In 2005 I paid about $4000 to an attorney to file a patent application on an invention of mine. This fee also included copyrights for two books I have written. I have never seen any copyrights. In 2009 one group I was pitching my invention to said that it was unusual to take so long to get a patent. So I called the Patent Office and they had never received any application! Basically, this guy just took my money and did not pay the filing fees to send my application forward. I confronted him and he said he “had no record of ever sending it off.” He did file electronically and start the process from scratch. In submittals there were some smudges and the original application was returned. He then paid another fee to resurrect the application and then it died again. Eventually, by staying after him we did get an examiner who has questions about some of the claims and the clock is ticking on this one. I have over 20 pages of logs of my calls and this guys lies.
I tried to see if anyone I had talked to about the invention would have bought it if I had had a patent and came up empty handed (people don’t want to get involved).
However I have suffered considerable anger dealing with this non-performer. Can I sue him for non-performance (and get back my $4000)? Can I sue for punitive damages for his unethical conduct? Which court should I try to get the case into? (Small claims?)