Among the hundreds of businesses in Mendocino County, many are creating unique products. But how do you protect the design of your product? Enter Lamon Patent Services. Based in Willits, Cynthia Lamon has been in the business of helping people protect their product ideas for more than 20 years. As she explains it, “A patent enables a patent owner to prevent others from making and selling the item that is contained within the claims of an issued patent, for the length of a patent term, which today is 20 years from the earliest priority date.” That is of course, if your product is truly unique and not already in the public domain. This type of product idea protection has enormous consequences for entrepreneurs. Investing in design, marketing and distribution of a new product, composition or business method can cost a lot – protecting what you create is crucial to be able to succeed in a competitive business environment. Lamon tells us more about what intrigued her about this business and how she loves to help local businesses monetize their ideas.
Why did you start Lamon Patent Services?
I had been working for another patent agency, where the owner was getting ready to retire. I didn’t want to find another job because it would have forced me to move – and I love where I live. I also wanted the flexibility of owning my own firm and making my own business decisions for a change. One of my observations in our local economy was that the legal cannabis business was growing and they would need to protect new products. So, I started Lamon Patent Services in March of 2016.
What services do you provide?
I evaluate inventions for viability, do patentability searches, write patent specifications, drawings, domestic, international and foreign filings, docket each filing, pay maintenance fees and prepare and file prosecution responses along with examiner interviews.
When dealing with patents, this is the Federal government and nothing is easy and straightforward. There are so many options and decisions to make when filing a patent application. I’ve been doing this for 20 years and understand the ins and outs of every aspect of writing and filing a patent application. I also spend a lot of time helping inventors fix things they tried to do themselves.
What was your background before Lamon Patent Services?
I worked as a prosecution assistant for another patent agency for 16 years before hanging my own shingle. I also was in administration for a local winery, manufactured and sold solar equipment for a local company, prior to that. I also worked and volunteered at Mendocino College in their math lab and provided substitute teaching services to Willits Unified School District while I was building my business.
What have you found has been the biggest challenge in running your business?
Working with others is definitely my biggest challenge. Hiring my first employee was the biggest fear to walk through for sure. Learning how to be a manager and a leader is definitely a challenge.
What has been the biggest reward?
Helping a client bring their idea to fruition and monetize it is the best reward, by far. I have helped issue more than 1,000 patents in my career from individual inventors to corporations. My most notable portfolio I consult in prosecution is for Roblox, a huge online gaming company. Roblox is powered by a global community of more than two million developers who produce their own multiplayer experiences each month using Roblox Studio, a intuitive desktop design tool. They’re ranked as one of the top online entertainment platforms for audiences under the age of 18. We helped Roblox protect new innovative physics engines that allowed their avatars and other elements to operate outside of normal gaming parameters. We also helped them protect new interactive platforms allowing integration and communication with other networks.
What role has West played in helping Lamon Patent Services succeed?
West helped me immensely by teaching me how to manage finances, implement planning and strategy with my personal business advisor and help me overcome the fear of moving forward and growing.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Mendocino County?
I love to spend time on the coast in any capacity. I love Oco Time in Ukiah, Albion River Inn on the coast, and Al’s Redwood Room in Willits.
If you have a product or method you need protecting, contact Cynthia at Lamon Patent Services by clicking here.