Monday, November 27, 2006

Sweet & Low

In Sunday's Denver Post, Al Lewis wrote a column about Rich Cohen, the grandson of the inventor of Sweet & Low and his book about his family. The article is a book review of sorts of Cohen's book about his disfunctional family that disinherited his mother and her children. But the point of this post relates not to the topic of the article or the book but rather a particular statement made in the article.

Apparently, Benjamin Eisenstadt, Cohen's grandfather, invented the sugar packet in 1945. According to the article and the book, "Eisenstadt brought the idea to Domino Sugar, which promptly stole it." It is this quote that is the point of my article.

As best I can tell, Mr. Eisenstadt never patented the sugar packet and as such had no legal claim to the intellectual property related to the sugar packet. Simply, Domino Sugar could not have stolen his idea, because Mr. Eisenstadt did not own it. The only effective way to own the sugar packet invention would have been to patent it. Since he did not, once he disclosed it to the public he dedicated the invention to the public (the one year grace period notwithstanding). Domino Sugar could not have stolen the sugar packet. More correctly stated, Mr. Eisenstadt freely gave the invention to Domino Sugar.

The point of this post is instructive: think long and hard about approaching a company with your invention if you have not taken the proper steps to protect yourself. Learn from Mr. Eisenstadt's example. Her certainly did. He patented the formula for Sweet & Low and the result was the Sweet & Low fortune that ultimately prompted Mr. Cohen to write his tell all book. Hopefully, when you make your riches, your family will not fall apart the way Mr. Eisenstadt's family did.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

L&L Welcomes A New Associate

Shane Percival, a clerk with the Firm for the past 2 years, has joined us as an associate attorney. We are lucky to have him and we are sure he will continue providing the same high quality work product he provided when he was a clerk.

Shane's practice will be focused on patent procurement.

At some point in the near future expect to see Blog articles by Shane.

Lately, our little firm growing very rapidly. Our current stable of dedicated L&Lers includes Partners Peter Lemire and Kurt Leyendecker, Associate Shane Percival, Patent Agent Albert Haegele, and last but certainly not least our office manager Jackie Rodiquez who keeps the us coordinated.

Anyhow, if you call and have an opportunity to speak with Shane congratulate him on having been recently sworn in as a Colorado Attorney.