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All posts for the month October, 2018

Read the Complete Article at: https://inventors.typepad.com/absolutelynew/2010/06/youre-not-too-young-to-start-thinking-about-innovation.html

With so many people trying to find solutions to the fix the oil leak in the Gulf, you can now add elementary-school children. In this particular video, two grade-school children present an idea for how to stop the leak—proof that thinking about innovation and finding ways to solve problems can begin at almost any age!

Read the Complete Article at: https://inventors.typepad.com/absolutelynew/2010/07/former-head-of-uspto-joined-absolutelynews-advisory-board.html

Jon Dudas Jon Dudas' distinguished career includes significant contributions to the field of Intellectual Property on behalf of inventors. From 2004-2009, Jon served as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He was appointed to this position by the President of the United States.

As Director of the USPTO, Jon was responsible for administering the laws and regulations related to granting patents and trademarks, and the day-to-day management of the agency's $1.7 billion budget and over 8,000 employees. Previously, as Staff Director and Deputy General Counsel for the House Committee on the Judiciary, he guided enactment of major patent, trademark and copyright policy, including the last major legislation regarding U.S. intellectual property, the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999.

In June of 2010, Jon became President of FIRST, a not-for-profit organization (founded by prolific inventor Dean Kamen), that inspires students and professionals in engineering and technology fields, with the long-term aim of increasing the competitiveness of the United States in the global economy.

Read the Complete Article at: https://inventors.typepad.com/absolutelynew/2010/10/absolutelynew-partners-with-petsmart.html

Petsmart AbsolutelyNew has just announced a strategic partnership with
PetSmart, the nation’s largest specialty retailer of pet products.
AbsolutelyNew will provide PetSmart with an ongoing stream of innovative products that will be sold under PetSmart’s proprietary brands.

The companies began quietly working together about a year ago, meeting frequently since then to make rapid progress. Now, dozens of products are in development, and many of them are projected to launch in the next year.

AbsolutelyNew Leash for PetSmart The first product to launch in this partnership, under PetSmart’s new Bounce™ brand, is an innovative new dog leash. This striking 16-foot retractable leash features a comfortable ergonomic handle which has an integrated carabiner clip for securing the leash to stationary objects. It also uses AbsolutelyNew’s patent-pending Trig-Lock™ system to quickly and easily lock and unlock the leash. And it features high visibility reflectors on the sides for extra safety. This new leash will arrive in stores nationwide in early October, in three sizes and a variety of colors.

“We’re very excited about our partnership with AbsolutelyNew, which will enable us to provide our customers with the most innovative new pet products for many years to come” said Allen Hembree, PetSmart’s Vice President of Proprietary Brands and International Sourcing.

“Many of the products we’re providing to PetSmart came from the fertile minds of independent inventors,” said Richard Donat, AbsolutelyNew’s CEO. “Our special relationship with PetSmart will enable us to help even more inventors bring their pet invention ideas to the market, and to achieve even greater success with them.”

Read the Complete Article at: https://inventors.typepad.com/absolutelynew/2010/10/six-helpful-tips-for-inventors.html

Helpful_tips 1. Live the Dream. Many inventors dream of a better life – for themselves and the world around them. They clearly imagine their invention contributing to society, and contributing to their income. While that’s an important part of the process, it’s just the beginning. Unfortunately, most inventors get stuck in the dream stage – until they discover that someone else has beaten them to the market with a similar concept. It’s important to keep moving forward – with action. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; just try to minimize them by learning from others.

2. Apply When Ready. After the “light bulb moment”, many inventors race to file a patent application. That’s not always the best approach. Delaying your patent application can reduce your expenses because during the development process an invention can evolve rapidly, especially if you’re designing around existing patents; and your early filing may not adequately cover the evolved version. In addition, filing later can give you more time because the patent clock will start when you’re ready to begin marketing, not while you’re still developing it. In any case, at the beginning of the commercialization process, you should conduct a thorough patent search, perform a detailed competitive analysis, and consult your patent attorney.

3. Collect “Real” Feedback. Believing in your invention is very important. But make sure that belief is based on market realities. Asking your friends/family for their feedback is a great start. But you need to get independent feedback, too. Companies, like ours, deploy surveys to large groups and conduct focus groups. If you have a limited budget, you could ask people passing by in the mall (after you’ve filed your patent application). Be sure to ask at least a dozen individuals in your target market, listen carefully, and take notes. It will help you determine if you should proceed with your invention, and how to effectively position it against competitive products.

4. Develop a Line. Companies will be much more interested in your invention if it is part of a product line (a bunch of related products). You could try to make it part of the retailer’s current product line. Or try to make your own line. The line could include variations of your original product (such as sizes, colors, and shapes) or complementary products, such as stuff that goes inside of your product. In retail stores, this can provide you with more “shelf facings” (products of yours next to each other across the shelf), which means greater exposure, and in turn, greater sales. AbsolutelyNew has done this very effectively in PETCO stores to secure an endcap (a prominent end-of-aisle display).

5. Explore Licensing Opportunities. While retailers like new products, they don’t like dealing with inventors, or even single-product companies. Mainly because retailers don’t think independent inventors can deliver their product on time and in budget. Developing a new product requires a sizable capital investment, and scaling up production requires much more because there’s a large “cash gap” that must be financed for months between the time you place your order with factory and the time you get paid by the retailer. Licensing your patent to an established manufacturer (in exchange for royalty payments) turns this, and many other risks and responsibilities, to an entity better equipped to manage them.

6. Get Some Help. Some inventors try to do everything themselves. They usually fail. It’s just too difficult to be good at everything. So get help from others, such as companies that develop and launch products every day. You can try to work with a variety of companies to assist with various aspects of the process, but there are efficiency advantages to working with just one company that provides a range of services under one roof, which usually translates into a lower cost for you.

Read the Complete Article at: https://inventors.typepad.com/absolutelynew/2010/11/assessing-demand-for-your-invention.html

Most inventors are convinced they have "the next big thing" -– but how do you really find out? Sales data certainly helps, when it's available. Without it, we rely on Market Research.

Market research is generally characterized as either secondary or primary. Secondary research gathers information mainly from publications and databases (secondary sources). It tends to reveal insights Consumer Survey - Sampe Results
about the market (industry size, significant trends, competitive activity, etc.). Primary research, on the other hand, gathers feedback directly from individuals, via focus groups and surveys (primary sources). Surveys can be particularly valuable for invention ideas—when you ask the right questions, the right way, to the right audience. 

To support an invention idea, some inventors proudly report that their friends and family like it. While that’s encouraging for inventors, it’s not very helpful for the companies. Companies want to see feedback from individuals who are not just independent (they don’t know you), but also representative of the marketplace (reflect the target buyer’s age, gender, income, etc.). In addition, companies want a quantity of respondents (“sample size”) that is large enough to provide stable results (meaning that adding a few more respondents won’t change the results much). A number of variables can dictate the appropriate sample size, such as the amount of market or product segmentation you’re planning, but 300 survey respondents is typically a large enough sample from which you can derive meaningful data.

When working with invention promotion companies, you will find that few companies offer this service to inventors for fear of negative responses that could discourage inventors from purchasing their other services. And surprisingly, most inventors don’t seek such services – normally because they’re already sure that everyone will want to buy their product.

In addition to offering this type of research as a service, AbsolutelyNew uses the same type of research for our own products. And because of the volume of research we conduct, we are able to provide this service very cost-effectively.

Whether we’re conducting the research for our clients’ products or for our own products, our questions typically gather the following information (in addition to other basic data, like demographics):

Demand. Likelihood of purchasing the invention.
Distribution. Retailers they envision selling it.
Preferences. What features they like and dislike.
Price. Expected price points.

Typically report results are in a standardized “dashboard” format, for efficient analysis and comparison to other products in our portfolio (as shown above). But how do you know if your results are good? More specifically, how would you translate these results into a financial forecast?

Well, there’s a relatively easy way to get a rough estimate. If the survey sample is representative of the target market, and you know the size of the target market, then you could estimate the total demand. For example, if 5% of the respondents said they’d definitely buy the invention, and the respondents are representative of the U.S. population (~300 million people), that equals about 15 million customers.

Of course, there are many factors that impact the accuracy of that forecast – ranging from the projected distribution of the product to the price. Although unit sales tend to rise with lower prices, total revenue could rise or fall with price changes, depending upon what economists call “the elasticity of demand”.

Companies like AbsolutelyNew, with well-trained research professionals, can help you plan and execute consumer surveys, and make sense of the results. The bottom line: research that assesses demand for your inventions can help you both save and make money.

Read the Complete Article at: https://inventors.typepad.com/absolutelynew/2010/11/another-inventor-success-auto-outfits.html

I’d like to tell you a story. It’s a true story about an inventor like you—and it has a happy ending!

Soon after the events of “9/11,” people started displaying flags above their car windows tAuto Outfits Pictureo show their support and patriotism. Some cars even displayed a flag on each side. A woman named Sue, who had no experience inventing, envisioned an alternative to the car flags, one that could spread joy during certain holidays throughout the year—for example, antlers at Christmas time; bat wings at Halloween; bunny ears at Easter. 

Sue began making prototypes, testing them, and trying to sell them on her own. Years passed, and the results were below her expectations. Although she was disappointed, she didn’t give up. Instead, she partnered with AbsolutelyNew.

We saw the potential of this clever invention and offered her a compelling licensing deal, which she gladly accepted. After we redesigned the product to improve the quality and decrease the cost, we manufactured it and started selling it through leading retailers, such as Amazon. We even made a video for it and got the product featured on national TV. Now it’s selling very well and customers love it.

Of course, the inventor is thrilled—and so are we! Now, we’re seeking more promising products to bring to market. Do you think yours has the potential to become our next hit? Then call us today at 1-888-946-8368 to discuss our unique process and affordable services. Our conversation will be completely free and confidential.

Read the Complete Article at: https://inventors.typepad.com/absolutelynew/2010/11/another-inventor-success-auto-outfits.html

I’d like to tell you a story. It’s a true story about an inventor like you—and it has a happy ending!

Soon after the events of “9/11,” people started displaying flags above their car windows tAuto Outfits Pictureo show their support and patriotism. Some cars even displayed a flag on each side. A woman named Sue, who had no experience inventing, envisioned an alternative to the car flags, one that could spread joy during certain holidays throughout the year—for example, antlers at Christmas time; bat wings at Halloween; bunny ears at Easter. 

Sue began making prototypes, testing them, and trying to sell them on her own. Years passed, and the results were below her expectations. Although she was disappointed, she didn’t give up. Instead, she partnered with AbsolutelyNew.

We saw the potential of this clever invention and offered her a compelling licensing deal, which she gladly accepted. After we redesigned the product to improve the quality and decrease the cost, we manufactured it and started selling it through leading retailers, such as Amazon. We even made a video for it and got the product featured on national TV. Now it’s selling very well and customers love it.

Of course, the inventor is thrilled—and so are we! Now, we’re seeking more promising products to bring to market. Do you think yours has the potential to become our next hit? Then call us today at 1-888-946-8368 to discuss our unique process and affordable services. Our conversation will be completely free and confidential.

Read the Complete Article at: https://inventors.typepad.com/absolutelynew/2011/03/whats-in-store-for-your-invention.html

We're excited to unveil our new web store, where you'll find:

Store

Innovative products that our experts have launched.
Links to leading retailers that sell the products.
Previews of inventions that are still in development.
Info on inventors behind many of these innovations.
Pictures of the transformations, from ideas into products.
Customer reviews from our site and from other sites.
The opportunity to influence which products we launch.
The ability to get notified when we launch new products.

Of course, you can also buy great new products directly from us, supporting fellow inventors, and enjoying our 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Check it out, let us know what you think!

Read the Complete Article at: https://inventors.typepad.com/absolutelynew/2011/11/patent-models.html

Getting a patent has never been easy, but here's one way it used to be even more challenging…

Shortly after the birth of the United States, the Patent Act of 1790 required inventors applying for a U.S. patent to submit a model of the their invention to help inspectors understand the design. Over 200,000 models were submitted during the following 90 years. But after two fires and a shortage of storage space, the model requirement was abolished in 1880.

Fortunately, a few thousand of those models have been preserved over the years, in a private collection, and about 30 of them will be featured in the Smithsonian next month. They include a paper-bag-making machine (shown below), a horse-shoe-making machine, and–you guessed it–a better mousetrap. If you visit the exhibit, please tell us what you think of it.

Patent Model