USPTO announces 2012 National Trademark Expo

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently announced that it will host the 2012 National Trademark Expo on Friday, October 19th and Saturday, October 20th, at the USPTO’s headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. 

The free two-day event is designed to educate the public about trademarks and their importance in the global marketplace. Last year’s Trademark Expo attracted more than 15,000 visitors of all ages.

Exhibitors are invited to showcase their federally-registered trademarks through educational exhibits, including booths, themed-displays, costumed characters, and inflatables. In addition, the Expo features educational seminars for adults, and children’s workshops and activities.

Space is limited, so owners of federally-registered trademarks who wish to participate in this year’s Trademark Expo must submit an application by May 18, 2012.

Applications to exhibit at the Expo will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Brand recognition among consumers
  • Ability to engage the public’s interest in trademarks
  • Educational value of the proposed exhibit to enhance public understanding of the value of trademarks
  • Category diversity, in particular whether an applicant’s participation helps ensure that the Expo will feature a variety of different types of trademarks from different sources

Grow your own mushrooms – at home!

Do you like mushrooms? Ever thought of growing your own ones? With the mushroom garden from Back to the roots it´s pretty easy.

Within ten days the grow-at-home mushroom kit lets you grow up to 1 1/2 lbs of oyster mushrooms per box. Believe it or not, but they grow on recycled coffee grounds.

Want to know who came up with this innovative idea?

As written on the homepage back to the Roots was founded by Alejandro Velez & Nikhil Arora during their last semester at UC Berkeley.

Two months away from graduation, and heading into the corporate world of investment banking & consulting, they came across the idea during a class lecture of being able to potentially grow gourmet mushrooms entirely on recycled coffee grounds.

Inspired by the idea of turning waste into wages & fresh, local food, they experimented in Alex’s fraternity kitchen, ultimately growing one test bucket of tasty oyster mushrooms on recycled coffee grounds. Soon they decided to forget the corporate route, and instead, become full-time urban mushroom farmers.

A book about the goofiest patents

Where to begin, a lot of inventors wonder. Search the internet or read a book? There are many guidebooks out there, where young inventors as well as adults can find useful and inspiring tips how to turn their idea into reality.

But the invention business has another side too, the funny one and author Ted VanCleave looked at it. His book called Totally Absurd Inventions: America´s goofiest patents is available in English and Japanese.

Just read the description on and you know that you have some funny pages ahead of you: „Totally Absurd Inventions offers the best of the goofy from the millions of patents granted during the past 70 years. Each of the nearly 100 off-the-wall inventions unearthed for this collection features the detailed patent application illustration and a lively description of the bizarre proposed creation.

Need to know when your baby’s diaper is dirty? You’ll want to see the plans behind the Diaper Alarm. Little boys wanting to avoid playground kisses may find just what they need in the Kissing Shield. Want to add a unique Wisconsin twist to your cigarette? The Cheese-Filtered Cigarette might do the trick. Super Trash Man, the Cranium Cooler, the All-Terrain Stroller, and the Pet Toilet are just a few more of the zany but fascinating inventions highlighted in this compendium of creativity.

Author Ted VanCleave is himself an inventor of the weird. His award-winning Web site, Totally Absurd Inventions, began in 1997 after he conducted patent research for his own wacky invention, Inflatable Greeting Cards. That research uncovered similarly fascinating inventions that he’s shared with the more than two million people who have visited his web site, which has been named USA Today’s site of the week and attracted the attention of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.“

Many questions? – We have the answer!

As the United Inventors Association of America blogged today there are some things to think about when looking for one of the many service providers in the inventing industry. Like most industries there are good and bad companies selling dozens of services needed to commercialize an invention. Here are the tips from the UIA:

1.    Ask for their success rate: Ask for in writing the number of ideas they have represented and how many inventors made more money than they invested. This is required information under the Inventor Protection Act and they should provide it to you.

2.    Ask for references: Ask for the names of three satisfied customers that you can talk to. You do this with a babysitter, with a car…why not with your checkbook?

3.    Avoid too much pressure: Are their sales people calling you often using high pressure tactics?

4.    Are they sending you pre-signed confidentiality agreements in their „free kits“? Only sign agreements after you decide you want to use them or anyone else (but before discussion of any ideas).

5.    Have they asked you to write your ideas down and mail them to yourself? This process is a myth; it will not protect your idea.

6.    Early in your discussions, ask what the total cost of services will be. Not just the one they want to sell you first, ask for an outline of all their services and what ones will be required to actually allow you to make money in the end. Any hesitation to answer is normally a bad sign.

7.    Market evaluations provide an objective evaluation of the merit, technical feasibility, and commercial viability of your invention. Ask for their criteria, system of review, and the qualifications of company evaluators.

8.    Do they check on pre-existing patents for your same idea? Some companies will promote almost any idea, without knowing if there is patent infringement involved.

9.    Do their „patent searches“ come without a written opinion of patentability? Do they refuse to provide in writing the resulting number of favorable patent searches vs unfavorable searches they experience?

10. If they claim to have a special relationship with a manufacturer, ask for proof. Watch out, if they ask you to submit your idea to a manufacturer before you have properly protected it.

11. Avoid a jack-of-all-trades. No one is an expert in all those fields, ask them how they can evaluate many different categories of innovation.

12. Watch out for addresses that don’t match, they claim to be in one state but the mailing address is different. The same for no direct phone contact, are you always reaching their voicemail?

13. Ask all the above questions and be on triple alert if you’re responding to a slick TV, radio and magazine ad – the real guys have to advertise too, so know what to look out for.

And here is the inpama recommendation:

The company and its professional inventor consultants have more than 13 year of experience in the invention industry, lot´s of successful inventors, do not use high pressure tactics or send pre-signed confidentiality agreements.

InventorHaus Inc. is a dedicated invention marketing and consulting company possessing a unique advantage over other related firms: it is the only marketer who can guarantee to place your finished product into a store.

In addition to guaranteeing market placement for your invention, InventorHaus, Inc. offers a full range of services to help inventors bring their ideas into reality. From project planning and management to prototype construction, InventorHaus, Inc. supports you through each step of the inventing process, even offers market evaluation and checks pre-existing patents!

Interested? Then check out the services or visit the website.

About the importance of a patent attorney

We already told you about Patents and Utility models and gave you Sales and Marketing suggestions. Remember: The goal of is to provide inventors a platform to present, sell, and market their patented inventions on their own.

Today we want to explain you the importance of a patent attorney.

It´s just like Mary Bellis on writes: „As the inventor you know the scientific and technical knowledge involved in your invention.

However, the preparation of a patent application and conducting proceedings with any patent office requires a knowledge of patent law and rules and the patent office’s practices and procedures. The knowledge that a patent attorney has.“

Without that knowledge you might be granted a patent and later find out that it doesn´t protect your invention properly!

In the United States, the USPTO makes the rules and regulations governing any patent attorney or patent agent. To find one click here.

This patented technology literally goes under your skin

It was uncovered by Vlad Bobleanta at UnWiredView last week, by now many other journalists, like Caroline Howard from Forbes, reported about the unusual Nokia patent.

„Nokia is taking steps to make sure you never miss another phone call, text or email alert again: The company has filed a patent for a tattoo that would send „a perceivable impulse“ to your skin whenever someone tried to contact you on the phone“, writes Deborah Netburn from the Orlando Senitnel.

„Just as you can assign different ringtones to different contacts in your address book, this device can vibrate differently based on who’s calling, or whether you’re getting a text, email or news alert, according to the documents. It can even warn you when your phone’s battery is about to die“, says Braden Goyette from the New York Daily News.

Now you may ask yourself: „How does this work?“ The patent „suggests using a ferromagnetic ink, which includes compounds like iron or iron oxide, for the tattoo. Heat the ink to a high temperature before applying to the user’s skin to temporarily demagnetize it. Otherwise, ouch. Afterwards, remagnetize the tattoo simply by “repeatedly running a magnet over tattooed spot.

For those not interested going full-robot, there is a sticker version, or a magnetic receiver worn on the skin, to sub for the vibrating tattoo“, explains the Forbes article.

SIP-CORE: An innovative hydration system

Sure it happened to you too. While driving a car or doing sports you opened a can of coke or a water bottle and splash – spilled the liquid all over you. Well, here´s an innovative solution: SIP-CORE.

SIP-CORE is a hydration system with which all kinds of liquids can be absorbed without spilling. When using it you don´t even need your hands!

SIP-CORE can be screwed onto any standard bottle. In combination with a flexible liquid container (pouch), with and without hose connection, SIP-CORE is a very safe and versatile system for easy, hand-free drinking. It can be used in the geriatric care, for children, on trips, while driving a car, riding a motorbike or doing sports, even to supply military troops.

Since the SIP-CORE hydration system can be produced from biodegradable materials, it also provides a significant ecological advantage. Furthermore the liquid absorption in small sips prevents from dehydration and improves concentration and performance.

The „Dog Walker“

According to the Human Society of the United States there are approximately 78.2 million owned dogs in the United States and in Australia 63% of the 7.5 million households own pets. The Australian Companion Animal Council Report shows that there are 3.41 million dogs in Down Under or in other words: 36% of the Australian households own a dog.

Dogs are cute and they are man´s best friend. But have you ever thought how to get rid of their excrements? An innovative Australian did and invented the „Dog Walker“.

It´s a new device to collect dog waste. Through rotation the excrements are carried directly in a container. This means that the invention is very hygienic, because one has no contact with the excrements.

As mentioned before unfortunately dogs are not always preparing joy – the problem with the dog excrements is the most unpleasant. In the wake of the growing dog ownership in cities and small towns, the mess problem on roadsides and in parks has become huge.

Specially build bag dispenser or warning signs are only moderately well received. Many dog owners just leave the excrements of their pets behind. On the other hand, many old people who have dogs have difficulty to bend over and collect the waste.

Help is on the way! The new „Dog Walker“ permits a simple and hygienic removal of dog waste and contributes to the improvement of “land mines” on sidewalks and in parks. It is operated electrically, which means that without effort and without contact the dog waste can be transported into a container.

To operate the “Dog Walker” the user barely has to bend down, so especially for older people this device could be a great relief.

Gütersloh we are coming!

Ideas, inventions, innovation – that´s what the „GENIAL“ invention fair in Gütersloh, Germany stands for. And that´s what InventorHaus, Inc. stands for too!

So it is no surprise that we will be there. After the Ambiente and the Creativ, this is our third fair this year.

This Thursday and Friday we will present our services and some innovative prototypes from the Inventor Shop in the civic center Gütersloh. If you happen to be there, just stop by. On Thursday we will be there from 12 am to 9 pm, on Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.

We are a dedicated invention marketing and consulting company possessing a unique advantage over other related firms: we are the only marketer who can guarantee to place your finished product into a store.

At our Inventor Shops in Berlin, Germany, and Salzburg, Austria, your product can be viewed and bought by consumers and you can receive real market research rather than hypothetical projections.

In addition to guaranteeing market placement for your invention, InventorHaus, Inc. offers a full range of services to help inventors bring their ideas into reality. From project planning and management to prototype construction, InventorHaus, Inc. supports you through each step of the inventing process.