In late 2000 when I was a practicing patent attorney, I wanted to give one of my clients a patent plaque following the issuance of a patent that was particularly important to their business. After looking online at patent plaque vendors, I was surprised at the high cost of even a simple patent plaque, especially after I found that the materials used to make the plaques were not that expensive.
During that time, clients were also beginning to ask for advice about the internet, and especially about ecommerce, so I decided to create a website, primarily as an exercise to learn the basics of ecommerce, that would offer patent plaques at a reasonable price. The small, and in hindsight embarrassingly bad, website was made using open source software and the patent plaques were made with equipment that I set up in a spare room at my office.
The original website offered only one kind of plaque, a 9X12 walnut base plaque with a reproduction of the patent front page on a gold image plate. However, I did get a few orders during the first couple of months. Then, one morning I received a call from a Fortune 100 corporation wanting to know if I would make their plaques – about 200 plaques a year.
After that call, I decided that IPlax might be a serious business opportunity after all. Over the last 15 years, the company has grown considerably in personnel, sales and range of products. We still provide patent plaques to that original Fortune 100 corporation, and now many other corporations, both large and small, as well as individuals. Importantly, we still maintain our original purpose of providing quality patent plaques at reasonable cost along with outstanding personal service.
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