I'm an intellectual property attorney (registered patent attorney) and fixed fee evangelist. I started Richards Patent Law six years ago to work with small businesses and entrepreneurs using fixed fees because I believe that is the best way to maintain a mutually beneficial attorney-client relationship. In that time, I have worked with over 620 clients in a wide range of technologies and industries and have grown my practice from a one-man show to a five-attorney firm (and growing). I love to help people build businesses.
I handle a wide range of intellectual property matters, including all types of patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret work. As a patent attorney with a background in engineering, one of my primary roles is to help clients patent their inventions - from mobile apps to medical devices and everything in between. I also help clients register their trademarks and copyrights, license and sell their IP rights, and litigate when necessary.
I believe my most important role is helping my clients make thoughtful decision about how to best move forward with their legal and business matters. For example, just because a client can file for a patent, doesn't mean that's the right business decision. It is far more rewarding for me to help a small business make a difficult decision about how to allocate a limited budget, rather than work with a large corporation whose legal direction is to "do everything possible."
In the past couple of years, I have had three clients air on ABC's Shark Tank (two made deals with the Sharks), one of which sold their business (supported by the patent I wrote) for $14.5 million. In that time, my clients have also raised over 2.5 million dollars on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. It is a lot of fun for me to help people reach these marks of entrepreneurial success.
In addition to running Richards Patent Law, I am an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law where I teach NUvention: Medical innovation, an interdisciplinary experiential learning program designed to expose students to the entire innovation and entrepreneurial life cycle of new medical technologies. The course simulates how medical innovations evolve from basic clinical needs and become businesses in the real world, including observation in a clinical setting, invention, prototyping, intellectual property protection, business formation, and regulatory issues. I also teach in Northwestern's Entrepreneurship Law Center where I supervise law and business students working together to represent start-up companies, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit organizations, particularly in the field of patent law.
Lastly, I am a co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer in a medical device company, Resonance Medical Technologies, LLC. We are a spinout from Northwestern University working in the field of machine-brain interfaces, specifically cochlear implants, making tremendous strides in improving the quality of life of deaf people.
Prior to starting my own practice in 2009, I was a partner in the Intellectual Property, Media, and Technology Group at McDermott Will & Emery LLP. I worked with McDermott from 2000-2008 in all areas of intellectual property including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. I managed multinational intellectual property portfolios for Fortune 100 companies and built IP portfolios for smaller and mid-sized businesses. I counseled clients with respect to intellectual property portfolio acquisition and management, including drafting and negotiating licenses, sales, purchases, and joint development agreements. I drafted freedom-to-practice opinions, patentability opinions, non-infringement opinions, and non-compete agreements. I was involved in all phases of patent litigation, including pre-litigation analysis, discovery, pretrial preparation, and trial support for cases involving, among other things, medical devices, electronic security systems, electronic connectors, and point of purchase signage. This broad background in IP law put me in a great position to start my own IP firm in 2009.