Invention Development Manufacture and Funding Advice from Phil Staunton D2M

Phil Staunton D2M Design to MarketIn this Podcast Phil Staunton, a product designer and Managing Director of D2M Design 2 Market offers his advice on how to develop your idea and get it manufactured. He also offers tips on how to pitch your invention whether to achieve funding or for getting it in front of potential buyers. Through working with many different inventors Phil can also share his experience on the mistakes many new inventors make and hopefully help you avoid them. Find out more about D2M at www.design2market.co.uk

Some of the Inventions D2M have worked on

Scoot – Micro Scooter Accessories for Children

Micro Scooter Accessories for Children

Ventz – a vent for allow air up the sleeves of a biker’s jacket so that riding on warm days is more comfortable

Ventz invention for bikers

Thrusters – a mini submarine controlled by a laptop with onboard video camera

Design 2 Market Thruster product development

Are you an inventor or invention expert with an interesting story or advice to share? Please get in touch via the contact form or email tara (at) ideasuploaded (dot) com

Interview with Product Development Expert Joseph Donoghue

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Joseph Donoghue Leardon Solutions Product developementProduct development expert Joseph Donoghue is CEO and Co-Founder of Leardon Solutions. Leardon Solutions is a company that helps start-ups and small companies to turn their ideas into products.

In this podcast Joseph offers advice on many aspects of developing a product including explaining the difference between a proof of concept prototype and a design prototype. He also talks about the process between prototype and going into manufacture and how to avoid the costly mistake that some novice inventors make where they end up with a house full of product that they are unlikely to sell.

You can find out more about Joseph and his company Leardon Solution at www.leardon.com

Some of the inventions Joseph Donoghue and Leardon Solutions have helped develop

  • www.bomberonline.com is a snowboarding attachment to help attach your boot to a special snowboard binding.  The company Bomber Industries is located in Silverthorne, Colorado, US
  • www.cyclemower.com: The cyclemower is a push lawmower that utilizes an innovative two stage gear system that allows the blade to get up to the same speeds as a gas mower.  Thsi company is located in San Diego, CA.
    CycleMower inventions
  • www.ecoleeser.com: The EcoLeeser rockfish release device helps fisherman return rockfish suffering from barotrauma back to a depth where they can most practically survive.  This company is located in San Diego, CA, USA.
    Ecoleeser fish invention
  • www.equusathletics.com: This horse massager from a company in San Diego, CA, US, makes warm up and cool down massages to horses much more practical and inexpensive.
    Equus Athletics Horse Massager Invention
  • www.hugxpetdesign.com: The Hugx pet down is an innovative design from an inventor in Londonderry, UK.
  • www.keepfloeing.com: The Floe product is a winter drain down system invented by an inventor in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK who has been written about in the BBC news (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-14940979) and has won the Practical Caravan product of the Year.
  • www.rollmole.com:  Roll Mole is an innovative tape dispenser from an inventor in Belfast, UK.
    Rollmole tape dispenser invention
  • www.sturmanbg.com:  Sturman BG, located in Woodland Park, Colorado, US makes taps for beer homebrewers and microbreweries. The tap attaches to a 1.5 gallon bottle that can be filled with your beer of choice and kept fresh in the refrigerator for many months on carbon dioxide.

If you enjoyed this interview you can find more here.

Are you an inventor or invention expert with an interesting story or advice to share? Please get in touch via the contact form or email tara (at) ideasuploaded (dot) com

Patent Attorney Matthew Allen Offers Advice on Protecting your Intellectual Property

Matthew Allen Patent AttorneyIn this interview European Patent Attorney Matthew Allen, from Allen IP offers his advice to novice inventors on how to protect their intellectual property.

Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about where you are based, your background experience and what you do now?

Matthew: I am based near to Victoria Square in Birmingham, UK. My background is a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering, followed by a masters degree in IP law. I trained to become a European patent, design, and trademark attorney at a top 10 firm of patent and trademark attorneys, and subsequently started my own practice.

Tara: Are there any cheap and easy ways that an inventor can protect their inventions prior to filing a patent?

Matthew: You can use a confidentiality agreement (often referred to as a non disclosure agreement (or NDA), to oblige a person to keep details of the invention confidential. But this can be problematic if the NDA is breached. The only way of protecting an invention in the UK is to file a patent application (and this is only worth the paper it is written on if the claims that define the desired monopoly are well drafted).

Tara: What types of IP protection are available for an inventor and how can they best be used?

Matthew: Broadly speaking, a patent is intended to prevent a competitor from reproducing a functional, technical, feature of a product or process. A registered design is intended to prevent a competitor from reproducing the visual appearance of a product. Hence, a registered design is particularly suitable for a consumer product which is often designed to appeal to the eye of a customer. It is possible for different aspects of a single product to have both types of protection. In some countries other forms of IP are available for inventions, such as utility models or the like.

Tara: What is patentable? please could you give an example?

Matthew: In order to be patentable in the UK and Europe, broadly speaking, an invention should demonstrate a solution to a technical problem, which is both new in comparison with the closest known public material, and not obvious in light of the closest known public material. A simple example is a cleaning glove, which overcomes the problem of wearing a glove on one hand and having to use the other hand to squeeze a washing up liquid container to disperse washing up liquid on the object to be cleaned, which does so by
using two gloves, one inside the other, to define an inner reservoir for washing up liquid, which can be dispensed through pores in the outer glove simply by squeezing the glove.

Tara: What is the difference between a preliminary patent application and full patent application and how should each be used?

Matthew: In the UK, a preliminary application does not require claims. A full application requires claims. But for the preliminary application to be worthwhile, to provide the broadest protection possible, it should contain statements that foreshadow the eventual claims. Because of this, I tend to advise simply filing a full application including claims. I generally advise requesting a search at the time of filing, particularly if the client is an individual inventor who is not very familiar with the history of the technical field of their invention. In this way, the client gets a quick indication of the patentability of the invention, before the deadline for filing applications overseas for example, and before too much time and money has been invested in the project.

Tara: Ideally what information and research should an inventor have done before they come to you to file a patent?

Matthew: A search of prior published patent applications on the excellent Espacenet website (http://worldwide.espacenet.com/). And, a Google search is always
worthwhile. Use generic keywords because someone else may have invented the same or a similar thing but described it using different terminology.

Tara: What sort of timeframe from initial application does it normally take for a patent to be granted or declined?

Matthew: In the UK, the normal time frame to reach grant is about 3 years. It is possible to request accelerated processing of the application but a reason
is needed, for example an infringer is already active on the market. In this way, grant can be reached in about 1 year.

Tara: What sort or costs are involved with filing a patent in the UK?

Matthew: £1250 to £1500 to draft a patent specification, and file it, along with a request for a search. More if the material is technically complicated, particularly lengthy, or there is more than one invention to be claimed.

Tara: What tips would you give to a novice inventor?

Matthew: Understand IP, particularly if your only realistic route to commercialisation is through licensing or assigning the idea (as opposed to making it). If an industry player can reap the fruit of your idea without sharing them with you, chances are they will.

Tara: Where can people find out more about you and your company?

Matthew: Visit my website, www.allenip.com

Allen IP UK patent attorney
If you enjoyed this interview you can find more here.

Are you an inventor or invention expert with an interesting story or advice to share? Please get in touch via the contact form or email tara (at) ideasuploaded (dot) com

Interview with US Patent Attorney Eric Hanscom who offers Advice on Protecting your IP

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Eric Hanscom Patent AttorneyIn this podcast interview Eric Hanscom from Inter Continental IP, who not only is a US Patent Attorney, but is also an inventor himself offers his advice on how inventors should protect their intellectual property. This includes information about the importance of doing a patent search, the difference a design patent and a utility patent and how an independent inventor can use a provisional patent to keep their costs down while finding out if there is a market for their invention.

I also asked Eric about the recent changes to the US patent system and what it means to the independent inventor.

Links mentioned in the podcast

Inter Continental IP

Inventing Profit – “Inventor Makeover” reality-based web series that shows the steps inventors with the entrepreneurial spirit take to get their product to market.

Two of Eric’s other ventures – www.BorregoPalms.com and www.Thai-West.com

Intellectual Property Course

If you enjoyed this interview you can find more here.

Are you an inventor or invention expert with an interesting story or advice to share? Please get in touch via the contact form or email tara (at) ideasuploaded (dot) com

Interview with Joan Lefkowitz an Accessories Licensing Agent

Joan Lefkowitz licensing agentJoan Lefkowitz, an original marketer of TopsyTail tm, is president of ACCESSORY BRAINSTORMS, NYC, a licensing agency, sales representation and consultancy for Fashion/Beauty Accessory and Lifestyle Inventions. Accessory Brainstorms is always looking for inventions in these categories, and offers one-on-one consulting for inventors who need guidance. ACCESSORIES Magazine awarded Joan for the “Most Inventive Products” and also cited her as one of the 100 most important accessories industry “Movers and Shakers”. Contact her at through her website at www.accessorybrainstorms.com

Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about where you are based, your background experience how you first started in the fashion accessories business?

Joan: Accessory Brainstorms is located in New York City in the Accessories Building. I started in the business world in 1984 ‘cold turkey.’ previously having taught public speaking at a University. Always very interested in innovative products and fashion accessories, I decided to follow my passion to bring unique products to the marketplace.

topsy tail accessory inventionTara: What have been some of your favourite inventions that you have worked on and why?

Joan: Topsy Tail™. It was the first fashion accessory product to appear in a DRTV commercial. Accessory Brainstorms sold it to department stores. Tag Tamers™ by Hollywood Fashion Tapes. This product covers garment labels so that they don’t itch. It is great to work with a product that solves a universal problem.

Tara: Your company offers sales representation and acts as a licensing agency for inventors and designers with fashion accessory products. Please can you explain what a licensing agent does and why an inventor might want to consider using one rather than going it alone?

Joan: A Licensing Agent is the matchmaker between the Invention and companies that will manufacture and distribute it and pay the Inventor Royalties on sales. The Licensing Agent will help negotiate the Licensing Agreement to be of greatest benefit to the Inventor.

fantail inventionTara: What would be the first steps you would advise an inventor to take if they have what they think is a great idea for a fashion accessory?

Joan: To create a working prototype to see if the Invention really works. Also to search the internet to see if it has already been invented by someone else. Every first time Inventor should educate themselves by reading articles and books on the subject of Invention.

Tara: What are the most important things an inventor should consider when designing and developing their accessory?

Joan: See Tips and Insights on my website

Tara: At what stage of development should an inventor come to someone like you with their invention?

Joan: When the Invention is Patent Pending and there is a working prototype.

Tara: What level of importance is placed on patents within the accessory industry. Is it an essential part, or is more emphasis placed on being first to Market and developing a trademark and brand?

Joan: When it is just another version of an accessory or a new design, first to market is what counts. However, if it has a unique utility and you want to keep exclusivity in the market, the Utility Patent is important.

Tara: What are the most common mistakes you see inventors make with their inventions and how should they avoid them?

Joan: Investing in the development of the Invention before it has been tested for interest in the marketplace or without financial support to back up the product. A safer bet is to have the product evaluated by a professional company and consider Licensing the Invention to an established manufacturer if financial resources are limited.

Tara: If a inventor decides to manufacture and produce their own accessory do you have any advice on getting their products into retailers and how to get PR for their products?

Joan: Make the product available through an 800 number and a website and drive traffic to the site. Promote to blogs and to magazines. Exhibit at tradeshows. Get a sales representative showroom to sell the product to specialty retailers.

Tara: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Joan: Most first time Inventors are busy with their day jobs or other responsibilities. The most efficient way to get your Invention out there and to profit from it, is to have it Licensed so that you can collect passive income. This provides a space to concentrate on creating more Inventions.

Tara: Where are the best places where inventors can find out more about you and what you do?

Joan: Through my website www.accessorybrainstorms.com . I look forward to hearing from you!

If you enjoyed this interview you can read more here and check out the podcast here.

Are you an inventor with an interesting story to share or an expert in the industry? Please get in touch via the contact form or email tara (at) ideasuploaded (dot) com