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Ernest Grumbles III

Intellectual Property attorney

Your Voices
April 1, 2012

Startup Crowdfunding is Here

What if you could launch your startup through social media-driven fundraising? Well, with the new federal JOBS Act, to be signed into law this Thursday, you'll be able to.
Your Voices
January 19, 2012

MN StartUpdate - Jan. 2012

It's going to be an amazing year for MN startups, both in idea generation and funding. Lots of industries in disruption mode. Be part of the story.
Your Voices
October 6, 2011

Patent Reform 2011 - Highlights of the America Invents Act

The America Invents Act made a number of significant changes to U.S. patent law, some to harmonize U.S. practice with foreign practice, others to improve the patent examination process, including for small business, and a few to address some problematic litigation-related issues. A number of the changes require further implementation by the Patent Office. So stay tuned to see whether and how the new provisions actually impact day to day process at the PTO and the rights of our nation's inventors.
Your Voices
June 5, 2011

Minnesota Radical CEO #4

We are about to experience a massive demographic shift in the United States such that by 2050, senior citizens will make up 20% of the population. Kathryn Roberts, President and CEO of Ecumen (, a 4,000 employee senior services non-profit based in the Twin Cities, recognized this coming change for the opportunity that it is. . As a result of Kathryn's vision, Ecumen, formerly the Board of Social Ministry, re-branded in 2004, shifted primary focus from nursing homes to senior housing, and now routinely engages with the tech community to look for ways to improve the life of its clients.
Your Voices
April 1, 2011

Is Government the Enemy of Business...? No.

While there are oft-repeated slogans about government's impairment of commerce, the truth is simpler. The government is us - and so is business. These human institutions work together in rich ways that support public good. Time to recognize this collaboration in a transparent way.
Your Voices
December 31, 2010

2010: A Minnesota Startup/Innovation Highlights Reel

2010 was an amazing year for startup action and activism in Minnesota. The community is coming together in recognition that the innovation economy can't be grown through luck or grand schemes – but from real digging in the Minnesota soil. This means a macro/micro focus – engaging directly with individual startups and improving the overall ecosystem for new technology and business launch. Here are just a few 2010 highlights (in no particular order) that are keeping Minnesota on the front burner.
Your Voices
November 17, 2010

Do You Know Any Entrepreneurs? 5 Questions for the Elected (Newly and Otherwise

The public sector has a critical role in helping to promote tech innovation and entrepreneurship. If communities (and their elected leaders) want high-value job growth, then they need to help the startup companies that grow those jobs. With transitions afoot at the state and federal levels, here are a few questions for the newly-elected as well as those continuing in elected office. We need answers!
Your Voices
October 27, 2010

MN Radical CEO #3 - Sona Mehring (

Sona Mehring is a MN tech entrepreneur you need to know about. With a computer science degree and incredible vision, she has led the creation of several software startups, including, the leading worldwide website for sharing health information (2-3 million unique visitors a month). Sona's story of success at the intersection of technology and true human need is a compelling one. Read on.
Your Voices
September 5, 2010

Soccer and the Joy of the People

In Brazil, soccer (futbol) is so beloved that it's often referred to as alegria de povo, translated from Portugese as the "joy of the people." The relentless love of the Brazilian people for soccer has, not surprisingly, produced multiple World Cup victories and world-class stars. How can other countries generate such success? Soccer has to be "the joy of the people." Ted Kroeten of the Joy of the People soccer center in St. Paul is leading the way by focusing on kids and their personal development rather than competition and elite team victories.
Your Voices
August 18, 2010

MN Radical CEO #2 - Ashish Gadnis (Forward Hindsight/Koozala)

Born in India, Ashish Gadnis moved to Minnesota in the 90's where he has since built a successful consulting firm speaking truth to power (Forward Hindsight), recently launched a personal electronic medical portal for consumers (Koozala)and (in his spare time) travels the globe working to end world hunger. Just another day's work for this radical CEO who clearly understands the connection between business and social progress.
Your Voices
July 15, 2010

Bilski, Business Method Patents and the Uncertainty Principle

On June 28, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court in the Bilski case addressed the controversial issue of whether business methods are unpatentable. While there many seeking a bright-rule, the Court simply addressed what was not true. Flexibility, but uncertainty, continue to reign.
Your Voices
May 31, 2010

Memorial Day and the Loss of Gravity

Memorial Day is a day to remember the 1.2 million plus who gave their lives in a U.S. uniform. When you enjoy your Memorial Day picnic with family, and you should, will you remember the 1.2 million? Balance levity with gravity on this Memorial Day and keep in mind the sacrifice others have made for the safety of our Republic.
Your Voices
May 29, 2010

Minnesota Radical CEO #1 - Matt Dornquast - Code 42 Software

In an earlier post, I raised the question, "Who are Minnesota's Radical Tech CEOs?" Matt Dornquast of Code 42 Software is just such a CEO.
April 27, 2010

Who are Minnesota's Radical CEO's? And Why We Need Them.

Does Minnesota have any "radical CEO's"? I've asked this question many times, and I usually get blank looks or, "I can't really think of any." Radical CEO's, who get the deep and organic connection between business, society and culture, and are willing to be outspoken community leaders, will be the ones to drive Minnesota innovation and attract investment dollars. Finding, highlighting and nurturing these radical CEO's is a critical step for the Minnesota economy.
April 8, 2010

How to Choose Minnesota Judges? Quietly.

Our Minnesota judicial system needs qualified, impartial candidates and there are a few good ways to get them. The current controversy over judicial selection in Minnesota is born from a desire to avoid nasty, expensive and polarizing judicial elections. The retention election proposal may be a good way to balance the needs for public input and reasonable process.
March 10, 2010

Live Theater and Medical Technology, or Why We Should Lose Silicon Valley Envy

Minnesota has a legacy of world-class innovation and the resources and brainpower to keep it going. Live theater and med-tech are just two examples of world class creativity and success. While we (like many places) envy the success of Silicon Valley, we have to appreciate the amazing capabilities we have here in Minnesota and nurture local innovation.
Your Voices
February 18, 2010

Is Entrepreneurship a Social Justice Issue?

In the current economy, entrepreneurship has become a financial necessity. Even while large-scale economies have sputtered, the entrepreneurial economy has taken off, empowering individuals to harness their creativity and collaborate. This is at its heart an issue of economic and social justice.
Your Voices
January 21, 2010

5 Reasons We Need the Angel Investment Tax Credit in Minnesota

In a down economy, risk capital dries up. With banks in lockdown and VC's acting cautiously, angel investor money is critical to the new enterprises that are creating 21st century jobs. The proposed Minnesota angel investor tax credit will get that money moving.
Your Voices
January 1, 2010

On the night bus from Minneapolis to South Bend

Sifting through random events of the last 10 years, I recall the night of April 4, 2007 when I ended up in a Greyhound station in Minneapolis en route to South Bend, Indiana.
Your Voices
December 17, 2009

Clean/Green Tech and Patents: A Delicate (Policy) Dance

Patent protection for green energy technology presents some thorny policy issues. Quick and easy access to the best energy-saving technologies would help consumers and the planet. But companies developing such technologies -wind, solar, geothermal and others - need an ability to protect their innovations, recover their R&D costs and deliver value back to shareholder. There are a number of current policy initiatives at the heart of this policy dispute that bear careful watch and consideration.
November 13, 2009

Lessons from the Petters Disaster – and Five Ways to Avoid Fraud

The Petters collapse is a public and private tragedy - charisma and wits turned to the dark side. But it takes many players to pull off scams. And a lot of folks not using common sense when investing. Here a few lessons from the Petters disaster - and Five Ways to Avoid Fraud.
Your Voices
November 9, 2009

MN, Blow Your Tech Horn: 10 years of the Tekne Awards

The Tekne Awards honor amazing companies and people, present and past, who have made Minnesota a thriving innovation culture. They're a good excuse to turn away from the economic gloom and doom and remember why Minnesota is a great place to grow and launch ideas.
October 30, 2009

Who's Your Patty? or Of Burgers and Trademarks

I'm a burger fan (I eat and blog about them) – and I'm a trademark fan (I eat because of them) – but they don't mix so well. Perhaps you've seen the billboards and other ads featuring McDonald's new tagline – Who's Your Patty The little phrase has led to a federal trademark lawsuit parked right here in Minnesota federal court.