Passion for IP law leads to book deal
By MATT CHANDLER
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Spend any amount of time around Buffalo patent attorney Vincent LoTempio and one thing is clear - he has a passion for intellectual property law.
In recent years he has channeled that passion into a blog where he explores copyright and patent issues facing inventors and businesspeople trying to protect their assets.
"I enjoy the blog and have gotten a good response from people who follow it," said LoTempio, a partner in Kloss Stenger & LoTempio.
It also gave him an opportunity to cut his teeth in the world of writing, and he parlayed that into an opportunity to co-author his first book, "Patent Fundamentals for Scientists and Engineers," Third Edition.
"My mentor, Arthur Cookfair, wrote the first and second editions of this book, and the publisher wanted a third edition to address the new laws. Arthur called me and said he didn't want to take on the book at this point, so he offered it to me," LoTempio said.
He brought on an attorney from his firm, Brendan Lillis, to help with the project and said they undertook "basically a complete rewrite" of the original book, as necessitated by the extensive changes in patent law.
"This originally started off as a textbook for scientists and engineers," he said. "We revamped the book so that it would apply to any inventor who wants to understand the patent process and the patent system."
Among the points emphasized is how to identify what is protectable within an idea, and then how to go about protecting said idea. Then the authors walk the reader through the general process from an idea's conception to complete protection of it through the proper IP law channels.
"I really enjoyed undertaking the book," LoTempio said, adding that it took seven to eight months to complete. "It feels good to be a published author and to have my name on the book, and I think people who are interested in learning about the patent process will find a lot of valuable information in it."
Another benefit of the writing project was that it kept him sharp for his clients, he said.
"It forced me to learn all of the new rules so that I could write about them," he said. "I was going to have to do that anyway, to stay on top of what I do, so this just kept me sharp and on top of everything that is going on."
He also found himself able to incorporate a fair amount of the content from his blog into the book.
"I had to expand on it and create charts to go with it and broaden it out, but a lot of the issues in the book were things I had already covered in my blog," he said.
According to LoTempio, one thing that helped him focus was knowing that the problems scientists and inventors face when working their way through the patent process are not unique.
"I see so many of the same questions over and over. The invention may change, but people have the same concerns and questions when it comes to the patent process," he said. "So we worked in this book to answer those questions, and we do it in a way that people can easily follow."
Despite his years of experience as a patent attorney, he was a bit nervous undertaking the book - both because he was carrying on the legacy of his mentor and because he knew once it was out there, his work was open to public scrutiny.
"You want to do a good job, and I wanted to build on what Arthur started," he said. "And of course, knowing that once this is in print, there is no changing it, you want to make sure everything is correct and you have done all the research and covered everything."
With the book now out, he's confident he did the project justice on both fronts.
"We made sure to write the book in plain English," he said. "So we think it is relevant and accessible to everyone."
"Patent Fundamentals for Scientists and Engineers" is published by CRC Press. To follow LoTempio's blog, visit, www.LoTempioLaw.com and follow him on twitter @LoTempio.