Save the Inventor reached out to inventor Keith McNally to learn more about his passion for innovation, what’s next for him, and what advice he has for fellow inventors.
STI: What drives you to invent?
KM: Ameranth Inc. (my company) was founded in 1996 to eliminate 'lines/waits/inefficiencies' in the hospitality market through the innovative application of web/mobile technology and we pioneered the cutting-edge and award-winning technology that now enables almost all mobile/web ordering, reservations, ticketing and wait-listing in the hospitality market. I never liked 'waiting in lines' and thus I have sought and continuously seek solutions to eliminate wasted time – when innovative technology can solve these problems.
STI: What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced with your invention/patent?
KM: Large infringing companies know that it can take a decade of time and tens of millions of dollars to complete the enforcement of your patents against them, and they realize that most small companies don't have the resources and/or the tenacity to persevere through this and the gauntlet of legal obstacles/roadblocks that they and their attorneys can and do throw up against small innovators/inventors. Thus these companies choose to simply willfully infringe, not expecting the small inventor to ever be able to bring them to justice for their illegal and unethical acts.
STI: What’s next for you?
KM: Continuing to license our patents to ethical companies (41 to date - including 3 of the 10 largest restaurant companies in the world) and continue to seek to enforce our patents, in the San Diego District Court, against those unethical companies that willfully choose to copy and use our inventions without paying our very reasonable patent royalty rates.
STI: What would you tell other people who want to invent and obtain patents?
KM: First, as soon as you recognize previously unresolved problems in your market and conceive new/innovative solutions to those problems, file for your patent immediately. Second, take the time 'up front' - to write the best patent specification and claims that you can. Third, (when/if) companies infringe those patents in the future, ensure that you have the will and the financial ability/resources to enforce them before doing so, otherwise your efforts to do so may fail and only result in worsening the already bad situation of others unethically copying what you conceived and invented.
Also, in case you missed his video featured on Save the Inventor, check it out here.
Keith McNally founded Ameranth, Inc. in the 1990s. Since then, the company has become a leading provider of web-based merchant solutions for the hospitality market. Keith understands the value and importance of patents, and continues to grow Ameranth on a foundation of strong intellectual property.
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