Michael Persson, a patent attorney in Laconia, is
well qualified to write about the subject of
inventions, having personal hands-on experience
with all things mechanical in his former career
as a mechanical engineer.
Persson grew up in Woburn,
Mass., and recalls spending time at the Weirs
Beach Waterslide during the summers before
he settled on the Lakes Region as the area
in which he wanted to live. ``I made a lot
of friends at Aavid Engineering and
really liked this area,’’ he says.
In fact he met his future wife through a relative
who worked in the area and recalls that their
first date was at Hector’s restaurant,
which is located right next to the Lawson and
Persson law office that he currently works
out of at 67 Water Street in downtown Laconia.
He’s dealt with many
clients helping them obtain patents for their
inventions and says he’s very impressed
with the vision, tenacity and rugged old-style
Yankee individualism of the people he deals
"If they need something, they
want to make it themselves. They don’t
wait around for someone else to come up with
a solution,’’ says Persson, who
says that he’s really come to appreciate
the old Yankee ability to be on the spot problem
solvers through an almost intuitive sense of
how mechanical things work.
"People often ask me whether
I think that their invention will make them
money and, when they do, I relate to them the
story of one of my clients who was in the HVAC
business and had developed a tool that greatly
simplified the attachment of flanges used in
the plumbing and heating industries.
"He thought that the tool
was going to take off and I was also convinced
that it would be very profitable for him. Unfortunately,
for a number of reasons, the tools never took
off and he made very little money selling them.
A few years later, he came back to me with
a simple change to the basic design of the
flange that, if adopted, would make his tool
obsolete. I looked at the change and saw a
number of impediments to his making money from
"In fact, I saw so many impediments
that I tried to convince him not to spend the
money to obtain patent protection on it. Ultimately,
he decided to apply for a patent and was able
to license his invention to a major manufacturer,
who paid him a significant amount of money
for the rights to make the flanges,’’ says
Looking back on that he offers
some advice for inventors:
First, don't "bet the farm" on
any single invention, because there may be
things that you are not aware of that will
prevent you from profiting from it.
Second, always reexamine the
basic premise behind your invention to see
if there is a simpler way to solve the problem.
Third, just because somebody
tells you that an invention won’t work
or wont be profitable does not mean that they
are right and you are wrong; even if that person
is a patent attorney.
Fourth, just because an inventor
fails with one invention does not mean that
future inventions will also be failures.
Persson says that he enjoys the research which
goes into writing his column because he’s
always learning something new and getting fresh
perspectives that he’s glad to share
with readers of The Weirs Times.