Archive: July 8, 2007 - July 14, 2007

Senate Panel Inches Toward Patent Reform

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday edged closer to approving a bill designed to revamp the nation's patent system. However, the panel was unable to reach consensus on the measure, which includes language defining a special class of very small inventors. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said at the bill...

By Sharon McLoone | July 13, 2007; 10:06 AM ET | Comments (1)

A Conversation With the Head of the SBA

The Small Business Administration is charged with aiding, advising and protecting small businesses throughout the nation. Last month, I sat down with its administrator, Steven Preston, to discuss the agency's initiatives and goals. Preston, a former executive with ServiceMaster and an investment banker, took the helm in July 2006. Steven...

By Sharon McLoone | July 13, 2007; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Patent Bill Would Aid "Micro" Firms

The latest version of a bill designed to reform the nation's patent system includes a provision designed to aid the truly small inventor. The bill, which is scheduled for potential changes and a vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday morning, includes a definition for "micro entity" status. The...

By Sharon McLoone | July 12, 2007; 9:38 AM ET | Comments (4)

Fending Off Counterfeiters

Counterfeiting is a major problem for businesses of all sizes and can seriously damage a small firm that has only one or two products. I stopped by the offices of Jon Dudas, the director of the Patent and Trademark Office, to discuss this and other topics. Following are highlights of...

By Sharon McLoone | July 12, 2007; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

How Do I ... Get a Patent

If your average Dr. Evil took a trip down to 600 Dulany St. in Alexandria, Va., to patent his atomic destructor machine, his plans would have been thwarted -- no doubt saving countless bikini-clad vixens dangling over shark-infested waters ... and preventing some really horrible films. Thanks to the Atomic...

By Sharon McLoone | July 11, 2007; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

Region Shows Dip in Small Business Growth

A dearth of highly skilled workers in Maryland and Virginia may be hurting the area's small business growth, according to new data from payroll provider SurePayroll. The company reported Monday that the small business economy continues to expand across the nation, with June marking the seventh straight month of growth....

By Sharon McLoone | July 10, 2007; 12:02 PM ET | Comments (2)

An Artsy Approach to Finding the Sweet Spot

Life is much more than a box of chocolates for Eric Nelson, the owner and purveyor of Artfully Chocolate in Alexandria, Va. Inside Artfully Chocolate in Alexandria, Va. He opened his store in the city's Del Ray neighborhood last year, creating a space where he and his domestic partner, orchid...

By Sharon McLoone | July 10, 2007; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

About This Venture

Welcome to washingtonpost.com's Small Business blog. Feel free to contact me at smallbusiness@washingtonpost.com. This feature will offer an inside look at small businesses and their challenges and opportunities. I will talk to experts who can help guide small businesses (from start-ups to well-established) navigate today's digital and physical marketplaces. After...

By Sharon McLoone | July 9, 2007; 11:33 AM ET | Comments (7)

 

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