This is my first post, but in reading other posts I think I have a shot at getting some good advice. I apologize in advance for the length but I have a few questions embedded within.
Here’s an overview. My wife loves to burn scented candles but sometimes forgets to blow them out. About 3 years ago I began thinking about how I could improve candle safety so that I wouldn’t have to worry about a candle burning down the house. After countless weekends and late nights of brainstorming and prototyping, I came up with a very unique design. 2 years ago I took a vacation day and visited about 6 IP law firms and settled on one that I felt was the best for this idea. The patent application received a first office action which rejected every one of the 37 claims. My lawyer assured me that he believes that this is a unique idea and that the examiner is incented to reject every claim. He has now tightened up the claims and resubmitted and I’ll need to wait about 3 more months before hearing back. What a racket, the examiner incentive is to reject every claim and the IP lawyer tries to write the broadest claims possible. This doesn’t make for a very good way of conserving and inventor’s cash. QUESTION 1: Am I alone here or is this a typical scenario?
After filling the application, I hired a design firm to design a working prototype. This firm had the expertise in air care products which was critical because this product required knowledge of air flow. I now have a professional looking prototype 100%
QUESTION 2: Has anyone ever gone through something like this and if so what happened? Any advice?
I’ll add just this last bit of information. I was very honest with my product champion and told her that I wasn’t very aggressive in approaching any other companies. But this weekend I lost my patience and began calling other companies like their direct competitor. After consulting my lawyer, I also submitted my idea to Dial Corp’s website. QUESTION 3: Should I turn up my aggressiveness and begin pounding on doors even though this company may very well be close to licensing this idea? Should I maintain radio silence with them so that they think I’m looking elsewhere and force them to contact me?
Any help is appreciated!