Initial about page for new book

Ken Richards authored
revision ce9e37ca3de2f6f5a4f2fa976f02f95df1419d8d
About
Your project is alive!

This file is what your collaborators will see when you invite them to your project. You'll probably want to change this and write something about your project, so they know what's going on. Click the small white 'Edit' button above to make changes to this file.

Here's a quick primer on how Penflip works:

## Projects

Right now, you're looking at the project page for your new project. The project page is the headquarters for you and your collaborators - you can write new content, edit existing content, invite collaborators, have discussions, browse changes, see project activity, export your project, and more.

This is a 'Book' project, which has a collection of files. Each section or chapter is a separate file. When you export your project, the files will be combined and turned into a presentable book. Some files have been created to get you started:

- **About.txt**: an introduction to your project
- **Contents.txt**: the contents of your book, like a table of contents. Each new file you create will automatically be added to Contents.txt, but you can remove or rearrange them as necessary.
- **chapter1.txt**: a sample chapter that would be included in your book

## Writing

You'll see 'Edit' buttons across the project. Clicking any of these buttons will take you into a distraction-free 'writing mode', similar to Google Docs and other writing tools. Everything is written with [Markdown](http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/). For an explanation on why markdown is awesome for writing, [read this](http://nerdplusart.com/markdown-is-the-future/).

## Versions

Every project has a master version. Whenever you invite somebody to your project, a new version will automatically be created for them, and all of their changes will be made on their own version. When a collaborator is ready to submit their changes into the master version, they'll create a Merge Request.

## Merge Requests

A Merge Request is a group of changes to your project. All merge requests go into the master version. As the project owner, you control the merge requests: you can accept them, ignore them, and comment on them to suggest changes. When you accept a Merge Request, the master version of your project will be updated with those changes
Patents have been a central part of American enterprise since the founding of our country years ago. Many businesses big and small use them to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. So how can an ordinary person make use of patents to protect ideas and maybe even make a little money?

## About the Author

Ken Richards does not claim to be an expert in Patent law or even business for that matter. Besides talking about himself in the third person, the author also takes more than just a casual interest in business pursuits. Back in 2000, the author created his own web hosting, design and development company along with two other partners.

Although this business has not really grown, it has provided the author some valuable insights on what it takes to run a business and a modicum amount of business acumen.

Ken Richards is a software engineer for a fortune 500 automotive company in San Diego, CA. He is well versed in both website development and desktop development. And when the mood strikes him, he also enjoys dabbling in writing, technical writing that is.

## Goals for this Book

This book seeks to be an informal analysis of the American patent system. While writing the book, I will be seeking to understand patents and answer a few fundamental questions including:

- **What is the patent system and how is it used?**
- **Is the patent system for anyone, or just wealthy business people?**
- **How can an ordinary person utilize patents to make money?** - Here, I intend to go through the process of filing for a patent myself and sharing the experience.

First and foremost, I want this book to be fun. So while we learn together I hope to make the book fun, humorous and entertaining.

## Contributions

Yes, please. This book is being hosted on Pen Flip and all contributions are welcome. My goal is to keep this book light and fun and not get too bogged down into deep technical details. However, any and all contributions are welcome and we will seek to demystify the U.S. patent system together
.