Do You Know … Patents?

The most widely known proprietary law is a patent. A patent is a legal title which protects a technical invention for a limited period of time. A patent prevents others from exploiting the invention within the countries for which the patent has been granted. An invention is patentable when it is:

• new
• commercially applicable
• non-obvious

Items that are not feasible, such as a perpetual motion machine, are in general not patentable. Moreover, laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas cannot be patented. The invention should be described on the patent application form in such a way that a specialist can understand it. A prototype is not necessary to apply for a patent. The typical lifespan of a patent lasts for 20 years. Fees are higher if the patent is to be protected in a number of countries. Patent protection is only one tool among many in a comprehensive business plan.

However, in order to raise capital, an enterprise may have to protect its technology to prevent exploitation until the capital is raised and the business developed. Capital would be required to set up manufacturing and marketing operations, and patent and design rights should prevent competitors from exploiting the technology until such operations are active, and moreover, profitable. For smaller companies, a patent can be used to take a new or improved product to other markets around the world. Smaller companies have many advantages over larger ones, particularly in their flexibility, and the existence of a patent strengthens its negotiating position with any potential licensees.

Click here for information on filing a patent application

The Next Big ZING!

Have you heard about The Next Big Zing? It is the only independent, professional based review board searching and awarding new trends and the hottest products of the year.

It was founded by Dhana Cohen, who is not only judge in many national inventor awards, but also the co-host of an entrepreneur radio show called “ Believe in Your Fairytales and Your ZING will Come True”. She has over 25 years marketing and product development experience and has owned her own marketing company for 10 years.

Sky Mall cataloge has now selected The Next Big Zing to search for the most innovative product of 2012. 5 lucky winners will have their products highlighted in this Summer edition! 1.8 million people a day see SkyMall catalog, imagine what this exposure could do for your brand! Applications will be taken through their website and a small evaluation fee pf $ 65 applies.

Make sure to enter with your innovation by March 15, 2012. The winners will be announced to the public by July 1, 2012. In addition, ever submission will also enter the independent The Next Big Zing Award. Check out their products and make sure you don’t miss the deadline!

An Opportunity for Teachers and Students

The National Museum of Education in Partnership for America’s Future is a non-profit educational organization which has been offering programs to teachers and students for many years. The main goal is to help young inventors and their mentors to turn their ideas into success. Established in 1990 in Akron, Ohio, they have been able to come to some great achievements.

Here are a few examples: 85 students and teachers have been helped to turn their inventions into products that are now on the national market. The National Gallery for America’s Young Inventors was created, which annually honors up to six young inventors from across the country. Many national invention competitions have been developed, including Students Ideas for A Better America, which awards two student inventors each month.

These awards have been featured on CNN, Channel 1, TBS, CBS and countless local TV, radio, and national publications. The Freida J. Riley Teacher Award was publicized and administered, honoring teachers who overcome adversity for the sake of their students. Guidelines for the Craftsman/NSTA tool invention competition have been written in cooperation with SEARS. Many science and language camps have been organized and held, including French Camp, Energy Camp, and Rocket Camp. Sue Lyons, on our staff, is the original writer of Camp Invention, now owned and run by the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

The best known competition is SIBA, the Student Ideas for a Better America competition which runs all year. There are not due dates since the motto says “Innovation Knows No Time” and prices are given monthly. So if you or your students have a great idea for a new product or an improvement for an existing product or procedure, or even an educational concept, this might be a great opportunity to move one step further. Find more information on the website.

European Inventor Award 2012

Although the deadline has already passed for the upcoming award in 2012, it might be interesting for all inventors to learn about another opportunity to gain fame and recognition. The European Inventor Award, which is one of the most prestigious awards an inventor can win, has been launched by the European Patent Office in 2006. This award gives the inventors the recognition they deserve and also pays tribute to creativity of the inventors, who use their skills in different fields to improve people’s lives.

In 2012 the ceremony will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark on June 14, in cooperation with the Danish EU Council Presidency, the Danish Patent and Trademark Office as well as the European Commission. Although there are different categories in this award, it is open to the public and anyone can submit an entry. The different categories are Industry, SME’s, Research, Non-European countries and Lifetime achievement.

The award is a sail shaped trophy, which was designed by a German industrial designer called Miriam Irle. The sail, which is a symbol of pioneering spirit, is made of a different innovative substance every year. Aluminium, porcelain, glass have been used among many others in the recent years. In 2011 the trophy was made of Arboform, a bio-plastic material which had won an award in the previous year. All candidates for the upcoming award had to submit their inventions by October 6, 2011. The winners will be announced in February 2012. We are all looking forward to the ceremony in Copenhagen and some great new inventions.

Inventor-Friendly Companies

As an inventor you may be wondering, which companies directly accept submissions of products or ideas. A service provider that helps you find these company might be an easier way and there are truly some experts out there. However, there are also inventor-friendly companies in this world that are constantly seeking for new ideas directly. For inventors, it is important to carefully read the guidlines and also to make sure that the idea is adequately protected. Therefore, it is best to have a patent or patent pending as a first step to success. Inventors Digest gives these resources to its followers. Here are some examples:

General Mills
We believe that there is a great opportunity for us to enhance and accelerate our innovation efforts by teaming up with world-class innovators from outside of our company. To facilitate that effort, we created the General Mills Worldwide Innovation Network (G-WIN) to actively seek partners who can help us deliver new levels of taste, health, and convenience in our products. See more information on our website.

Kraft Foods
We desire proprietary, commercially viable products and technologies for our existing categories and for new solutions that will make our products better tasting, better for you, more convenient or more socially responsible.

Barbara K
It’s my desire is to inspire women to become more self-reliant and confident in their own abilities. We all have “it” within ourselves to do things that we never imagined we could. All it takes is a little motivation, a little know how, and the right “tools,” for every woman to achieve a more independent lifestyle. Hopefully, we can provide a bit of all three!

Black & Decker
Black & Decker is a global manufacturer and marketer of .power tools and accessories, hardware and home improvement products, and technology based fastening systems.

Odd or Useful? But Still Inventions!

There are different categories when talking about inventions. Previously we have seen the best inventions, the worst inventions and among others inventions we take for granted. But there is another category we cannot miss: the oddest inventions. Usually, the inspiration for inventions derives from problems or challenges crying out for solutions or simplifications. Odd inventions can also tracked back to this inspirational channel however, they are also funny and stylish.

Here are some examples: Fish n’Flush This unusual toilet serves a dual purpose: as a waste receptacle and as an aquarium. Many people have already introduced goldfish to the toilet, but usually that happens when they die. The Fish n‘ Flush is an actual kit that turns your toilet tank into a living space for your pet fish an aquarium. It comes with simulated reef and real fish. Fish n‘ Flush is meant to create a relaxing atmosphere in the bathroom. However, PETA might protest the view to which the poor fish living in the toilet tank will be subjected!

Hello Kitty Key Board Cleaner Every little girl loves Hello Kitty. But grown ups love Hello Kitty, too. There is another gadget in the Hello Kitty world that we can introduce to our offices and which helps us to keep our keyboard clean from dust, food or bread crumps. It is USB driven and comes in a variety of brushes which blow away any sandwich leftovers that might have ended up in between the keys. Most users probably buy it because it also a cute little toy to decorate the desk. But in the world of key board cleaners, it is also recommended as very easy to use. You don’t need to have batteries, just simply attach it to the USB port of your computer and it works. It not only cleans the keyboard, the different brushes also clean the screen and any other devices you have attached to your computer.

Invention Conventions 2012

Dear inventors, have you yet updated your diary with the most important international conventions that are coming up in 2012?

20 – 23 March 2012
Moscow (Russia) – ARCHIMEDES International Salon of Inventions and Innovation Technologies

18 – 22 April 2012
Geneva (Switzerland) – International Exhibition of Inventions

May 2012
Connecticut (USA) – Connecticut Invention Convention

08 – 09 June 2012
Minnesota (USA) – Minnesota Inventors Congress Invention & Idea Show

13 – 15 June 2012
Pittsburgh (USA) – INPEX Invention and New Product Exposition

29 May – 01 June 2012
Poznan (Poland) – ITM Poland — Innovations Technologies Machines

September 2012
Taipei (Taiwan) – Taipei International Invention Show & Technomart

October 2012 in Germany
Farnham (UK) – Sustainable Innovation 2011

01 – 04 November 2012
Nürnberg (Germany) – IENA: Ideas–Inventions–New Products

October 2012, dates to be announced
London (UK) – The British Invention Show

09 November 2012
Worldwide – Inventor’s Day

November 2012
Brussels (Belgium) – Brussels Innova

December 2012, dates to be announced
Seoul (Korea) – Seoul International Invention Fair

To stay up to date with changes or new releases, also visit the Invention Convention page of Inventorhaus, Inc.

Do You Know … Dr. Robert Cade?

First, he invented a drink and now there will be a museum named after him, the Cade Museum for Invention and Innovation. But let’s start from the beginning.

Robert Cade was born in September 1927, in San Antonio, Texas, and worked most of his life at the medical school at the University of Florida. During his career at the University he was the lead inventor of Gatorade, which is now a well known product of PepsiCo and distributed into 80 countries.

Like many inventors, his main aim was to find a solution to a common everyday challenge: How can sports men quickly replenish the liquid they lose in sweat during a tournament? They need more than just water, they also need carbohydrates and electrolytes. He developed a drink for the athletic team of the University called „the Gators“, where the name Gatorade derives from.

Although Gatorade is his best know invention, Dr Cade was interested in many other fields. Among others, his numerous inventions also include the first shock dissipating football helmet and he was also a musician and collected Violins.

In 2008, the Cade Museum Foundation had announced that the Depot Park in Gainsville, Florida, had been selected as location. The museum will be built in 3 phases and will inspire future entrepreneurs and inventors through exhibitions, creativity programs and many other events.

The Foundation has been supporting Florida inventors for many years and just recently announced the 2012 Cade Museum Prize, giving away $50,000 in prize money for the successful candidate. This prize should encourage and inspire the work of all Florida inventors and early-stage entrepreneurs, says Phoebe Miles Cade, President of the Cade Museum Foundation.