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Posts Tagged ‘inventor’

Take an all-Inclusive trip to China to tour factories and learn manufacturing overseas. 

With our DRTV Summit quickly approaching, most of the talk around the water cooler here at InventionHome has been about the latest infomercial products… (honestly, can you believe that Happy Hot Dog Man??).  While we’ve been busy searching for inventions with the “Wow! Factor”, the United Inventors Association (UIA) has teamed up with China-2-West to wow us with an inventor’s dream trip. 

Any inventor interested in manufacturing his or her product should seriously consider signing up. The first 20 inventors will have the opportunity to learn about off shore manufacturing first hand through factory visits, educational seminars, and entry to the world’s largest product tradeshow in Canton.

When:  October 20 – 30, 2011

Includes:

o       Round trip airfare between New York or San Francisco and Hong Kong

o       Transportation in China

o       All hotel accommodations in 4 & 5 star hotels

o       3 meals per day

o       All access pass to Canton Products Show

o       Factory Tours

o       Inventor Education Seminars

o       Local Sight Seeing and Cultural Visits

The educational value alone would be worth the expense, but add the cultural experience of China to an already unbelievable deal and Wow! you have the trip of a lifetime! 

For More Information or to save your spot – Contact Eric Bouldin by email on eric.bouldin@china2west.com or by phone on 650-921-3088.

 

 

 

For help with your invention or patent call 1-866-844-6512

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In light of our upcoming DRTV Product Summit (September 28, 2011), we thought a few words here on what makes a great product “pitch” would be beneficial to our readers.

In preparation for the Summit, we put together some guidelines specific to the Direct Response (infomercial) industry, but in reality many of these tips can apply across all categories.  Bottom line is…if you are meeting with a company in order to pitch your invention, whether it be a household gadget or a medical whatzit, proper preparation will increase your chances of success. 

First tip:  EDUCATE YOURSELF.  This means know the category/market into which your invention falls.  Clearly understand the “problem solved” and consider objectively just how big that problem is.  Research other products that solve the same problem and know their shortcomings. 

Second tip:  KNOW YOUR PRODUCT.  Know the patent status of your invention (and for that matter, of any competitive products/prior art, too).  Clearly define the benefits and features of your product and compare/contrast with your competition.  If you have sales history, be prepared to share.  If you have (or can obtain) manufacturing costs, be prepared to share.

Third tip:  PITCH LIKE A PRO.  Be enthusiastic, but remain factual…to say that “my invention is the only one of its kind”, or “this is a million dollar idea” don’t really help your credibility.  Tell your story…define the problem…but keep it brief (not boring!).  If your invention is conducive to an on-site demo, practice it at home and have all the props organized for a smooth presentation.  If you can’t demo on-site (maybe your invention requires a hot oven as a prop), can you provide a video? 

Should you find yourself face-to-face with a company evaluating your invention, we hope these tips come in handy and wish you much success.

2011 DRTV Product Summit – Private pitch sessions with 6 leading infomercial companies in one location  CLICK TO SUBMIT

Click here to download the DRTV Product Summit Tip-Sheet.

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Chances are that if you own a television set, you have witnessed the phenomenon known as DRTV.  Called “direct-response television”, DRTV advertisements have the goal of generating instant action by the viewers, and they typically include a toll-free number and website address to facilitate orders.  Some famous examples of DRTV spots include the Snuggie®, PedEgg®, and who can forget the Ginsu Knife ads of the 1970’s?

If you are considering presenting your invention to a DRTV company, take some time to learn about the industry, develop your presentation to address their market needs, and also set yourself some appropriate expectations.  Here are some tips…

  1. Understand the market.  There are certain qualities that most DRTV products share.  Consider how your invention will stack up to these criteria and address them head-on in your presentation:
    • They fall in categories that appeal to very broad audiences, such as housewares/kitchen, cleaning devices, tools, fitness/exercise, weight-loss, and personal care.
    • DRTV products can be easily demonstrated, and that demonstration usually depicts some sort of problem-resolution…like demonstrating how one can become more beautiful, happier, skinnier, and the like. 
    • Price point is extremely important.   A product that sells on DRTV for $19.99 will ideally cost $4.00 or less to manufacture.   

 

  1. Put your best foot forward.  Convincing a DRTV company that your invention is the next multi-million dollar Snuggie is the goal.  The question is; are you putting your best foot forward to convince them to invest in your invention, which could potentially cost a DRTV company thousands in developing, manufacturing and marketing your invention, depending on where you are in the process. If your invention is not already developed, your best bet is to have either a high quality virtual design or working prototype, which can tangibly demonstrate your invention.   Even a basic or crude video of your invention can help in catching these companies’ attention.
  1. Be willing to let go.  Some inventors want to dictate the design, materials, even what factory the potential DRTV company must use.  Don’t let this be your downfall!  As mentioned above, DRTV products have extremely demanding price models due to the large sums of money spent both on developing the commercial and buying the television media/spots.  In most cases, the DRTV companies can achieve more competitive pricing from their factories than inventors can provide, based both on the companies’ clout and the sheer volume of product that they can potentially order.  Other things like product features, manufacturing materials, and accessories can also play a significant role in determining price, giving companies even more reason to maintain product control.

 

  1. Have Realistic Expectations!  Along with their well-defined pricing model, most DRTV companies have standardized license agreements for inventors with very little wiggle-room on royalty percentages.  Although their royalty levels may appear on the low end, consider these factors before saying no to a deal: 
    • Are you comparing apples to oranges?  There could be a BIG difference in how DRTV royalties are paid versus more “traditional” product royalties.  Since most royalties (at least in my experience) are based on net revenues, let’s consider what that means.
      • For a “traditional” distribution model, there could be many middlemen.  A company might sell their widget to a distributor for $8.  The distributor might sell to a retailer for $10.  The retailer might sell to consumer for $19.99.  In this example, an inventor royalty is based on the only cost the company actually controls, which is their net revenue of $8 (less any agreeable fees).
      • For a DRTV distribution model, the DRTV company might sell their gadget through a television ad, which targets the consumer directly, for $19.99.  Guess what?  In this scenario, the inventor royalty is based on $19.99! 
    • Consider the volume of product sold!  Successful infomercial products don’t just sell hundreds…or thousands of products.  They sell MILLIONS.  Enough said?

 

  1. Prepare yourself.  It’s widely understood in the DRTV industry that a large majority of products tested will actually fail, which is the nature of the business.  Many DRTV companies will say that “9 out of 10” products they test will fail, which is why they are interested in market testing many products to see which will ultimately succeed.  If you enter the deal with this knowledge and understand the odds, you could save yourself a lot of heartache if your product doesn’t ultimately succeed.

 

Best of luck to you as you navigate the DRTV arena!

Need help protecting, designing or marketing your invention?  Call 1-866-844-6512.

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InventionHome is pleased to announce it has joined the United Inventors Association (UIA) in sponsoring the Inventors Zone at the 2011 Specialty Retail Entrepreneur Expo and Conference (SPREE) at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas on April 12 – 14.

The specialty retail industry covers cart and kiosk sales in malls and other venues.  With over 100,000 kiosks across the United States in malls alone, there is a pressing need for new products. The SPREE Show brings together industry professionals looking for new products and entrepreneurs with new products to sell or seeking to start their own business.

 

Who should attend the show?  Inventors with “retail ready” products interested in…

1. Exhibiting their inventions / products for opportunities to sell in carts, kiosks and gift shops. (Reserve your booth in the Inventors Zone by calling Debbie Lahti at (800) 936-6297 x 20.)

2. Educational sessions and networking events to learn more about the $12 billion specialty retail industry.

Exhibiting in the Inventors Zone

Entrepreneurs ready to take orders for their products should consider exhibiting.  Your product may be good for the specialty retail market if it a) requires an explanation and is easily demonstrated, or b) is a product that is already understood, like a t-shirt or food item.

For additional information on pricing and how to register for the SPREE Inventors Zone contact Debbie Lahti at (800) 936-6297 extension 20.  http://spreeshow.com/ 

When: April 12 – 14   /   Where: Las Vegas

If you need help with your invention call InventionHome at 1-866-844-6512.

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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

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The second week of October proved to be an exceptionally busy week for InventionHome’s marketing & licensing department, which netted an incredible FOUR license agreements in one week!  With the additional four agreements finalized, InventionHome marketing and licensing successes now stand at 117.  2010 is shaping up to be their highest performance licensing year on record with a 100% growth rate over 2009.

The four agreements mentioned include products called the Bead Bender, Lawnmower D’Light, Step Ramps and Cargo Sling.  Each of the license agreements was born by the hard work and dedication of an independent inventor.  Two of the licensed inventions fall into the automotive/vehicle category.  They were both licensed to a company that focuses on motorsports products.  The company hopes to see both products on the market by third quarter 2011.  The third licensed product can best be described as a headlight for a lawnmower.  A company with strong ties to Home Depot, Lowe’s, Sears, etc. licensed the product with hopes that their customers will embrace the clever device.  Our fourth licensed product may be featured on a television infomercial coming soon!  We can’t disclose too many details.  Suffice it to say that the simple product will keep your car nice and tidy.

These four licenses exemplify the effectiveness of InventionHome’s marketing program.  Granted, not every invention is going to succeed.  But InventionHome has laid the framework to get invention details into the hands of key decision makers at thousands of companies.  By developing streamlined processes both to share invention details, and also to assist companies with any interest inquiries, InventionHome has become a respected resources for companies seeking new products for license.

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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InventionHome is pleased to announce the successful completion of their 112th marketing/license agreement, 32 of which occurred in calendar year 2010 (as of September 30th).  An impressive tally of brokered deals.

 

InventionHome’s most recent licensing success is a product called CapTails™.  The patented device connects glasses (sunglasses, safety glasses, etc.) to a hat by means of stretchable and adjustable clips and a cord.  CapTailsTM allow the user to wear their eyewear on top of their cap and not have to worry about them falling off and getting lost or broken. Also when your glasses are on, your cap can not blow away.

The licensee of the clever device took interest in the product because of its simplicity and unique position in the market.  It will complement the rest of their product line nicely, and has already drawn the interest of a national retailer.  CapTailsTM should reach the retail market in early 2011.

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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First of its kind gateway for connecting inventors worldwide with North American companies seeking innovative products and inventions

 

Monroeville, PA July 20, 2010 – InventionHome today introduced the North American Product Innovation Network SM, 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 NetworkSM also provides companies across North America with a centralized source for finding innovative products within the United States and beyond.

“Our goal is to create a single point of entry, or gateway, into every North American company interested in product innovation” said Russell Williams, President of InventionHome. “We have created the network and system for sharing and submitting new products and inventions with companies in a more efficient and effective way than ever before.”

North American Product Innovation NetworkSM consists of thousands of companies seeking innovative products available for wholesale, license or acquisition as well as the system for submitting innovative products and inventions to those companies.  These companies include manufacturers, distributors, DRTV / infomercial companies and retailers that have registered with InventionHome or its affiliate MatchProduct.com to receive new invention opportunities.  The system for submitting and sharing innovative products and inventions includes targeted product alerts, online search functionality, and/or an electronic submission management system for automating the overall submission process for companies.

North American Product Innovation NetworkSM also consists of an indirect “partner network” for sharing new inventions with companies that are not directly registered with InventionHome or its affiliate MatchProduct.com.  This partner network consists of a growing list of prominent product associations and tradeshows who will be utilizing an integrated search portal on their websites to enable site visitors to search the InventionHome and MatchProduct.com databases for non-confidential invention opportunities.  These organizations currently include the National Hardware Show (produced by Reed Exhibitions), International Housewares Association (IHA), National Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and Response Magazine / Direct Response Manufacturers Association (DRMA).  The search portal enables these organizations to offer their members quick and easy access to new products and inventions directly from their websites, thus enhancing their member benefits while expanding the network reach to thousands of additional companies using their websites. 

 

Pricing & Availability

For companies seeking innovative products, the North American Product Innovation NetworkSM is FREE.  To learn more, email member@inventionhome.com

For inventors seeking companies to wholesale, license or acquire their inventions, the North American Product Innovation Network SM offers various submission / marketing program options through affiliates InventionHome and MatchProduct.com, depending on the development status of the particular product / invention.

Inventors with fully-developed, manufactured products may select the free listing option on www.MatchProduct.com, which provides a listing on MatchProduct.com and “partner network” sites.  These inventors may also select a proactive submission / marketing program option that expands the program to an outbound, proactive approach for a modest fee.  The program fee structure is $39 per month / $139 setup / royalty share / cancel at any time.

Inventors with inventions that are not fully-developed may also utilize the proactive submission / marketing program to pursue licensing / royalty opportunities.  The program fee structure is $599 setup / $14.99 per month / royalty share / cancel at any time.  The program setup fee also includes the creation of a sales and invention portfolio webpage, product due diligence management and contract negotiation management.  Patent, design and virtual prototype services are sold separately.  The free listing option on MatchProduct.com is not available for inventions that are not fully-developed and manufactured.  To request additional inventor information, call 1-866-844-6512 or email info@inventionhome.com.

InventionHome and MatchProduct.com are divisions of Jacob Enterprises, Inc. headquartered in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.  Since its inception in 2002, Jacob Enterprises has been a product innovation resource for manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and other companies seeking to add or expand products (or lines) through product distribution, acquisition and licensing.  For information call 866-844-6512 or visit www.inventionhome.com.  Additional information is available at www.inventionhome.wordpress.com, www.twitter.com/inventionhome and www.inventionhome.blogspot.com.

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Invention service provider InventionHome.com sponsors inventor venues at two major industry tradeshows.

Monroeville, PA. June 29, 2010 – InventionHome is pleased to recap our recent tradeshow adventures.  In early May, we sponsored the “Inventors Spotlight” area of the National Hardware Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  InventionHome president, Russell Williams, served as a judge/panelist along with other esteemed invention-industry experts.  Nearly 80 inventors participated in the pavilion, and found immeasurable value in both the educational speaker series and the show traffic which included representatives from Black & Decker, Ace Hardware, Home Depot and thousands of other hardware manufacturers and retailers.

Also in May, we sponsored the “Inventors Pavilion” at the Response Expo which was held at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.  This tradeshow spotlighted Direct Response TV companies, products and vendors.  In addition to exhibiting in the Pavilion, Inventors were given the opportunity to attend seminars from industry experts and pitch their product in person to BJ Global Direct. 

Both tradeshows provided excellent opportunities for InventionHome representatives to reconnect with familiar companies and bring many new companies onboard with our streamlined HotLinksTM system for sharing unique product ideas available for license.   

To get started with your invention, call – 1-866-844-6512

NATIONAL HARDWARE SHOW & RESPONSE EXPO 2010

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For more information about the tradeshows:

National Hardware Show:  http://www.nationalhardwareshow.com/

Response Expo:  http://www.responsemagazine.com/response-expo/home-page

We have additional tradeshows scheduled for fall and winter 2010 and will provide further info as it becomes available.

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Believe it or not, it’s not as hard as you may think to land a royalty deal on a product invention…provided you have a truly unique and innovative idea to start with and you have some important steps completed before approaching companies.  In addition, you need go into the process realizing that finding a good company to invest and believe in your idea can take time.  Royalty deals do not happen over night. 

 

 

To begin, let me step back and explain what I mean by “royalty deal”, which is more commonly referred to as a Licensing Agreement.

If you aspire to earn royalties from your invention, then the typical arrangement would be to secure a License Agreement with an interested company. A License Agreement is the legal document between an inventor [licensor] and a third party [licensee] which defines specific terms by which the licensee can commercially use the licensor’s invention. Among other things, the Agreement will define a time period, royalty rate, payment schedule, cash advance, minimum annual payments, etc. As a result of the Agreement, the inventor may receive an ongoing payment calculated as a percentage of sales (called a “royalty”), or a one-time lump-sum payment.

” Inventors do NOT need to mortgage their homes to pursue an invention.  All you need is a patent application filed and a prototype/design to pursue a royalty deal.”

 

Another option would be for an inventor to assign his rights, which is essentially the process of 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).

In addition to having a good idea there are other considerations when preparing your invention for license, such as intellectual property protection (i.e.: patent, trademark or copyright), development and presentation.

It is important to understand that manufacturing your idea is NOT a requirement to license your invention for royalties. Many inventors believe that they need to setup manufacturing to pursue their inventions, which is not true. If your goal is to license your invention for royalties, I would not advise going down the path of setting up manufacturing capabilities. Assuming you have a good invention to start, you can approach companies about licensing your invention with a patent application filed, a prototype or design in place and a reasonably good presentation on why they should license your invention.

In summary, it is very possible to license a good invention for royalties. My company, InventionHome has completed over 100 marketing/license agreements and we’re seeing tremendous interest in new and innovative products.

 

For more information call – 1-866-844-6512

 

 

 

 

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