drafting and prosecuting patent applications under the supervision of experienced attorneys. I was able to “get my feet wet” and as I tried my best to understand the basics of US patent law including understating the essence of a patent application, an office action, claim drafting, specification drafting, patent searching and the various aspects thereof, the MPEP, U.S.C. §102 (novelty) & §103 (obviousness) (and various other sections), and the list goes on. Kudos to Gene Quinn of IPWatchdog and John White for the PLI Patent Bar Review course! Highly recommended!
Interestingly, the America Invents Act (AIA) was enacted during the latter part of 2011, and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) was formed on September 16, 2012, so I was ultimately taking in these new creations while also beginning my career in the patent practice.
Fast forward to the year 2020 and having experienced various detrimental aspects of the US patent system as it currently stands under the AIA, I am very concerned for my own sake (and for the sake of other startups and inventors) that the US patent system is collapsing in front of our very own eyes! The career path I have been on for the past 10 years specifically depends on enforceable patent rights, which have consistently been trampled on by large corporations with deep pockets and the PTAB.
I am much more aware than many as I am a registered patent agent while also pursuing my passions and dreams of entrepreneurship and exploiting my patented inventions; something that has been on my mind for most of my life. In short, without enforceable patent rights, I will personally be in dire straits, both as an inventor / entrepreneur and as a patent agent.
As a member of the PPAC, I will be able to possess the “tool belt” equipped with many various perspectives of the US patent system including the perspective of a registered patent agent and the laws that define the system, the perspective of an inventor and patent holder (currently 5 issued patents), and the perspective of a small business owner using, making and selling my patented inventions while keeping an eye on competitors and possible infringement. With these tools, I will make certain to keep independent inventors from around this great nation my top priority, so that we can get back to pursing the American Dream as our founders intended.