what became known as the The CardShark WalletSkin and, in 2014, applied for and received three utility patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), following extensive investigation and research by highly-trained Patent Examiners.
One of her CardShark patents states that she has invented a “Protective covering for personal electronic device” with a “rear protective face, adapted to allow insertion and removal of cards or paper currency into and out of the pocket in the manner of a wallet.”
Unfortunately, this renaissance woman and her three patents, like so many other inventors of late, could not avoid ever-present patent infringers.
Since the establishment of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in 2012, large conglomerates and Big Tech have gamed the system through loopholes and ambiguities in the America Invents Act of 2011 (AIA) to, basically, steal patents from the “little guy.”
It is done through what is known as an Inter Partes Review (IPR), which is an attempt to invalidate (revoke) existing patents, through the PTAB. This is somehow accomplished even though the PTAB Administrative Patent Judges – who are not real judges – typically have no real-life experience as patent examiners.
Deep pocket corporations know that few independent inventors or innovative small businesses and startups can afford the half million or more that it would take to defend their patents. And, worse, the PTAB has already invalidated 84% of the 3,000 patents it has reviewed. Knowing these odds, most inventors cannot assume that hazardous possibility.
Kip has had to fend off many infringers, at times taking less in licensing fees, or risk an expensive IPR and, most probably, the loss of her patents. She notes, “I have three patents and fight every day to protect my IP [intellectual property] from infringers.”
For her, there is one specific and appalling incident that really stands out.