tapI am so so bad at making decisions on which invention idea I want to try next that sometimes I end up doing none of them. I decided I should just go for one, try it and if it doesn’t work, just move on to the next. Picking one of my toy invention ideas I thought I would look into it a bit more. I searched Google images and Google patents, but didn’t find anything which looked very similar so I decided to try and make a rough prototype. The first rough prototype (it would have looked more at home sat by the dustbin) didn’t work, so I decided to do some rough 3D drawings just for my own use, and then head back down to the DIY (hardware) shop for more supplies. Back home and armed with a reel of plastic plumbing pipe, plumbing tee bends, a toy that I pulled apart, some pipe insulation and gaffa tape and ready to go with my shiny new £2.99 junior hacksaw I set to work creating my masterpiece falling apart pile of junk. After a little lot of cursing it was finally ready for testing and I have to say I was slightly pleased with myself, that although it looked like the dogs dinner, it actually worked!

I really don’t like trying to mock things up, so still feeling that slight glow of achievement, I debated my next move – should I take a punt and try Edison Nation, or maybe file a free UK provisional patent application before showing anyone. I decided I would consider the latter, so went over to the site and just to make sure, decided I would do another quick search for existing patents on their search facility, which I never really liked much. Ahh..umm… in two minutes I found something which sounded like it could be similar, but the website didn’t show me any patent drawings, so I took the title and put it in Google Patent search and there smack in front of me was something very similar to my masterpiece. To add insult to injury it was from about 50 years ago, so it was not quite as novel as I thought.

The moral to this story

Don’t buy 15 meters of plastic plumbing pipe unless you have done a more thorough search on more than one patent database, or want to retrain as a plumber.