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Archive for the ‘Invention Articles’ Category

 

Following the 2010 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) tradeshow in Las Vegas last November, the automotive editors from Popular Mechanics magazine selected an InventionHome product to receive the coveted “Editor’s Choice” award. 

The editors walked the expansive tradeshow floor to identify the most promising new products.  As a point of reference, the show’s “New Product Showcase” area alone featured nearly 1,500 new products to choose from.  Popular Mechanics narrowed their list to just 13 items, selecting InventionHome’s “Tite Access Drive Wrench” as one of their top picks.

This tool, licensed by InventionHome to tool manufacturer Cal-Van, is a fantastic time saver for mechanics who need to access hard-to-reach bolts and nuts where a box type wrench would not be practical.

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2010 proved to be a year of great growth and progress at InventionHome even though the economy was sluggish and challenging.  In addition to developing many new partnerships and relationships, we had a record year in completing licensing / marketing agreements for our clients, reaching 40 deals for 2010 (120 overall). 

We are pleased to share some 2010 highlights.   

 

 40 New Deals Completed…  After wrapping up 2009 with 20+ deals for the year (80 overall), we were determined to double the number of deals in 2010 for our clients.  After completing our 100th marketing agreement overall in late April on an invention called “Leaf Wizard,” an innovative lawn & garden product, we went on to finalize 20 more reaching our goal of 40 for the year (120 overall). 

 

InventionHome launches tradeshow invention portal!

Through partnerships with the National Hardware Show, International Housewares Association and Response Expo, we created and launched our innovative, new search portal strategy to enable national tradeshows to be able to offer their members and site visitors easy access to InventionHome clients’ inventions directly from their websites.  Today, each of these tradeshows has our portal on their websites, with more shows to come.    Example: http://inventionhome.com/invportfolio/portal.aspx?source=nationalhardwareshow

 

TV Debut of five InventionHome products!  We saw the national test of two Infomercial campaigns for our “Sofa Caddy” (rebranded “Couch Commander”) and “Access Door Lever” (rebranded “Turneez”), as well as three of our products which were featured on QVC:  Micro Mixer, VibeAway and Leaf Wizard.

 

InventionHome sponsors National Hardware Show!  We were honored to sponsor the 2010 National Hardware Show in May, along with the United Inventors Association and Garden Weasel®.  It is one of the largest annual trade shows in the world, gathering over 2,800 consumer products companies at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  While there, we connected with many manufacturers in the hardware industry, exhibited side-by-side with inventors in the Inventor Spotlight are of the show, and assisted then-UIA Executive Director Patrick Raymond with judging and managing the Inventor Spotlight merit awards.

 

InventionHome sponsors Response Expo!  InventionHome personnel returned from Las Vegas’ Hardware Show for just enough time to pack some clean socks before leaving for San Diego and the Response Expo.   The Response Expo, considered the industry’s foremost direct response marketing trade show and conference, is produced by Response Magazine and the Direct Response Marketing Association.  InventionHome was pleased to sponsor the Inventor Pavilion area of the show, interact with many inventors in attendance, and also build upon our relationships with some key players in the infomercial industry.

InventionHome partners with TAGIE (Toy and Game Expo)!  InventionHome was pleased to sponsor the Toy and Game Inventor Expo (TAGIE) in November, the only industry event designed exclusively to help the new toy and game inventor and entrepreneur by providing networking and educational opportunities. 

 

 

InventionHome launches the North American Product Innovation Network!

We were excited to launch a first of its kind gateway for providing inventors easy access to North American companies seeking innovative products and inventions available for wholesale, license or acquisition.  North American Product Innovation Network(SM) also provides companies across North America with a centralized source for finding innovative products within the United States and beyond

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/inventionhome-launches-north-american-product-innovation-network-sm-99484469.html

 

 

InventionHome president, Russ Williams, began his term on the United Inventors Association Board of Directors!  Russ is committed to helping inventors through education and programs, and as a UIA board member, he has a great vehicle to continue on his mission.

Call us at 1-866-844-6512 to learn more. You’ll be glad you took the first step.

For more information about Invention Home you can visit the following websites – http://twitter.com/inventionhome, http://inventionhome.blogspot.com/, http://mvelette.wordpress.com/, http://www.facebook.com/invention.home

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/inventionhome-launches-north-american-product-innovation-network-sm-99484469.html

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Ultimately, all products must be manufactured to make it to market, however that doesn’t mean that you need to be the one to manufacture it.

 “I have a new invention that I’ve been working on.  I’ve done my research, I’ve met with a patent attorney to discuss patent options and I have investigated prototype and design options.  However, I’m just not sure how to actually go about producing and marketing my invention.  Do I need to arrange for manufacturing on my own, which seems like a challenging process in itself, or are there other options that I can explore for succeeding with my invention?” 

 

Does this line of thinking sound familiar?  Ultimately, every inventor reaches the point where they need to decide on how they are going to proceed with commercializing their invention.  They must choose how to develop, manufacture and market the product.   Many inventors are interested in facilitating and managing the process on their own, while many others would prefer to find a company to handle the process for them.   Whatever the case, after the idea has been protected with a patent, the inventor must weigh these options and decide which one is the right choice for his or her specific situation. 

Oftentimes, inventors are either unaware of the options for taking their inventions to market or they automatically assume that inventing requires them to manufacture and market their invention on their own.  As a result of not being familiar with the options for commercializing their inventions, many inventors end up pursuing a less suitable approach for their particular situation, which can cost them a lot of time and money.

 

If you are new to the business of inventing or are not really sure how an inventor actually makes money from an invention, consider the following options. 

Licensing the invention for royalties:

When you are trying to license your invention for royalties, the end result of all your hard work is to secure a license agreement.  A license agreement is when the inventor [licensor] agrees to let a third party [licensee] commercially use his invention for a period of time.  As a result of the agreement, the inventor would receive either an ongoing payment called a royalty, which would normally be calculated as a percentage of sales of the invention or a one-time lump-sum payment.  Typically, the company that licenses the invention would manufacture and market the invention.  The likelihood of an inventor striking a license agreement would depend on the premise that the inventor has “rights” to the invention (i.e., a patent).  Without patent protection, any individual or company could make or sell the invention; therefore, it would be less likely that a company would license or buy the invention. 

Need Help Licensing Your Invention For Royalties?  Call InventionHome 1-866-846512.

 

Assigning or Selling the Invention:

When the inventor assigns his rights, he is permanently transferring or selling ownership in the invention/patent.  The inventor may receive a lump sum payment or a series of payments.  The difference between a “license” and “assignment” is in the transfer of rights.  With a license, the inventor retains rights, like “renting” the patent, and with an assignment they transfer their rights (i.e., sell it).

Developing & Manufacturing the Invention:

When developing and manufacturing on your own, you are taking on the responsibility of facilitating and managing the process of setting up manufacturing either through domestic or overseas manufacturers.   You hire a manufacturing company to produce your product.  While you maintain control of your invention, you also assume the risks and costs that are associated with the process.  Keep in mind that if you manufacture your invention overseas you should also develop an understanding of how you will import, warehouse and distribute the product.

Remember that every invention is different in terms of its complexity and structure. This should be taken into account when deciding whether to license the idea or manufacture.  For some inventions, little development and setup is required, which can simplify the manufacturing process, however, other inventions may be much more complex requiring in-depth research, engineering, tooling, molds etc. for mass production.  As a result, manufacturing can be very expensive and usually involves a large set-up fee for tooling, molds, etc., and once the invention is ready, there may be a minimum order requirement to pay for inventory.  Some manufacturers can offer short-run production where they’ll make a small order in hopes that the larger orders will come later, but many require the inventor to pay for a large number of units that can result in unsold product and loss of money if the invention does not sell.  Overseas manufacturing can have added frustrations associated with the difficulties of finding and communicating with a foreign company. 

For the inventor who finds these aspects of manufacturing to be too costly, too difficult or too much of a hassle, seeking a licensing agreement could be a more suitable solution.  If the invention is licensed, usually the company that licenses the invention will handle the manufacturing, which allows the inventor to shift the cost and risks to the company that licenses the invention.  With licensing, the inventor can rely on the company’s experience and established business to develop and market the product. 

Typically, entrepreneurs with aspirations of turning their inventions into a business where they would sell their product would be the best candidates for manufacturing.   Manufacturing and marketing an invention can be an exciting and rewarding approach for some inventors but the process should be looked at more as a business venture, as it requires the inventor to have substantial capital and a well thought out plan on how to develop, manufacture and market their idea. Manufacturing is very different than finding a company to license the invention, and should not be jumped into without examining the risks and carefully planning the best route for success

Now that you have a better understanding of the options for commercializing your invention, it is easier to see why it’s important to think through the options and determine what makes sense for your situation.  It doesn’t make sense to select one approach such as manufacturing your invention when licensing may have been a better solution for your situation. 

For example, suppose you invented a new, innovative pet-grooming device and after completing the patent process you decide that you are going to develop and manufacture the invention on your own.  You jump on the Internet and spend the next few weeks researching overseas manufacturers to develop and produce your invention.  Let’s assume that everything goes smoothly and quickly, which it usually doesn’t, and four to six months later you end up with a finished product and a shipment of inventory sitting in your garage.  More than likely, at this point, you would have invested tens of thousands of dollars in your invention and it’s likely that you may not have even secured buyer interest or a purchase order. 

Most established product companies and manufacturers don’t pull the trigger on manufacturing until they have done exhaustive market research and testing (i.e., due diligence) and ideally have secured purchase orders or commitments from their customers.  However, as a new inventor, you may not have thought about securing interest or purchase orders before paying to have your product manufactured.  As a result, you’re now looking to sell your product either directly to consumers via a website that you will develop, or you begin to look for another company to wholesale your invention.  As the example continues, you later realize that having a website to sell your product to consumers is only as good as the marketing behind the website (i.e.: no one knows about your website) and eventually you begin looking for a larger pet company to license your invention. 

Let’s say that you succeed in finding a company and they agree to license the product from you.  While negotiating the agreement you discover that they manufacture all of their products in Taiwan, whereas your factory is in China, so they will take over production and scrap your manufacturing setup.  At this point, you begin to ask yourself if you could have reached the same license agreement without going through all the hassles and costs associated with setting up the manufacturing.  If only you would have known that ultimately you would have ended up licensing your invention.  Although this scenario is just an example, it should highlight the need to think through not just the manufacturing aspect of the process, but what strategies are needed to market the invention after inventory has been produced. 

It is important to remember that while neither licensing nor manufacturing is a guaranteed success, taking the time to understand the options for taking your invention to market and thinking through what your goals are prior to leaping into either option will help you take the path that’s right for you and your invention as you continue along the road of inventing.

For more information about Invention Home you can visit the following websites – http://twitter.com/inventionhome, http://inventionhome.blogspot.com/, http://mvelette.wordpress.com/, http://www.facebook.com/invention.home

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/inventionhome-launches-north-american-product-innovation-network-sm-99484469.html

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by Amy Frey

 

 

 

 

There’s been a lot of buzz recently about Chicago being dubbed the “The Toy and Game Inventing Capital of the World”. 

After experiencing the Toy and Game Inventor Expo (TAGIE) last week in the windy city, held in conjunction with The Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTag), I’d have to say that both events are key to the city earning the well deserved designation.  TAGIE brought together over 40 experts in the toy industry eager to share their knowledge with novice toy inventors.  For two full days, panels of experts addressed topics from licensing your invention for royalties to manufacturing it yourself overseas. 

 

Since InventionHome was a TAGIE sponsor, I had the opportunity to attend the discussions and meet with toy industry executives from companies such as Hasbro and ThinkFun.    Large companies such as Hasbro typically work with professional toy developers and brokers to source new products from inventors. They simply don’t have the time (or the need) to work with the independent inventor that doesn’t understand their product needs at the required level.  Large companies want products that meet their business initiatives and can be implemented quickly without any handholding.  Many smaller companies are more willing to take an undeveloped product and massage it to fit their product and brand requirements, but inventors must still do their homework in order to be taken seriously by any company.  Here is some basic advice on the first steps to market your invention from the industry experts:

 

  1. Research the market for similar games/toys. Understand how your game play or toy is different.  Look online and in toy stores and mass retailers.
  2. Test the game/toy with strangers (your family and friends are going to like it no matter what!)
  3. Make sure the product is a good fit for the company.  For example, if the company sells adult games don’t send them a pre-school toy! This seems obvious but it’s a pet peeve of many companies that continually receive inappropriate product submissions.

 

Obviously, there’s much more advice and helpful information on all kinds of topics for inventors than I’m able to share in this brief blog.  If you’re considering “next steps” for your own invention, consider taking advantage of InventionHome’s experience, knowledge and industry connections and contact us today for more information on how to get started.  If you are a toy inventor, whether looking to license or manufacture your invention yourself, I encourage you to consider attending TAGIE next year.  Mary Couzin puts on a fabulous event that really lets you learn how the toy industry operates while giving you the chance to show your product to companies interested in inventions.  Even if you don’t get lucky and snag a deal, you will gain valuable feedback on your product.

 

In addition to TAGIE, InventionHome is also pleased to sponsor the Kid Invention Show to air on Got Invention Radio in January of 2011.  Brian Fried, the host of the show, was at ChiTag interviewing 40 kid inventors that took part in the Young Inventor Challenge.

 

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InventionHome’s president, Russell Williams, will be a guest on an upcoming show to discuss the inventing process and how InventionHome helps inventors commercialize their inventions.  Look for more information about both shows on the InventionHome blog.

Call 1-866-844-6512 for information on licensing your invention for royalties!

 

For more information about Invention Home you can visit the following websites – http://twitter.com/inventionhome, http://inventionhome.blogspot.com/, http://mvelette.wordpress.com/, http://www.facebook.com/invention.home

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/inventionhome-launches-north-american-product-innovation-network-sm-99484469.html

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The invention of candy corn occurred over 130 years ago in a small town in Philadelphia and is credited to the Wunderlee Candy Company.  An employee of the Wunderlee Candy Company named George Renninger, was credited with the invention.  Wunderlee was the first to begin manufacturing the product in the late 1800s; then Goelitz Candy Company (which later became the Jelly Belly Candy Company) started making these candies and continues to make candy corn today.

Candy corn instantly became popular among farmers due to its appearance of an actual piece of corn and the three colors making up the single piece of candy made it a revolutionary invention for its time.  However, since manufacturing was cumbersome and slow in the early 1900s, candy corn was only produced between the months of March and November. Candy corn has changed very little since its invention and has become has become the most popular Halloween candy of all time. 

Today, nearly 8.3 billion candy corn kernels are sold every year – 80% of which are sold during the months of September and October!

For help with your INVENTION, call 1-866-844-6512!

 

 

source – http://sweetcandycorn.blogspot.com/2008/10/who-invented-candy-corn.html

For more information about Invention Home you can visit the following websites:  http://twitter.com/inventionhome, http://inventionhome.blogspot.com/, http://mvelette.wordpress.com/, http://www.facebook.com/invention.home

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/inventionhome-launches-north-american-product-innovation-network-sm-99484469.html

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As the new Executive Director of the UIA, Mark Reyland is excited about the future of the inventing industry and the great new opportunities available to inventors.  He is also excited about the new benefits being offered for UIA members.

As a long time inventor Mark is passionate about the industry, and about the great people in it.  He is also passionate about growing and expanding the UIA, which is the national membership organization dedicated to inventor education and support.  The UIA is a 501(c) 3 non-profit, offering non-commercial information to inventors and Certification to local support groups and invention service providers who comply with rigorous professional and ethical standards.

The participation of members and strategic corporate partners is vital to accomplishing the educational goals of the UIA.  The UIA needs the support of the inventor community through paid memberships, grants, and donations to reach its goal of no cost educational programs for inventors.

 Make a difference and become a UIA member atwww.uiausa.org

 

 

 

 

For help with your invention, call InventionHome at 1-866-844-6512.

Patent Protection Help / 3D Virtual Design and Prototypes / Licensing for Royalties

For more information about InventionHome.com visit – http://inventionhome.blogspot.com/, http://mvelette.wordpress.com/, http://www.startupnation.com/community/InventionHome, http://www.facebook.com/invention.home, http://twitter.com/inventionhome.

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What does that mean…National Inventors Month?  The designation was assigned back in 1998 by several organizations (the United Inventors Association, the Academy of Applied Science, and Inventors Digest magazine).  It is meant to honor those among us who think “outside the box”, and to encourage even more free thinkers to think freely! 

Here’s the thing…you don’t have to be a scientist, a genius or a millionaire to have a clever invention idea.  Good ideas can come from ANYONE.  Patrick Raymond, Executive Director of the United Inventors Association (UIA) comments:  “National Inventors Month is a time to reflect on all those crazy ideas you have while standing in the shower. Resolve to pick ONE and try to make it a reality that would have maximum positive impact on you and the world. Rinse, repeat.”

At InventionHome, we’ve developed a streamlined process to enable everyday people to take an idea and pursue it.  We assist thousands of busy people who work full-time jobs, raise families, or just aren’t interested in handling all the details themselves, and we do it with attention to superior customer service and providing exceptional value.  

To get started with you idea call 1-866-844-6512.

Now, to get us in the spirit of celebrating Your Month, we thought it would be fun to share a few fun inventor facts.

Did you know…

 

…that Henry Ford’s lawyer was advised by Michigan Savings Bank’s president NOT to invest in Ford Motor Company? He is quoted as saying, “The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty, a fad.”

…that the formulas for both Cola-Cola and Silly Putty have never been patented?  Rather, both companies hold trade secrets which are shared only with their most trustworthy employees.  Both products have withheld the test of time…after many attempts to replicate the products, no one has yet succeeded.

…that Benjamin Franklin’s inspiration for bifocals came because he hated wearing two pairs of glasses?

…that Ivory Soap was accidentally invented when an employee left the soap mixing machine on too long? To hide the evidence of his mistake, he threw the mixture in a nearby stream. But he couldn’t hide the soap that floats – it floated to the surface, and the rest is history!

…that the Band-Aid® Bandage was truly a product of “necessity”?  A Johnson & Johnson employee named Earl Dickson was tending to his accident-prone wife who had cut her finger.  He aspired to create a bandage that she could apply herself, when he was at work.  He placed a small piece of gauze in the center of a piece of surgical tape, and that inspiration led to today’s self-adhesive bandage.

…that after evaluating Charles Darrow’s sample of Monopoly, executives from Parker Brothers turned down the game because it had “52 fundamental errors” (including taking too long to play).  Well, somehow the sample wound up in the home of the company president who stayed up until 1 a.m. to finish playing it.  He enjoyed it immensely…and now, 75 years later, 275 million games have been sold worldwide and it’s available in 111 countries and in 43 languages.

…that Steve Jobs created the first Apple computer in his parents’ garage? As a college student,  Jobs and his partner Steve Wozniak worked at a feverish pace in that garage building their computers for fellow students.  To raise $1300 cash for parts, Jobs sold his old VW bus and Wozniak sold his Hewlett Packard calculator. The following year (1977) Apple sales hit $800,000 and went on to become a Fortune 500 company in a record five years!

…that “patent leather” received its name because the process to apply the shiny black finish to leather was once patented?

For more information about InventionHome.com visit – http://inventionhome.blogspot.com/, http://mvelette.wordpress.com/, http://www.startupnation.com/community/InventionHome, http://www.facebook.com/invention.home, http://twitter.com/inventionhome.

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