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Need a Patent? Call Greg

Interview with Gregory Carson, Owner of Carson Patents

Interview with Gregory Carson, Owner of Carson Patents

Tell us about Carson Patents. What do you do?

I am an USPTO Registered Patent Agent, I help people write, file, and prosecute patent applications to seek patent protection for their inventions.

What is your startup’s origin story?

After retiring from building hospitals, I went to law school. I was thinking I might like being a lawyer, and retiring into working with people seemed like a good idea. As I started law school I discovered that my degrees in engineering would afford me the opportunity to practice patents. And, best of all, the lawyer part is not necessary at all. After law school I passed the “patent bar” and got licensed to practice before the USPTO.

Had you been involved in the industry before this startup? What is your background?

I started in the US Air Force, as a Clinical Engineer (way back in 1986). I worked with the cutting edge of digital radiology, hospital information systems, and hospital construction. I had started a few start up business but none stuck and became what they could have. After an injury and departure from the Air Force, I worked in IT and Hospital Construction for a further 15 years before I felt the need to find something I liked to do that I could retire into and enjoy.

What’s unique about your company? What are the key differentiators between you and other players?

Because I am disabled and in a unique minority group, I understand and communicate really well with others similarly situated. My patent firm is verified by the VA as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business. I get to work with a lot of disabled veterans — enabling them to seek protection for some of the most creative inventions around. But, I also get to work with and support a lot of new startups — many minority owned and operated. Frequently before and during prototyping of new and exciting products.

Take us through a day in your life. What does the typical day look like?

I get to spend my day dealing with geniuses. Every single person that calls me is a genius — at least with respect to their new invention or idea. Every invention is something new and fun. I spend a lot of time, either searching for prior art to prove that we can try and patent someone’s new invention, writing new applications, filing new applications, or prosecuting patent applications. I audio and video conference with inventors to capture and try to protect the patent rights for their inventions.

What has been the most challenging part of growing your company?

The thing that everyone told me I could not do — was (and in many ways still is) the most challenging part of growing my company — getting found by potential clients. I am a patent agent, that means that my potential clients are any human with a new idea or invention. What I needed was a good website — a place where I could hang a single and hopefully get noticed.

What has been your best marketing channel? What are some channels you are looking to explore next?

My best marketing channel turned out to be starting a charity to provide pro bono patenting services for veterans and their families. I tried and continue to try to get listed on internet search engines, but finding help for websites and social media management is riddled with trouble and time consuming. People are the best channel, and offering to help them is a nice friendly way to address the channel.

What apps do you use that you would recommend to others?

In the end, I use only the pre-installed apps that come on an Apple computer, and a cloud based data share. I practice in patenting, therefore, I need to be open and assessable to all people. Any one app could create a limitation, and using them all was easy to do, but far too time consuming to keep current. This means that I have had to setup my own collaboration tools so that each inventor can work with me in the way that they find most comfortable. The standard, free, apps that come with an Apple computer are enough to enable me to share and work in any document type format. The other word processing apps also have collaboration options.

Do you have a book, podcast, or Youtube channel you would recommend to other Entrepreneurs?

There are a couple of good books on patenting. One of my favorites, Rosaleen A. Walsh’s “U.S. Patent Prosecution for Support Staff” is a great reference for a lot of the things that happen when applying for and prosecuting a patent application. Also, because, I needed to focus on creating a web-presence, I spent my website creating time building a basic information framework on the patent process. Thus, I would also recommend, and in particular the articles on “How to do a Prior Art Search” and “How much a patent costs” for a good base of information on the patent process.

If you could go back in time to the day you founded your company, what advice would you give yourself?

Be wary of anyone who cold calls or emails you suggesting they can help you get your website listed better on the search engines or social media. These services only helped create bad associations for my website and social media that the search engines use to lower the listing position of my services (making it hard for people to find me). Only a service expert in your area can actually help with your website. You are better off keeping your website under your own control.

What’s something you’ve learned from building your business that someone else can learn from?

Making a great plan includes considering failure. Thus, making a plan great means considering failure and planning for the potential of changes from the beginning. Plan the work. Then … Work the plan.

Interview with Gregory Carson, Owner of Carson Patents



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