Paranoid and peremptory

Peremptory \puh-REMP-tuh-ree\, adjective:
1. Precluding or putting an end to all debate or action.
2. Not allowing contradiction or refusal; absolute; decisive; conclusive; final.
3. Expressive of urgency or command.
4. Offensively self-assured or given to exercising usually unwarranted power; dictatorial; dogmatic.

I get a lot of email requests for referrals. If the questions are from book buyers (you can tell from the quality of questions they ask), I try to help. If not, I either try to convince them to buy the book or barring that, I ignore them. Why shouldn’t I? I can’t make a living dispensing advice to every Tom, Dick and Mary. I don’t think my regular visitors really know just what kinds of demands that DEs are known to make of service providers. I tried pointing out the flaws in her thinking but to no avail. I’m printing this so you can see that I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

I’ve already had the utility patent filed and the Trademark filed. I have not done international filings as I
would rather seek VC or an angel investor and hit big enough (instead of “inching in”), that the pirates have a harder time stealing my stuff. The law firm I used can do patents in China; however, I realize this would not protect me from India, Taiwan, or Mexico!

If I could find an expert who is already in the field already producing, etc., I would be willing to do a joint venture – their money/backing/experience – my utility patent (way above a design patent). Before I begin working with any entities for pricing abroad, etc., I’d make them sign non-confidentiality or nondisclosure agreements. I only want American branches so they would be “sue-able” here in the states; being if they attempted to create these designs at their third world plants, an international antitrust attorney could shut down their American connection by serious court costs etc., so I’d have my revenge if the need arose.

If you know someone in the “business,” I would be interested in partnering up – but not for “experience” as I can get this on my own, it would only be for a substantial funding to launch this properly so I can step out of my multi-million dollar residential annual sales into the handbag industry instead. Sales and marketing knowledge is not the issue -the start up funding is the issue.

Perhaps this designer-entrepreneur will wend her way back to our lowly quarters to read any comments anyone cares to add. In spite of my best efforts, she hasn’t the slightest clue why she can’t find a backer. It should be no mystery to any of you why I didn’t give this woman a referral. I swear, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. Oh, and I couldn’t find a listing in the USPO under her name either.

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  1. Almost Girl says:

    Everybody thinks they are somebody today. The problem is sometimes the world rewards the deluded. Case in point? I thought I could do well for myself so I set out on my own to pursue my fortune. Turns out I wasn’t nuts after all!

    Not that this woman isn’t off kilter, just pointing it out that sometimes we all experience falling up.

  2. That was so over the top, I almost wonder whether she’s trolling for a reaction? My favorite line was: “…utility patent (way above a design patent)”

    Did she say what her background is? I’d guess she’s a byproduct of the tech boom/crash–and she hasn’t shaken the notion that intellectual property is sacrosanct and ideas naturally attract money like moths to a flame. She’ll just have to figure out that creativity means coming up with new ideas every day, not just once in a lifetime…

  3. andrea says:


    I can’t believe it…really. when I was doing worktrade for my contractor there were a lot of calls like this one…only not so bad. And what’s worse is that these people think that they are going to “revolutionize the industry”…you kind of have to learn the rules before you break them…and ask people for money to boot. The entitlement is what’s going to get this person. In my opinion it’s great to have a strong notion of something going in, but in order to succeed you must be willing to recieve an education!!

  4. Jess says:

    “I’ve already had the utility patent filed and the Trademark filed.”

    She probably got the experts on that commercial that I’ve been seeing a lot of. “That was my idea, I should of got a patent!” I hear they’re great.

    “If you know someone in the “business,” I would be interested in partnering up – but not for “experience” as I can get this on my own”

    Oh, she sounds really smart.

    It sounds like she’s really got something. I can’t wait to see her amazing work! ; )

  5. Jeff says:

    “I’d make em sign Non-Confidentiality agreements?”

    Non-Confidentiality agreements?

    Hmm…Eh hum…

    So…if I signed one, the stipulation being that I am obliged to tell? Everyone? Or else?

    No wonder. That’s just too much to ask.

    Though she may indeed become a guru in handbags, I’d still weep with sadness over the fact that she missed her true calling in politics. Seriously.

  6. Carol Kimball says:

    Gigi: I would love to know what she has patented…..

    Obviously, her mind. And insured it with whoever took over from Lloyd’s of London. Wonder what her premiums are on THAT?

    Has anyone toted up how much money she’s wasted so far?

  7. Gigi says:

    She must live in Florida where we surely have more lawyers per capita than any other state in the Union. She already has one foot in the courtroom!

  8. Josh says:

    Maybe I’m too kind but I feel sorry for this girl. She thinks this attitude of hers is what it takes to make it in this business. Maybe she’s watched a few too many Project Runways. But she doesn’t know better, and it’s for the grace of god that I know better. There for the grace of god go I.

    Although I agree it’s not your place or responsiblity to cater to people like this. And if I were in your shoes I would do the same.

  9. Kathleen says:

    I only wish she’d been trolling; she was serious. I think she’s a realtor. The thing that gets me, if she’s selling multi-million dollar properties, how come she doesn’t have the money to fund her own start up?

    And, I don’t feel sorry for her. Not when she can’t be bothered to read free information that’d help her. She can’t be bothered. I’ve dealt with this mindset a lot longer than you have; you’re assuming she’s like you, just uninformed. She’s not. Perhaps I should have printed all of her emails so it’d be very clear that she was also hateful.

    I can say that I ran into her initially because she was looking to hire a pattern maker to make patterns for her handbags. Out of hand, I’d say that the flat rate she was proposing was double what a professional would charge her for the job. Then again, being such a pickle, I’m sure she could eat up enough time to make the job cost twice what it should too. I could have just taken the job and said nothing but I can never do that sort of thing. Besides, she’s so friggin paranoid -and too dense- she’d have driven me ape shit in no time flat. Rather, I decided to amuse myself (and you) with her story.

    DH suggests I’d better be careful, if she’s hired this “lawer”, she may sue me.

  10. Diane says:

    How refreshing to see that someone (Josh) has some compassion for those on the low rung of the ladder. Lots of people don’t “get it” so it’s our place to judge them?? This is Bravery? It comes across as being mean spirited and that is a very close cousin to Slavery.

  11. Josh says:

    I don’t see this post as mean spirited. This has to be discussed and brought out into the open. Otherwise we are just going to have more and more PRIMADONNAS in the dark. There is no nice way to do this. Silence is not the answer. Kathleen is doing a service to anyone like this. She’s saying I’m in this business and this is what I think when I get emails like this, and maybe you (whoever you might be) should think twice before you come off sounding like this person.

  12. jeff says:

    O.K. On a lighter, more positive note, Paranoia can be a good thing in business. Surely, in this context, it means having the visionary sense to go out in the future, address real issues coming your way, anticipate them, then make strategic and informed decisions that will serve you later. It’s rather a unique talent in the business world actually. So, Jane DEo may have some talent in this area.

    However, Jane must pick her battles more wisely. Jane is looking at this protection thing as if it were a crisis. It’s not. May never be. If you have a patent, your design is protected. That’s all you own right now and, no one wants it because presently, it’s worthless! I know a guy who has 16 patents. He is broke, sells real estate on the side~. Stop making a fuss over it and move on, out to where the rubber meets the highway.

    No one in there right mind is going to skid with your wrap until, and only until, you have something they want. Can you guess what that something is? I’ll bet my entire line that you can. O.K. I’ll tell you. They want your customers. They want your profits. They want your market. You don’t have any of this yet. It’s an educated guess.

    Now that you know what it is, the real question is, can you now go out and create it? When you have accomplished this, you create a vacuum. Then nature will lend her hand. Part of what fills the vacuum is….support! You don’t need management until you have something to manage. Horse, then cart.

    Jane, a little paranoid is great. Friggin Paranoid is a medical term, I think.

    Also, timing, Jane, is everything. In my travels, the wisest of angels and VC’s and other support providers expect you to execute what is most critical to your business. It’s not that you have one foot in the courtroom (you do) it’s that your other foot is tripping over it! Let’s say you were seeing a shrink over these things that seem to plague you. This is where she would say “Jane, you need to let go.”

    And one more thing…Revenge? Already? You haven’t even lost anything yet.

    KF is trying to inform you with sageful advice and, apparently, it’s not getting through. You’ve lost her. You will have to re-invent yourself now. This may take up to a year, maybe longer. Look at it as your full-time job.

    In the meantime, make a prototype and stop making a fuss. Then go find a customer. Any angel will be impressed by these two simple things.

    Finally, inch in, as you say. Wise. Very wise. It is really not your decision to hit big. That is really left to others. They will let you know, so you can stop worrying about this, for now. Can you guess who they might be? I’ll bet you can. Good luck! Don’t be hateful!

  13. av says:

    I think she is ‘fishing for dumbies’.

    It reminds me of a fabulous machine (nothing to do with sewing)my DH invested into. The machine was worth every penny my DH gave his partner for the initial investment. But the partner obviously had other plans for the money, such as paying off personal debt. He tried to tell my husband he needed to do this in order to keep the business going. Well my DH and I both got very nervous and the minute the machine made back my DH initial investment, he pulled the money out of the bank and walked away. (We were lucky.) After my DH walked away, the guy had burned every bridge with every person he dealt with. Now the guy is in a new venture, with new investors, in a new town and we wonder how much money our ‘dear friend’ is really making.

    So that is what I read into KF post from the designer. Someone ready to make a quick million at the expense of every person around them. She has obviously scripted herself very well and hopes a dumby will hook onto her line.

    And maybe her product is not ‘snake oil’; maybe it is the person handling it:>.

  14. Big Irv says:

    This woman won’t stand a chance out in the real world. If she makes such an issue out of avoiding “knockoff” artists, this will only alert them more and she will be in their “crosshairs” in no time flat. In addition to sounding rude and impudent, I’ll bet this woman has never had to support herself financially. This woman needs a “sugar daddy” to finance her “venture”. Only a guy getting “some” would put up with her.

  15. Alison Cummins says:

    This puzzles me. If all she has is a patent on a great handbag invention, why would a reputable manufacturer/distributor want the risk of funding her? Why would they not just want to buy the patent from her instead, and manufacture and market as they see fit? Cheaper, more efficient, less risky.

    If she wants to build a company, then she can sell both the patent and her customers. But right now, what does she have that an established business would want to finance? I don’t get it.

    And it’s not like being big protects you from people stealing your stuff. I don’t get that at all. If you’re big, then you have something that people want (a product, a delivery model) and you’re going to be copied. That’s just peculiar.

    I think Jinjer is on to something when she speculates that our heroine “byproduct of the tech boom/crash–and she hasn’t shaken the notion that intellectual property is sacrosanct and ideas naturally attract money like moths to a flame.” She’s talking about VCs and Angel Investors and such. But if you were paying enough attention to learn about the existence of VCs in the tech boom, then you should be paying enough attention to absorb the fact that they almost all got very badly burned in the crash. And that VCs are distinctly out of fashion these days.

    I just don’t get it.

    She should reat the Beau Ties post. No patents there, but a mysteriously successful business nonetheless. So clearly there’s more to business than patent protection.

  16. mc says:

    “Joint venture” implies some sort of a mutual benefit. What is the mother-company getting out of this deal? Money. There’s no other option for you, unless you are already very famous. Would it be a commission basis or a flat fee? A joint venture usually requires capital from both parties. That’s the whole point. Neither party is willing to invest the entire amount. License the thing. It’s easier and less risky for everyone involved. On a side note, intellectual property filings don’t really secure every little inch. For example, Calvin Klein’s font, I’ve seen a million rip-offs…

  17. DesignerElla says:

    Oops. I am far too peremptory but I try to rein it in. Some of it is from my bipolar and the rest of it I seem to use up on my too dear BF. What a sweetie to put up with me. LOL.

    Oh btw I say I am that word from the definition, not because I sound like the writer of the letter. She’s crazier than I.

  18. Kathy Jo says:

    Wow Kathleen,

    I read this with mouth on the floor, seriously, there are people that actually think like this? I was hearing little alarms about half way through every sentence. Thank you for sharing as I will forever be able to accept my ignorance (until I learn better) in light of this for comparison.

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