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Invention Promoter 
Caution List

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Several patent practioners who have worked in the invention promotion business have asked that their names be removed from the caution list.  It seems a bit of community service penance so to speak, is in order.

The Letter

Reply

Search results

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It has been widely reported that many companies whose services are of questionable value - or even outright fraud - threaten to sue, and in some cases even threaten to hurt, those who speak out about the problem.  A warning for those who would try to quell free speech in the inventor community.  I work extensively with many journalists and other media.  Any threats, to sue or otherwise, will be promptly passed to the media.  This will get the questionable party much more publicity than this page alone does.

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Dominic Kotab Letter

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, November 16, 2002 2:02 AM
Subject: Caution list

Dear Directors Pressman, Margolin and Riley,

I am writing on behalf of myself, Kevin Zilka, and Vidya Bhakar in regards to your listing of our names on your website at the following pages:  

http://www.inventored.org/caution/list/

http://www.inventored.org/caution/isc/list/

Several years ago, Kevin, Vidya and I worked at a firm in South Dakota by the name of Kaardal & Associates (K&A). For me, it was my first job after graduating from law school. For Kevin, it was a 6 month transitory position before moving out of state. Vidya, too, was there only a short time.

It has been a number of years since any of us have worked for K&A (see http://www.kaardal.com/staff.htm for the current list of practitioners) nor even resided in its home state, so you can imagine our surprise when this site was brought to our attention.

I am asking that you please remove our names from your website(s), including the web pages listed above. I assure you that all three of us are now employed by Silicon Valley patent firms that do not provide services to invention marketing companies. I also assure you that none of us have any intention of providing services to invention marketing companies nor to work for firms that do.

Sincerely,

Dominic Kotab

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Reply

Mr. Kotab,

I am always ready to correct error of fact, but by your own admission, you and your associates did work for the invention promotion industry.  The caution list clearly states that people listed either currently work for, or have worked in the industry in the past.  So as far as I can tell there is no error of fact.

If I understand your letter correctly, sort of reading between the lines, you and your associates no longer want your names associated with the invention promotion industry.  It is understandable that you would want to distance yourself from an industry which collectively victimizes people for over two hundred million dollars a year.

To help you out I am copying this reply to the Federal Trade Commission www.FTC.gov , Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) at the USPTO, Bob Lougher- www.UIAUSA.org , the Directors of InventorEd, a number of investigative journalists & journalism forums, and other interested parties.

Many young people make serious mistakes early in their life.  Generally they must do penance for errors of judgment.  Many of the leaders in the fight against invention promotion fraud were inadvertently sucked into the business.  They have mitigated this by working to rid society of this problem.

What I am willing to do for you at this time is to post this letter on the web site, thereby allowing all to see your side of the story.

The invention promotion industry has a habit of spawning an endless number of new companies.  Typically what happens is an employee or two of an invention promoter or a related company will decide to strike out on their own.  They do so hoping to make easy bucks.  In your case your firm consists of two ex promoter industry people.  What am I to think?

So I did a number of searches, which are detailed below, to see if you and your partner were now doing serious patents.  While there are a few, it is inconclusive.  Making it more difficult to judge the merits in this case is the fact that so many patent attorneys are prone to ghost write patents for the few attorneys who are willing to have their names associated with the invention promotion industry.

I need to see a real commitment on your part to consider any other changes to the caution list.  You and your associates can get your names removed by becoming part of the solution.  Think of it as community service.

Any documents you might have in your possession which would aid the authorities would be useful.  If you are bound by a restrictive contract (common tactic of invention promoters) , you and your associates may send such documents anonymously to me and I will forward them to the appropriate people (I immediately destroy the packages which have any identifying information).  Documenting the inside workings of the operation would be helpful.  Going to OED and offering to help would most certainly be a good form of penance.

I am a credentialed investigative journalist.  I always protect my sources.  Many other past and present employees of invention promoters send me information.

I am looking forward to seeing tangible evidence that the three of you, and perhaps even other current or past employees of any of the network of companies involved in the invention promotion business, would help justify removal of "facts" which may at that point in time no longer relevant to the public.

I am looking forward to hearing from you and other former or current employees of invention promotion companies.  Perhaps we can all work together to help improve the industry.

Ronald J. Riley www.InventorEd.org

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Search Results

Kotab, Dominic M.
Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Group
P.O. Box 721120
San Jose CA USA 95172
408-768-0501
42762
Attorney

  Also see: http://www.google.com/search?q=Dominic+M+Kotab

In 1998 Kotab, Dominic M., 104 Pearl St., Dante, S.D. 57329-2100

No hits on Newsgroups

Searching 1996-2002...
Results of Search in 1996-2002 db for:
LREP/"Dominic Kotab": 0 patents.
No patents have matched your query

Searching 1996-2002...
Results of Search in 1996-2002 db for:
LREP/"Dominic M Kotab": 0 patents.
No patents have matched your query

Searching 1996-2002...
Results of Search in 1996-2002 db for:
LREP/Kotab: 4 patents.
Hits 1 through 4 out of 4

6,460,038 October 1, 2002 Clickmarks, Inc. (Fremont, CA)

6,438,575  August 20, 2002 Clickmarks, Inc. (Fremont, CA)

6,427,175 July 30, 2002 Clickmarks, Inc. (Fremont, CA)

6,326,988 December 4, 2001 Monkey media, Inc. (Austin, TX)

Searching 1991-1995...
Results of Search in 1991-1995 db for:
LREP/Kotab: 0 patents.
No patents have matched your query

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ZILKA, KEVIN J.
Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Group
P.O. Box 721120
San Jose CA USA 95172
408-505-5100
41429
Agent

See: http://www.google.com/search?q="KEVIN+J+ZILKA"

Searching 1996-2002...
Results of Search in 1996-2002 db for:
LREP/ZILKA: 22 patents.
Hits 1 through 22 out of 22

Searching 1991-1995...
Results of Search in 1991-1995 db for:
LREP/ZILKA: 0 patents.

No patents have matched your query

Searching 1996-2002...
Results of Search in 1996-2002 db for:
LREP/"Silicon Valley IP Group": 20 patents.
Hits 1 through 20 out of 20

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Bhakar, Vidya,
Squire Sanders & Dempsey LLP
600 Hansen Way
Palo Alto CA USA 94304
650-834-3215
42323
Attorney

5,984,793 November 16, 1999

Searching 1996-2002...
Results of Search in 1996-2002 db for:
LREP/Kaardal: 25 patents.
Hits 1 through 25 out of 25

Searching 1991-1995...
Results of Search in 1991-1995 db for:
LREP/Kaardal: 0 patents.

No patents have matched your query
Searching 1986-1990...
Results of Search in 1986-1990 db for:
LREP/Kaardal: 0 patents.

No patents have matched your query
Searching 1981-1985...
Results of Search in 1981-1985 db for:
LREP/Kaardal: 0 patents.

No patents have matched your query
Searching 1976-1980...
Results of Search in 1976-1980 db for:
LREP/Kaardal: 0 patents.

No patents have matched your query

 

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National Inventor Fraud Center, was founded by a young attorney who worked for ISC as an intern.

Another information source is: Invention Marketing Companies .

National Congress of Inventor Organizations (NCIO)

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Relevant Federal Trade Commission Links

FTC

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