The Traklight Blog

Explore the world of intangible assets and IP with guest blogs, business owner interviews, and more.

Jill Howard Allen

Jill lives in a self-described world of rainbows, unicorns, and puppy dogs. This is merely one of the many reasons why we love her. She unleashes her world of happiness onto our market channels, while managing a small group of Trakers and anything else random as our Chief Operations Officer. In her pre-Traklight years, Jill earned her Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. She has more than 20 years of experience in marketing including Southwest Airlines and Southwest.com, where she launching their corporate booking tool (SWABIZ),their corporate blog (Nuts About Southwest), and Ding! application. Oh Southwest! That explains the smile.
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Recent Posts

World Intellectual Property Day: Celebrate the past and prepare for the future of creativity

While the calendar is packed full of useless holidays like “Peanut Butter Lovers Day” (seriously- it’s March 1st), I wanted to make sure the day celebrating World Intellectual Property stands apart. True that when someone talks about intellectual property (IP) most people hear the voice of Charlie Brown‘s school teacher,‘Wah wah woh wah wah.” Or they think to themselves, ‘It’s legalese,’ ‘it’s boring‘ or ‘I don’t understand it.’ So, it begs the question, why would we want to celebrate it?

Well, it turns out IP is not only important but it really is interesting. There is strategy, methodology and incentivizing that makes each individuals’ IP story unique. It’s the management of these innovations and creative works that allow for individuals and companies to financially benefit from their ideas, investments in research and encourages ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking. AKA: How to make money from their ideas. This means IP is one piece of an important puzzle incentivizing people to create or to be creative and innovate. Without it we wouldn’t have most (if not all) of the luxuries we enjoy today like Starbucks Blonde Roast, Facebook addictions or, our office favorite, Spanks. 

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Women Inventorz Network Launches Virtual Connection Network

It is no secret that Traklight loves inventors. Our mission has been to help educate and empower those to identify and protect their intellectual property (IP), but then what? Well, the next logical step it to sell. How do you connect inventors, experts, and buyers? That's where the Inventorz Virtual Network comes in to help bring these groups together.

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5 Things Your Company Can Do To Protect IP In 2014

CEI Gateway hosted the first 2014 meeting of the Law and Technology Committee for the AZ Tech Council this past Thursday, February 13th; the discussion focused on the need to be proactive in your intellectual property strategy by providing five tips to help you protect your company’s intangible assets and remain competitive. Katharina (Katie) Martinka, an attorney with 20 years of litigation and transactional experience in Intellectual Property and Business law, provided real life examples along with her five tips to prove how a little pre-planning can provide the basis for a stronger business plan.

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Super Bowl IP Recap

Another Super Bowl is in the books and we've heard all of the recaps regarding the players and performance, but what about the Intellecutal Property (IP)? How did the Intellecutal Property of the Big Game perform?

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IP And the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year?!

College football bowl week is often referred to as the "most wonderful time of the year!" I couldn’t agree more with this statement. I love college football, which includes memories of crisp autumn days, unwavering traditions and college bands. Who would think in the middle of all of this is an intellectual property story?

Let me introduce you to John Antonio and Helen Weaver of Henderson Advertising. In 1970, they were hired to create a new logo for the Clemson Tigers. After reviewing several logos from various teams with a tiger mascot, he noticed that all were some form of the tiger. John decided to do something different. He requested the mold of a Bengal Tiger from the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The mold was sent to Henderson who then created a picture, tilting the image to the right. So what’s the big deal? We see pitchforks and other assortments of logos on helmets. In 1970, it was unusual to have any logo on a college helmet. However, when Antonio showed the Clemson helmet sporting the paw print, the Bengal Tiger Paw Print became the new logo.

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Meet Our Newest Member to the Traker Team

The Traklight team continues to grow so we thought we'd share a little bit about our newest member to the Traklight team, Kenady Sorenson.  Kenady was involved in the start-up community by taking ASU's Rapid Start Up classes and graduated with a BA in Poli Sci and Spanish.  Kenady hopes to bring customer service, sales, and all things ops to a new level as a Traker!

Kenady
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Tech Cocktail Social 2013

Tech Cocktail Phoenix Social has ended and if you missed it, you missed not only learning about a lot of fun companies that are starting up here in AZ, but also about our growing tech community.  The event provided some of these entrepreneurs an opportunity to pitch in front of a crowd for the first time.  It also allowed many to see, first hand, the incredibly supportive group that came out to encourage those pitching.

TCSocial Phoenix Sep4
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Zappos' New Headquarters Or Las Vegas' Win For Community?

ZapposTourYou’ve probably heard about the new headquarters Zappos is building in downtown Las Vegas. Well, I recently had an opportunity to tour downtown Las Vegas with Megan Knedler, Traklight Director of Marketing, to learn more about the project. Of course, I knew it would be fun, interesting, weird and cool all at once because that’s what I think about when I think of Zappos.  It didn’t disappoint.  From the tour guide with rainbow-colored hair, Heidy, to the eye-popping $350 million personal investment of Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, the project already encompasses the company culture. 

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Trakers Number 13

So some might think 13 is a bad number.  Turns out it's actually a Happy Number.  Seriously.  According to Wikipedia "A happy number is defined by the following process: Starting with any positive integer, replace the number by the sum of the squares of its digits, and repeat the process until the number equals 1 (where it will stay), or it loops endlessly in a cycle which does not include 1. Those numbers for which this process ends in 1 are happy numbers, while those that do not end in 1 are unhappy numbers (or sad numbers[1])."  If you don't believe Wikipedia, the rugby league and Dan Marino could vouch for the happiness of 13.

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Learning From Facebook

Everyone knows who Mark Zuckerberg is; the billionaire entrepreneur who started Facebook, one of the most visited sites on the internet. He is an inspiration to entrepreneurs’ world over looking to launch the ‘next big thing’, a regular Joe who started with nothing and got everything. Well, I guess that’s not completely true. He did get everything but to say he started with nothing is far from the truth. Anyone who keeps abreast with the news or saw David Fincher’s ‘The Social Network’ knows that he had more than a little help to say the least.
In late 2003 Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendra, students of Harvard, approached Mark for fixing and adding the finishing touches to their website HarvardConnection, a social network for Harvard students. Mark was given the private server location and password of the unfinished website and codes without any formal contract. Within a week, Mark decided to create his own social networking site and pretended to be working on the HarvardConnection project while working on thefacebook.com. He willfully lead the twins on so that he could finish his own project while preventing them from getting a new programmer from finishing HarvardConnection. Eventually he launched his own website and it was days before the HarvardConnection team knew what had happened and were left with an unfinished website with a competitor already in the market. 

If the Winklevoss twins and Divya had taken Traklight’s ID your IP risk quiz, history would have had a different story to tell. By taking out half an hour of their time they could’ve been making millions of dollars more than they got in their settlement. The one big mistake they made was discuss a potentially groundbreaking idea openly without having an independent contractor sign any sort of non-disclosure agreement or formal letter of employment with an anti-competition clause, a fact that would have been pointed out by Traklight’s Report. 

Mark Zuckerberg was already known to copy ideas; his popular Facemash was a duplication of the ‘Hot or Not’ website. Without any formalized agreement the courts held that their conversation amounted to no more than ‘dorm room chit chat’. The unfinished coding of HarvardConnection was not considered proprietary information by the Twins and Divya and if they had protected them as trade secrets then Mark could not have used the same coding in his social networking site thefacebook. 

In essence the two competing sites were different but had the same target audience and Mark’s willful delay on the HarvardConnection project could have been prevented. If he had been bound contractually, then he would not have been able to string them along as he would not have been able to work on a competing project at the same time. After stepping down from his post as web developer for the Twins, Mark would not be able to delay them any further. They would have managed to get their own developer on the project and since it was already near completion, have a head start on Mark’s thefacebook.com. 
People tend to underestimate the value of a good idea and the Facebook story is a cautionary tale for all aspiring entrepreneurs. Taking out the time and effort to identify and protect your intellectual property at the beginning of an enterprise is a lot better than regretting not having done so while buying a product you created with someone else’s name on it.
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Spotlight on Stonebridge Bookkeeping

Each month, we Spotlight a stellar company from our IP Cloud. These companies help provide you with the best and most affordable way to make your business a success. So don’t forget to regularly check in for updates or go to our IP Cloud to look around yourself! July's Spotlight is onStonebridge Bookkeeping
If you have a business, then you would understand the pains of bookkeeping. Started back in 2010, StoneBridge Bookkeeping has been striving to establish a standard of excellence not only in their workplace but for bookkeepers everywhere. There is no formal entity that governs bookkeeping or a code of ethics that holds them accountable. StoneBridge strives to build a community of bookkeepers who abide by a code of rules and ethics and raise the professional standard of the industry. 

Apart from high level professionals, they also hold classes for people who want to learn how to bookkeep as well as provide a certification course that ensures that candidates who intend to provide public bookkeeping have a high level of professionalism and standard of ethics. For those inclined to carry out their own bookkeeping or hire someone for the job, they provide a state-of-the-art mentoring program that include monthly reviews of financial reports and data file entries as well as assistance in correcting any errors/issues found. Monthly Mentoring packages cost $150 a month but for $250 per month customers get the Full Mentoring Package which includes access to the QuickBooks/Bookkeeping weekly open forum as well as 24/7 email support for all and any questions.

For more information regarding StoneBridge Bookkeeping check out our IP Cloud or find them on their official website at:
www.stonebridgebookkeeping-services.com.
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Spotlight On PADT

Here at Traklight we like to pride ourselves on understanding the needs of our clientele. Even though we can’t deliver on each and every need we sure can point you in the right direction. That is the focus of our Spotlight posts. We will regularly be spotlighting a stellar company from our IP Cloud and providing you the best and most affordable way to make your business a success. So don’t forget to regularly check in for updates or go to our IP Cloud to look around yourself!
Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies Inc. (PADT) is an Arizona based company that helps its’ clients deliver better product at less production cost in a shorter time period. In recent time the crowd-funding phenomenon has giving innovation a boost and everyone with a great idea can reap the rewards of their creation without having to be concerned about funding. But the issue this creates is that previously when innovators wanted funding they had to present business plans and cost and risk assessments, but now they do not. Without proper experience despite having a good product, and no one to guide them, the inventor ends up losing both money and reputation. There are so many stories regarding delayed or cancelled projects on Kickstarter® alone. 

PADT is in the business of helping companies large and small make innovation work for physical products. Through the application of simulation, product development, and prototyping, PADT works with inventors to solve tough engineering problems and take their ideas from concept to working products. They are probably best known by inventors for their wide ranging prototyping services. 
Lack of foresight in terms of development and product costs can lead a company to ruin. Unfulfilled orders, miscalculated profits and excessive delays in production all present a shoddy image of a company. But making mistakes are to be expected when doing something for the first time, as is the case with most fledgling start-ups. We understand experience is gained over time but the cold hard truth is that consumers rarely give second chances. 

One of PADT’s most popular programs, and rightfully so, is the ‘Product Development Assessment’ for start-ups. PADT’s experienced engineers will evaluate clients’ products and prepare reports that will cover everything from outline requirements, cost of material and manufacturing estimates to conceptual sketches and risk assessments. Innovators can rest easy because the people at PADT work with multinationals to start-ups and know that one size does not fit all. They tailor make assessments based on the clients’ needs and attainable goals. 

A concern a prospective innovator may have is whether PADT has any expertise in the field of their invention. A popular saying PADT engineers believe in is “Parts is parts”. The same set of skills used to design medical equipment come in handy while designing things as dissimilar as jewelry and toy packaging. The varieties of projects they handle are diverse and PADT engineers definitely have a way to analyze and make each and every product a homerun. But you don’t have to take our word for it; you can contact a lead engineer at PADT so you can discuss your needs and options available. Log on to their website to set up an appointment or check out our IP Cloud where they are listed. 
The official website of PADT is: 

www.padtinc.com

Want to learn more about crowdfunding? Check out the 'Practice Safe Crowdfunding' seminar.

When: Thursday June 13, 2013 from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM 
Where: Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation
275 N GateWay Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Cost: FREE!
How: Register here to attend or watch the event streaming live!
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Developing Winning Crowdfunding Pitches

Crowdfunding. Everyone’s doing it, All I have to do is make a video asking for money, right? Wrong. Turns out there is a lot of preparation necessary to create a successful crowdfunding pitch. Of course, you start by following the steps to Practice Safe Crowdfunding –
1. Identify your intellectual property
2. Protect your intellectual property
3. Choose a platform
4. Raise social capital

Then it’s time to Create Your Pitch! Where do you start? What do the successful campaigns look like? What elements are in their pitches? What do the rewards look like? How have they connected to their donors/funders?

Miss our webinar? No problem. Learn from Traklight’s Megan and Jill as they review a successful and a not so successful campaign. Discover how successful campaigns create their pitch and choose the right rewards to reach their funding goals here.
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An Intern's Account of Traklight

Before I even started working at Traklight, I was recommended to go to a meeting known as Game CoLab. There I learned the basics of game development and the software to do so. The people there ranged from small children to their parents, from beginners to programmers. The presentation itself was very comprehensive in explaining what you needed to do to make a game as well as learning why you are doing it. If you ever had a question, the presenters would be eager to help as well as the people around you often were able to help as well. The team focused, group mentality really prepared me for the experiences I would have at Traklight. By the end of the day we had created a simple game and had the knowledge to expand upon what you did and create something larger. I would definitely recommend checking Game CoLab out and attending one of the events.

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