It was seen that the works of founders of States, law-givers, tyrant-destroyers, and heroes cover
but narrow spaces and endure but for a time; while the work of the inventor, though of less pomp,
is felt everywhere and lasts forever.          - Francis Bacon Preface to a Treatise on Interpreting Nature




The Design of Everyday Things

Every inventor should take this free online course. Learn the basics of design and start observing and applying design principles.



How to Design Breakthrough Inventions

A CBS interview of IDEO founder David Kelley


How to Build a StartUp

In this free online course, learn the key tools and steps for building a successful startup (or at least reducing the risk of failure).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December 2008

Ms. Carol Applegate (Director of programs and services, Business Ownership Initiative (BOI; not-for-profit partner of the Small Business Administration)) helped us understand that innovation is an interaction between thinking and doing. “An expert is a person who avoids small error as he sweeps on to the grand fallacy.” [Niels Bohr] What is the grand fallacy of innovation? It’s that we tend to mistake thinking for doing. Consider this trick question: 6 frogs are sitting on a log. One decides to jump off. How many are left? Answer: 6 frogs. Why? Because the one frog just decided to jump off; he didn’t do anything. Many inventors decide to jump into a business so they can turn their inventions into financial success. They decide to jump, but don’t. They stay on the log because they lack the strength of personal commitment to the effort of business, or they lack the grip of knowing how to start, maintain, and grow a business. BOI offers valuable yet inexpensive ($10; discounts available) classes taught by business professionals who help inventors gain both strength and grip. You can start with free confidential business counseling: face-to-face, telephone, or online. This will help you decide what to do next. Life coaching is also available. You might try the 4-step starter program: 1. Thinking about launching a business? – free 1 hour class that gives you an overview. 2. Is self-employment for me? – free class that helps you evaluate your commitment and abilities. 3. What makes for a great business idea? – free class that helps you relate your business idea to the market 4. Launching and growing your business – a 20 hour course about the knowledge, skills, and resources that are helpful for starting a business. The course covers both administration (legal requirements, registration, licenses & permits, paperwork) and planning (goals, resources, customers, probability of success). Other classes address getting loans, doing market research, registering your business, starting a non-profit organization, sales and marketing, legal issues, financing, networking, intellectual property, and writing a business plan. So get into the swim of things! For more information visit the BOI website or speak with Bob Cole at (317) 917-3266x100. Thank you for telling us about this invaluable resource Ms. Applegate!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

October 2008

This month the Indiana Inventors Association met without a speaker to discuss innovation in general. People spoke about the current state of their creations (medical devices, segway-related items, books, etc.) and about their experiences in innovation. Special congratulations go to Ken Rainbolt for winning a people's choice award at a local convention for one of his segway inventions.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

September 2008

Mr. James Hill (a patent attorney with the Chicago law firm Wildman Harrold) addressed two important questions many inventors ask - Is my invention patentable? Should I invest in a patent? The United States grants patents only for inventions that benefit our society. What is an invention? An invention is a means to a useful end. It is a machine, manufactured article, composition of matter, or method that has 3 aspects (SOR): structure, operation (function), and result. Deterministic relationships between those aspects integrate (combine) parts into a whole that is more than the sum of its individual parts. Parts of an invention work together to produce a useful result. A mere aggregate however is just the sum of its parts - an assembly of structures or method steps that do not cooperate to produce a useful result, something a tornado might put together (like a straw through a telephone pole). An aggregate is not patentable because it is not more useful than its independent (old) parts. An invention benefits our society only if it is different from all other inventions known to our society.
  • An invention is likely patentable if at least one of its SOR aspects differs from known inventions: (new Structure, old Operation, old Result), (old S, new O, old R), (old S, old O, new and conditional R), (new S, new O, old R), (new S, old O, new R), (old S, new O, new R), or (new S, new O, new R). For example, farmers once used a plow that produced furrows of uneven depth, because it had only one disk. A patentable invention improved that plow by merely adding a second disk. The two disks cooperated to plow furrows of uniform depth, greatly increasing crop yield.
  • The difference must be so big that a typical person of ordinary skill in the technology would not have thought of your invention on your invention date. You must be creative. Our society benefits both from a pioneering invention (a new kind of invention, like the first wheel, airplane, or television) and from an incremental invention (a varied state of a previous invention, like a better mouse trap). But our society already inherently knows an invention that is obvious to a typical person of ordinary skill in the technology, even if no one has explicitly described or built that particular invention. The Supreme Court addresses this patentability requirement of nonobviousness in cases like Graham v. John Deere Co. or KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc. et al in order to protect our society. The U.S. grants patents only for inventions that add to, not subtract from, what society already knows.
Getting and maintaining a patent costs a significant amount of money. Should an individual inventor with average finances bet the farm on an unproven invention? No. It may be a good idea to file a relatively inexpensive provisional patent application if you think your invention looks good on paper. But before you invest a lot of time and money in a nonprovisional patent application:
  • build a prototype of your invention to make sure your invention works
  • test market your invention to learn whether projected sales will be high enough to satisfy you
  • find out whether excluding a competitor from your market will financially benefit you
  • or, persuade a person or company to buy or license your invention and to pay the patenting costs.
Thank you Mr. Hill for making the long drive from Chicago to share your helpful insights with us!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

August 2008

“To see a world in a grain of sand And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand And eternity in an hour." - William Blake "Auguries of Innocence" An appealing industrial design helps an inventor persuade investors, marketers, and consumers of the value of an invention and convey important details of the invention to design engineers and patent agents/attorneys. Mr. Chris Stuart (of LUUR [a design and visualization firm]; formerly a senior designer for Thomson Consumer Electronics) spoke to us about the steps he takes to help inventors express their inventions visually, fully, and relatively inexpensively, and showed us some impressive examples of his work. 1. Chris first sketches (freehand and using a Wacom tablet) the invention, focusing on concept and form rather than on production. CAD modeling converts the sketch to a two dimensional illustration of the invention, to which forecasted colors are applied. Something as simple as your product’s color can make the difference between winning and losing a sale. 2. He gives the illustration a realistic three dimensional appearance with light rendering using the Rhino software program and the V-Ray rendering engine. This helps make the illustration emotionally appealing to viewers, persuading them to invest in your invention and to buy your product. 3. Chris can create a first prototype of an invention. 4. And he can prepare real art specifications of an invention for a manufacturer. Thank you for your presentation Mr. Stuart!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

June 2008 Summary

Patent attorney Charles Meyer (Woodard, Emhardt, Moriarty, McNett & Henry LLP) led a lively discussion of intellectual property, focusing his insightful and down-to-earth presentation on patents and trademarks. Background Congress may (not must) choose to promote progress of art and technology in the United States by providing us with an intellectual property system (U.S. Constitution article 1, section 8, clause 8). Not all intellectual property contributes to progress, but some, importantly, does. You can protect your creation with a: patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, agreement (confidentiality and noncompete), license and contract, and litigation. The market, not intellectual property, gives your creation monetary value. If no one will buy your product without intellectual property, they won’t buy your product with it. The main purpose of intellectual property is to protect and enhance your product’s market value. A US patent is a property right in an invention that lets the patent owner, for a limited time, exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention in the US, or from importing it into the US. In order to get a patent for your invention, the invention must be useful and significantly different from publicly known inventions, and you must satisfy other procedural requirements. Remember this: if you want a US patent, you have 1 year from the first public disclosure of your invention to apply for a patent; if you want a patent from almost any other country, you must apply for a patent before the first public disclosure. After that 1 year clock runs out, even the best invention in the world is unpatentable. Help avoid starting that clock too soon by using confidentiality (nondisclosure) agreements to keep your invention confidential as you consult others. [Choose consultants you can trust – disclosure made public cannot be made secret again.] A provisional patent application is a confidential, relatively inexpensive, placeholder for a nonprovisional patent application in the examing queue of a patent office. Products disclosed in a filed provisional application may be marked “patent pending” – a benefit of special interest to those who market and sell products that would become outdated in the market before patent office examination of a nonprovisional application could be completed. A trademark protects words, names, symbols, sounds, or colors that:
  • distinguish goods and services from those made or sold by others, and
  • indicate the source of the goods and services.
(Similarly, a trade dress protects an established look - a product’s design, product packaging, color, or other distinguishing nonfunctional element of appearance.) The purpose of a trademark is to avoid buyer confusion, to let a buyer easily identify your product. It can be renewed forever as long as it is used in commerce and enforced (but you can lose a trademark word if the word enters common use; ex. Velcro). Trademark rights are acquired by using a trademark, not by registering it with a government (state or U.S.). Registration merely records your rights, and gives them a specific date. If contested in court, the earliest user of a trademark wins. Current Patent Events Our patent system evolves in response to selective pressures. Courts are trying to relieve the pressure of patent litigation by clarifying the meaning of patent statutes. Some large corporations are pressuring our Congress and our courts to give those corporations a competitive advantage in the patent system over the little guy (individual inventors and innovative small/medium businesses). Because the little guy is responsible for most pioneering inventions, acceding to that pressure could decrease U.S. technological progress. And, because the USPTO has more patent applications than it can timely handle, the USPTO is pressuring patent applicants to assume much of its responsibility for issuing strong patents.
  • Our Congress has been debating during the last few years whether to pass a patent “reform” bill, but will not do so this year. That bill would decrease the ability of a patent owner to enforce a patent and would grant a patent to an inventor who is the first to file a patent application, rather than to an inventor who is the first to invent the invention.
  • The USPTO recently established new rules that would 1) limit the number of applications and number of claims available to an applicant, and 2) impose extra requirements to search for prior art. Judge Cacheris (U. S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia) ruled in April 2008 that the USPTO does not have the authority to make substantive rules (ex. those that alter the rights of inventors to win patents), and he permanently prohibited enforcement of those rules. The USPTO has filed a notice of appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (see the USPTO appeal brief for Tafas v Dudas).
  • The courts have recently changed patent law, and may make more changes soon.
KSR Int'l Co. v. Teleflex Inc. How different from publicly known inventions must your invention be to be patentable? The Supreme Court decided that a patent examiner can reject your claims to an invention if common sense would lead a person of ordinary skill in your technology to make the same invention. This increases the ability of an examiner to prima facie reject claims, because the examiner need not justify the conclusion that an invention results from merely using common sense. [Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical v. Mylan Labs seems to say that this common sense standard applies more to predictable than to unpredictable technologies (like pharmaceuticals).] [A patent application by our own Mr. Robert Brand has received attention lately in connection with the KSR v. Teleflex case. Listen to the CAFC appeal, read the decision, and see the response.] eBay Inc. v. MercExchange and NTP v. Research in Motion How do you enforce your patent? By getting a court to issue an injunction to stop an infringer from infringing. An injunction is how the US government enforces your patent right to exclude others from your invention. The Supreme Court changed patent law, saying that a court need not issue an injunction against a proven infringer. To get an injunction, you must now not only prove infringement, but also show that issuing an injunction is in the interest of justice (something that can amount to a popularity contest in court). This change can allow a court to require you to involuntarily license your patent rights, significantly weakening them. In Re Comiskey and In Re Bilski (pending; In Re Bilski Arguments Audio 1, In Re Bilski Arguments Audio 2, Ex parte Bilski) Should business methods and computer programs remain patentable? An abstract idea (ex. a math equation) is not patentable. An idea made useful and physical (ex. a machine) is patentable. What is the difference between the two? Is information just as real as matter and energy? The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is trying to answer those questions now. Thank you for sharing your insights with us, Mr. Meyer!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

May 2008 Summary

Richard McVicker, a patent illustrator (see some of his drawings at the bottom of the page) and successful inventor (see a list of some of his patents at the bottom of the page), shared with us his insight into how important it is for us to set goals for ourselves. What is a goal? What you expect to accomplish. A result you prepare to achieve with a high degree of certainty. Why set a goal? To invent yourself. Most of all, a goal is personal. The purpose of setting a goal is to create your self-image (how you see yourself), to define who you are, and therefore to determine what you can actually accomplish. Everyone has a potential to accomplish, determined by our physical selves and by our environment. Self-image does not change that potential, but it does greatly affect what you actually do with your potential, how you actually interact with and change yourself, the world, and your relation to the world. A winner is never surprised to win, and a loser is never surprised to lose. If you supervise others, have each person participate in setting a group goal, or persuade each person to accept your goal as their own goal. To overcome fear. Fear can freeze people. Setting goals gives us the security of a solid plan and the power of a clear mind, relaxing us to move freely as we go about doing what we need to do. The habit of setting appropriate goals helps you accomplish useful things, helps you be who you want to be. Don't waste your ability. Goals set too low unnecessarily limit you. Remember the conversation between Alice and the Cheshire Cat: `Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?' `That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat. `I don't much care where--' said Alice. `Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat. `--so long as I get somewhere,' Alice added as an explanation. `Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, `if you only walk long enough.' How can you accomplish your goals? You will almost always achieve a goal that includes these 4 parts: 1. Meaning. Your goal must be personal, a part of you - big, and very significant to you. 2. Emotion. Because your goal matters so much to you, your happiness depends on accomplishing it. Because you will be dissatisfied until you achieve your goal, your emotions will drive you to achieve it. Achieving your goal will be emotionally rewarding. 3. Interaction. Make your goal public. Let others know about your goal so they can help you achieve it. There is strength in numbers. 4. Reality. Make your goal physical. What are the details? a) Believable. You might not have the ability to play golf as well as Tiger Woods, but you can probably learn to putt more effectively. b) Written. Clearly define your goal in physical terms. Identify specific people and materials, and what your specific interactions with them will be. c) Time. Schedule specific times for working on and accomplishing different stages of your goal. Act effectively (move toward something worthwhile, do the right thing) and efficiently (move skillfully, do the thing right). Do the right thing, in the right way, in the right place, at the right time. Thank you for helping us improve our lives, Mr. McVicker!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

April 2008 Summary

Mr. Steven R. Peabody (president of CMI Engineering and holder of several patents) gave us exceptional, valuable, practical, real-world guidance on how to develop an invention into a product. Here is a summary of his detailed method:

1. Prepare an industrial design.

Once you feel you have a marketable invention:

a) sign a mutual nondisclosure agreement

b) describe your invention to someone (industrial designer, engineer, draftsman) who can give your idea:

  • an understandable format (such as an industrial design). Show this to your engineers, marketers, and patent lawyers/agents.
  • if the invention is complex, an animated illustration to show how the product works.

2. Consider filing a patent application.

To get legal rights for your invention. Now, or after doing the marketability study of step 4.

3. Have an engineering firm precisely design your invention.

So you can manufacture products.

a) Choose a firm that is familiar with a broad range of products, designs (typically with a computer aided drafting (CAD) program) for inventors, and develops products.

b) Create a prototype of your invention. To verify that parts fit and that the invention works.

4. Do market research.

To find out if people will buy your invention.

Use a resource such as the University of Wisconsin Innovation Service Center (Sandra Beccue, marketing research manager).

5. Find out how much money you need to bring your invention to market.

Get itemized price quotes for:

a) Manufacturing and assembly.

Take your engineering files from step 3 to a manufacturer. Your engineers, a contract manufacturer, or Alibaba may be able to help you with this. A manufacturer should assign a product manager to help ensure that your product has the correct specifications and satisfies testing requirements. Use a factory that already complies with your testing requirements, audits, and quality control procedures, so you can share testing costs with other companies using the factory and so you can be sure your product satisfies test standards.

Consider using assembly shops such as Goodwill Industries.

b) Testing (if your product must be tested).

Use a testing lab certified for the industry through which you plan to market your product.

Also, get a copy of relevant test standards, find out when your product can be tested, and get an itemized price quote for product liability insurance.

c) Packaging (including tooling and set up charges).

Different industries have different requirements.

Find a packaging house that can work well with your marketing team to package your product correctly and with your manufacturer to coordinate packaging for final assembly.

d) Distribution and warehousing.

Consider using a fulfillment house (such as Millenium Group) that offers a complete system of distribution and fulfillment - inventory, warehousing, distribution, a full line of required reports, situated in strategic parts of the country.

e) Marketing.

Find a good marketing firm that has experience with your market segment and that can do PR work. Your marketing research report from step 4 will help the firm understand your market.

f) Accounting.

Find an accountant who can provide complete service: balance sheets, income statements, monthly reports, profit and loss data, general data that helps you manage your time, keeps you compliant with the IRS and with your bank, connects you with those who can finance your work.

6. Now that you know how much money you need and the details of what you will do, write a business plan.

SCORE can help.

7. Get the money you need from:

a) Banks.

SBA loans are good. Banks usually do not fund a start up company unless it has equity. A bank will want to see your business plan and a list of your assets.

b) Individual investors.

Show them your business plan. For large investments you will also need a registered private placement memorandum (PPM).

c) Angel investors and venture capitalists.

Realize that their terms may not favor you.

8. Hire:

a) Manufacturers, assembly shops, and a testing lab.

b) A packaging house.

c) A fulfillment house.

d) A marketing firm.

e) An accountant.

While you are doing all this, think about how to sell your product. Ideally, a buyer would give you a purchase order for your product before you hire a manufacturer.

Thank you for this very helpful presentation, Mr. Peabody!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

March 2008 Summary

Despite inclement weather, 6 brave attendees received valuable advice on early stage innovation from inventors Ron Jackson and Richard McVicker. Before investing a lot of money in an invention:
  • Test the invention and its market.
    • Build a prototype of your invention and test it in the real world. Find out what the prototype's flaws are, so you can correct them and make the invention more marketable.
    • Test market your invention to find out who might actually buy it. Are potential customers excited enough about your invention to pay for it? How much will they pay? How many will pay? Are expected sales large enough to justify your investment of time, energy, and resources?
    • Find out who can manufacture your invention and at what cost. Can you sell your invention for a price high enough to pay for manufacturing and shipping and still make a profit? Look in stores to identify products similar to yours and contact the manufacturer for more information.
    • Find out who can help sell your invention. A good ally might be an established business whose products complement your own. For example, if using your invention requires a customer to purchase a different item, a business selling that item might be willing to sell your invention. Look for those win-win situations.
  • Identify your degree of commitment to innovation.
    • Does the thought of innovating excite you enough to get you out of bed in the morning? Innovation is a lot of work and there is no guarantee of success. Don't invest your money in innovation unless you are willing to see it through to the end - good or bad.
  • Go ahead and file a provisional patent application if you think someone else might do the same.
    • But wait until you have evaluated the potential profitability of your invention before continuing with a significantly more expensive nonprovisional patent application.
    • Filing a provisional patent application for an invention gives you a 1 year reservation within which to file a nonprovisional application for that invention. Use that year to evaluate potential profitability.
Consider attending these Indiana Inventors Association meetings monthly. Innovation is a complex process that can't be learned overnight. Practical insights into different aspects of innovation are provided at different meetings. We all hope for better traveling conditions in April. See you then!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

February 2008 Summary

Ms. Nikki Lewallen (Rainmakers Director of Membership Development) introduced us to Rainmakers, an organization dedicated to helping people establish strategic business relationships. Rainmakers helps inventors (among others) succeed by presenting informative business programs and by helping members meet those who can help them. The effectiveness of Rainmakers is evident from its rapid growth in membership - doubling every year (since its founding 5 years ago by Tony Scelzo) to 1200 members today. Through its philosophy of winning and putting others first, Rainmakers:
  • S - creates Strategic relationships
  • H - creates a culture of Hospitality
  • A - has members hold each other Accountable to a higher standard
  • R - is always Recruiting new members
  • E - Encourages and inspires members to achieve their goals
How does it work?
  1. Sharpen your focus. Create a message that identifies, as specifically as possible, what you need and who you want to meet.
  2. Find your power circle. Attend a meeting and introduce yourself to a meeting organizer (someone wearing blue beads). Based on your focus, the organizer will help you find people (at that meeting and at meetings held in other locations) you can work with to solve your business problems. For example, a photographer and a baker may collaborate to promote weddings or anniversary celebrations.
  3. Establish relationships; don't sell. You want referrals from a lasting business relationship.
  4. Understand your target market. You and your closest competitor may want to specialize within a market so that you both benefit.
  5. Get personal. Get to know those in your power circle by sharing recreational activities.
  6. Customer service. Do your best in all work referred to you - reputations (yours and the referrer's) depend on it.
  7. Continue promising relationships. After the meeting, call someone with whom you would like to collaborate, and set up a meeting. Even though it may be months before you can collaborate, be patient and stay in contact.
Rainmakers offers several meetings each month in a variety of locations throughout Indiana, with at least 40 members attending each meeting. Members at each meeting have varied interests - inventors, business people, attorneys, job seekers, etc. Membership requires a $95 initiation fee and either $35 per month or $449 per year. Although face to face networking is often most effective, we can also benefit from online business networking sites such as LinkedIn, NotchUp, Hoovers Connect, Ryze, and Smaller Indiana. We sincerely thank Ms. Lewallen for informing us about this valuable tool for success.

Monday, February 4, 2008

December 2007 Summary

Dr. Mileta Tomovic (of Purdue University's Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology) and graduate students Tamara Novakov and Jui Shyang Liu introduced us to the fascinating technology of rapid prototyping, which creates a prototype model of an invention rapidly (2 – 7 hours) and inexpensively. They have generously made the slides of their presentation accessible.

Embodying your inventive idea in a physical model can help you:

  • visually communicate your invention to investors, colleagues, and customers
  • optimize your invention before manufacture
  • test market your invention on a small scale
  • establish an invention date for your patent application
  • reverse engineer someone else's invention.

One form of rapid prototyping (known as material addition, additive fabrication, three dimensional printing, solid free-form fabrication, layered manufacturing, or computer automated manufacturing) uses a machine, and a description of your invention as Computer-Aided Design (CAD) data, to build a physical model of your invention.

The basic rapid prototyping process has 5 steps:

  1. create a CAD model of your design
  2. convert it to STL format (a format, native to stereolithography CAD software, which represents a 3-D surface of your invention as an assembly of planar triangles)
  3. slice the STL file into thin cross-sectional layers (a pre-processing program adjusts the size, location and orientation of the CAD model to correspond to the physical model you want)
  4. build the physical prototype model in layers (a machine, using one of several techniques, builds your model one layer at a time from polymers, paper, or powdered metal)
  5. clean and finish the model (remove the prototype from the printer, detach any supports, cure photosensitive materials, and sand, seal, or paint the model to improve its appearance and durability).

You can build a physical model of your invention from one of several different kinds of layers (each with its own advantages and disadvantages):

  • Liquid
    • polymer, electroset fluid, or molten material
  • Particles
    • fused by laser, or joined with a binder
  • Sheets
    • bonded with adhesive, or with light
Particular techniques used to form those layers include:
  • solidification of a resin via electromagnetic radiation
  • stereolithography
  • fused deposit modeling
  • selective laser sintering
  • 3-D printing
  • laser engineered net shaping
  • laminated object manufacturing
  • polyjet modeling

If you would like to apply rapid prototyping to your invention, consider contacting Randy Hountz of Purdue University’s Technical Assistance Program (TAP). TAP and the Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology help individuals and small companies that can’t afford a technical staff. Your first 40 hours of assistance with rapid prototyping are free. Available equipment includes the Optomec LENS 750, Zcorp Spectrum Z510, Prometal Z1, and Objet –Eden 350V.

Want to learn more? Try MIT's free OpenCourseWare Engineering Design and Rapid Prototyping.

We are most grateful to Dr. Tomovic and his students for their very interesting presentation.

Patent Drawings by Richard McVicker

Some inventions patented by our members:

Bob Brand
3,179,907 Tuning system for television receivers
3,219,933 Television tuner switching system
3,241,072 Tuning control system
3,538,466 Television tuner cast housing with integrally cast transmission lines
4,503,740 Optical cutting edge locator for a cutting apparatus
4,503,896 Dog system for veneer slicer
4,601,317 Veneer slicing system
5,511,598 Veneer-slicer with remotely controllable blade angle adjustment
5,562,137 Method and apparatus for retaining a flitch for cutting
5,590,700 Vacuum flitch table with self-cleaning vacuum valve
5,678,619 Method and apparatus for cutting veneer from a tapered flitch
5,680,887 Veneer slicer with timing belt
5,694,995 Method and apparatus for preparing a flitch for cutting
5,701,938 Method and apparatus for retaining a flitch for cutting
5,819,828 Method and apparatus for preparing a flitch for cutting
5,868,187 Method and apparatus for retaining a flitch for cutting
7,395,843 Method and apparatus for retaining a flitch for cutting
7,552,750 Method and apparatus for cutting veneer sheets from a flitch

Kenton Brett
6023685 Computer controlled event ticket auctioning system
6704713 Computer controlled event ticket auctioning system
6907405 Computer controlled priority right auctioning system
7647269 Computer-based right distribution system with reserve pricing
7698210 Computer-based right distribution system
7720746 Computer-based right distribution system with password protection
7747507 Computer controlled auction system
7769673 Computer-based right distribution system with request reallocation
7992631 System and method for seasonal energy storage
8073765 Computer-based right distribution system with password protection
8128407 Method and system for teaching math
8538856 Computer-based right distribution system
8732033 Computer-based right distribution system with temporal variation
9614733 Methods and systems for reducing burst usage of a networked computer system
9900220 Methods and systems for reducing burst usage of a networked computer system

Rick Hanson
6,240,579 Unitary pedal control of brake and fifth wheel deployment via side and end articulation with additional unitary pedal control of height of patient support
6,253,397 Deployable siderails for a wheeled carriage
6,256,812 Wheeled carriage having auxiliary wheel spaced from center of gravity of wheeled base and cam apparatus controlling deployment of auxiliary wheel and deployable side rails for the wheeled carriage
6,264,006 Brake for castered wheels
6,507,964 Surgical table
D474,446 Sterilizable battery component

Bob Humbert
4,281,368 Keyhole illuminating apparatus

Ron Jackson
4,886,110 HVAC zone control system
4,943,039 Adjustable clamp
4,987,409 Level sensor and alarm
5,132,669 Level sensor with alarm
5,381,989 Adjustable spring clamp
5,944,098 Zone control for HVAC system
6,145,752 Temperature monitoring and control system
6,322,443 Duct supported booster fan
D347,596 Audible security alarm
D376,747 Door security device
Jerry McQuinn
D689,343 Universal Nutcracker

Richard McVicker
3,261,937 Three position snap switch utilizing interference blade means
3,319,477 Timer Escapement
3,332,704 Manually propelled treadmill vehicle
4,625,616 Thumb pick
6,309,076 Light barrier, screen or reflector
D240,237 Sculpture or the like
D356,653 Yard light
8389839 Thumb pick

Bill Pangburn
5,943,831 Device for Hauling Objects

Al Robbins
3,882,960 Ride quality control for surface effects craft
3,946,689 Air dynamo pressure regulation and modulation device for surface effect ships and air cushion vehicles
6,588,702 Lighter-than-air device having a flexible usable surface

Matt Thie
4,940,162 Rolled coin dispenser
4,844,446 Multiple-compartment currency stacker-sorter
4,940,162 Rolled coin dispenser
7,298,280 Lighted fluid flow indication apparatus
7,617,826 Conserver
8146592 Method and apparatus for regulating fluid flow or conserving fluid flow
8230859 Method and apparatus for regulating fluid

Richard Tucker
5,833,751 Powder coating booth having smooth internal surfaces
6,840,367 Material handling and manufacturing system and method
6,976,835 Manufacturing system and process
7,018,579 Manufacturing system and process

Don Walls
D707090 Torque key lever
RE36209 Door lock apparatus

Dave Zedonis
5,637,926 Battery powered electronic assembly for wheel attachment

Patent Document of the Month

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