Igniting Innovation: Tips, Sparks and Ideas for Acting on Innovation

David Lafkas

David Lafkas
David is Eureka! Ranch’s legal eagle, or more traditionally our patent and trademark authority, not only serving as in-house counsel at Eureka! Ranch, but also evangelizing on the importance of patents in today’s world of innovation to stay ahead of your competition. As an Innovation Engineering Black Belt, David has helped numerous companies develop patentable new products and services. Most recently, he’s supported High Liner Foods in Canada and the US on their comprehensive journey to achieve a culture of innovation as they not only create breakthrough seafood ideas, but also broadly educate employees and implement systems driven innovation across the corporation. David received a biomedical engineering degree from the Rose Hulman Institute of Technology and his juris doctorate from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, the 4th oldest law school in the country. He lives in Cincinnati with his rescue dog, Chauncey.
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Recent Posts

Patents: As Strategy or Tactics?

Posted by David Lafkas on Feb 4, 2016 10:00:00 AM

I was recently asked by a company leader if I think patents should be a part of a company strategy, or should patents be a tactic used to increase protection and increase profit.

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Topics: innovation, Patents

Proof Patents Directly Relate to Profits

Posted by David Lafkas on Dec 31, 2015 10:00:00 AM

I am often asked for some real world examples showing where patents really make a difference in a company’s upward trajectory. 

Forbes recently wrote about the rebirth of Columbia Sportswear, an outerwear brand we are all likely seeing daily during these winter months. 

The company started in 1938 and by the early 2000s was a more than recognized brand.  However, Columbia became recognized for being “that brand” that makes inexpensive fleeces for big name retailers. 

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Topics: Patents

Holiday Challenges That Lead to Innovations

Posted by David Lafkas on Dec 1, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Now that we are in the midst of the end of the year holidays, I am certain many of us are thinking of gingerbread, peppermint, hot chocolate, and cookies.  But, how many of us are thinking about innovations as well? 

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Topics: innovation, stimulus mining, Patents

Innovation Gut Check Or Reality Based?

Posted by David Lafkas on Nov 3, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Quirky was a crowdsourcing company that has been held up in the past as THE invention crowdsourcing model.  The front page of its website is bold: “Our mission is to make invention accessible.  We believe everyone can be an inventor, and invention can happen anywhere.”

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Topics: innovation, Patents, Math

Failing Oh So Fast

Posted by David Lafkas on Oct 27, 2015 10:00:00 AM

So, I didn’t know.  I needed help.  And I failed.  And it is good.

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Topics: innovation, leadership, fail fast fail cheap

3 Things You just might not know you can Trademark

Posted by David Lafkas on Sep 15, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Striving for Meaningfully Uniqueness is a foundation of Innovation.  And most often Meaningfully Uniqueness is equated with the standards of patentability.

But what about portions of your innovation that perhaps cannot be patented?  What about Meaningfully Uniqueness in your marketing and branding? 

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Topics: innovation, trademarks

3 Steps to Success with Patents

Posted by David Lafkas on Sep 3, 2015 10:00:00 AM

After a decade and a half of working with patents, I still have people who will approach me with their “million dollar idea.”  As a Leader, how do you determine what next ideas brought to your desk should be pursued?

It is actually not as hard as you think, as all you need is more of the right information.  And that right information is free and available within your organization.

Often I have seen where Leadership is told an idea - much like I am by inventors.  Of course, it is often just that - an “idea” or a concept, but nothing that has ever been made tangible.  And making the invention tangible in some way is critical to understanding if the idea actually works and how the parts (or steps) interact.

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Topics: Leading Innovation, Patents

Welcome to the first blog from the Eureka! Ranch and Innovation Engineering Institute team.  Here you will find a diverse group of innovators dedicated to changing the world by transforming innovation from a random gamble to a reliable system that delivers increased innovation speed and decreased risk.


So, many exciting things are going on at Eureka! Ranch and with Innovation Engineering don't miss out on anything:

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