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, June 27, 2018

June 2018


Need help with product development?  Troy Mason (president, CEO, Impulse Product Development) has some good advice.

It’s hard to develop a popular product.  Start by setting a realistic goal for your invention.

Before your spend a lot of time and effort bringing your product to market, do some high quality customer research to see if forecasted sales meet your needs.  Your product might become a best-seller, but there won’t be one in every household.

Product development doesn’t start with a prototype.  Maybe you will eventually need a physical prototype, maybe you won’t.  The essence of some products can be displayed in a drawing or virtual prototype.  If you need a prototype, especially to test your product’s function as its design evolves, realize that the first prototype is never the last.  Professional help with prototyping is available, for example at Realize, Inc.

Product development can be expensive.  Before you decide to develop a product, estimate the total cost of doing so to see if you can afford it.  Mr. Mason’s company charges $150 per hour for design.  A patent typically costs at least $10,000.

If you decide that you need a patent, file a nonprovisional patent application only after you have a good idea of what your marketed product will be.  The general design of the product should be final, but you don’t need to know all of the details (amendment or addition of a picture claim in a well-written application during patent prosecution can take care of that).  In the meantime, filing one or more provisional patent applications can help secure your place as the first inventor-to-file (a requirement for getting a patent).  Remember that if a product developer (such as Mr. Mason) invents a claimed feature of your invention, your patent application must list the developer as an inventor.  (Inventing means thinking of something new and nonobvious that is beyond the ordinary skill of someone working in the technology of your invention.)

Spend at least half of your time and effort on learning how business works.  How will your product fit into the market?  Which business partners will you need?  Will bringing your invention to market be profitable?  Inventing is only a small part of innovating.

Thank you for sharing your expertise with us, Mr. Mason!

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

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
4,844,446 Multiple-compartment currency stacker-sorter
4,940,162 Rolled coin dispenser
7,298,280 Lighted fluid flow indication apparatus
7,617,826 Conserver

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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