In this inventor interview Terron Sommerville describes how he got inspiration to create his invention the Power Tablet Charger which is portable power for phones, GPS, tablets and cameras.
Tara: What is your name, invention name and website URL?
Terron: my name is Terron Sommerville. Our company website is www.solarvillecommunications.com Our company specializes in Solar/Renewable Energy products for daily consumer use in the market. My latest invention is called the “Power Tablet Charger”
Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about where you are based, your background experience how you first started inventing?
Terron: I’m based out of and from Newark,New Jersey. After being in the military for a number of years and traveling around the world,this was one of my motivations on becoming an inventor. One day back 2002 I found my self stranded one day and my cell phone battery died on me. I had no way to call anyone,because my cell phone died. So I was stranded with no way to communicate to anyone for help. My cell phone battery was dead,car stopped on me,it was hot,just an all around bad day. Eventually about 6 hours later help came for me. This incident prompted me to think about portable power for my cell phone. I went through making a few prototypes and manufacturing and then .A few years later I came up with variations of portable power products.
Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about your invention, what it is, and how you came up with the idea?
Terron: The “Power Tablet Charger” is designed not only to charge Tablets,also(Cell Phones,Bluetooth’s,GPS Systems,Digital Camera’s etc…) The “Power Tablet Charger can also charge multiple devices at the same time while still portable. You can charge your devices with the product two ways: Either Solar Power or USB Battery Power. The product comes with a unique patented USB Connector cord with (10) adapters connected to it.
Tara: What were the first steps you took after having your idea?
Terron: There were several steps I took after coming up with the idea:
- I researched on the internet,stores,USPTO Website etc… for any similar Patent products that’s similar to mine. Its very important to know about any similar products out there and to know your competition.
- I wrote out my invention details and functions in my Inventors Notebook and dated when I wrote this out. It’s a good idea to keep a notebook,journal or some type of dated writings on your idea inventions
- Next I had some sample drawings and product specifications done on my idea and worked with my manufacture engineers on the sample production.
- I contacted the United States Trademark and Patent Office(inventors hotline) www.uspto.com. I asked them various questions on Patents,Patent Forms,Patent Fees and general questions on invention ideas/process(Very Important Step).
- I filed a “Provisional Patent” or Patent Pending on my invention idea.
Terron: I did get some drawings/sketches done of the invention idea. I then proceeded to go to our manufacture with the drawings and idea and immediately started working on a prototype.
Tara: Did you try and patent or protect your idea in any way and how did you go about it?
Terron: Yes I took the first steps to the patent process which is a “Provisional Patent” or patent pending process. I contacted the United States Trademark and Patent Office(inventors hotline). They helped me tremendously with the questions I had and how to fill out the Patent forms. I would recommend an inventor to also consult an Patent Attorney also.
Tara: Did you always intend manufacturing your invention yourself or did you look into licensing the idea?
Terron: At first I did not intend on manufacturing my invention. But after countless turn downs of licensing my Idea,I decided to go straight to the manufacture myself. This may have been my best move because I learned a lot about the manufacturing process as well as the prototyping process. This afforded me t eventually get more done at a faster pace and to my specifications.
Tara: How did you go about finding a suitable manufacturer for your invention and did you self fund this?
Terron:being in the military helped me find a manufacture. After traveling around the world I met numerous people,which in turn introduced me to the world of manufacturing. The rest is history!
Tara: What have you found are the best ways of promoting your invention?
Tara: the best way I believe in promoting your invention is “WORD OF MOUTH”. Now with Social Media outlets it’s even easier to promote your invention. Another good way of promoting your invention is to enter Trade Shows,Invention Competitions,Interviews,Blogs & network with people in the same arena.
Tara: What were the most difficult elements of bringing your invention to market?
Terron: I believe the most difficult element of bring an invention to market is having the funding to bring a invention to market. I have learned to truly market a product especially on (T.V. & Radio) it can be very costly. This is one reason why many inventors seek licensing product deals
Tara: How long has it taken from your initial idea to taking it to market?
Terron: it all depends on what the invention is and what avenues a person takes to get the invention out there. Getting a product to market time spans can vary. It has taken me about 2 years to get my initial idea retail & market ready.
Tara: Is there anything you learned developing your invention that you would now do differently if you had to do it all again?
Terron: Yes I would have learned more about the inventing process and more about how to utilize the USPTO as an independent inventor. The USPTO is one of the best resources I discovered in this whole inventing process
Tara: What advice would you give any aspiring inventor with an idea?
Terron: My advice to aspiring inventors would be:
- Do your Research on(Competition,Patents,Manufactures,Licensing)
- Contact the USPTO and ask questions about patents,Trademarks & copyrights
- Consult an (Certified) Patent Attorney
- Most importantly (NEVER EVER GIVE UP) KEEP INVENTING!!!
Tara: Where can people find out more about you &your invention?
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