Category Archives: Edison Nation In The News

Patent Reform Inventor Coalition

Guest Post by Eric Huber


As innovators, you’ve likely heard about a new bill the Senate is considering aimed at fighting against patent trolls. If you’re not familiar with what a patent troll is, this is a common term for companies who purchase patents with no plans to produce actual products. Instead, they purchase them with the goal of gaining license fees and royalties from other companies. The effort to end this problem at its root is a noble one, but the issue with this particular bill is that it may have adverse consequences for true inventors — especially independent inventors like us.

Edison Nation’s CEO, Louis Foreman, wanted to make sure the Senate took time to hear from the inventors who may be affected, and I had the pleasure of being invited as one of those inventors, along with Christopher Hawker (owner of Trident Designs and a friend of EN). What an experience it was being part of this inventor coalition with Louis!

We spent April 2 and 3 in Washington, DC and met with the staff of about 25 Senators over the two days. Our objective was to both put a face on those millions of inventor/innovators and to “educate” them on the unintended consequences of components of the pending patent legislation.


Louis Foreman and a couple of us heading to Senator Reid’s office in the Capitol

In addition, our goal was to slow down the turbo pace the legislation is moving through the Senate after passing the House in only 5 weeks. We hope for at least a delay that would afford more time for all affected parties to coalesce and be heard. The issues in the legislation that are of concern include…

  • Fee Shifting (loser pays other’s costs)
  • Customer Stay (limiting which infringers can be targeted)
  • Demand Letters (regulating demand letters of infringers)
  • Post Grant review Estoppel change (leading to ability of infringers to prolong the legal process)
  • …and others that are well articulated in a variety of letters and position papers such as this one and this one.

Louis hosted a panel discussion luncheon where we, again, wanted to put a face to the inventor community and bring attention to how this legislation, in its current form, will weaken intellectual property rights and curb innovation.


Me with Warren Tuttle (President of UIA) at our panel discussion luncheon

In attendance at the luncheon was the Congressman from California, Dana Rohrabacher. He has been a huge champion of a strong patent system. He had a lot of passion (and frustration) for what is being pushed through. Upon his leaving he invited all of us out to dinner.


At the dinner with my congressman Dana Rohrabacher

The inventors, Louis and Charlie Sauer were joined by the senior Republican congressman from California and his press secretary; a sophomore Republican congressman from Alabama and his wife; and a senior Democrat congresswoman from Ohio. At this dinner we discussed the issues and used the opportunity to discuss ways of moving forward. At the end of the night, Congressman Rohrabacher invited us to his office the following morning.


Invention and politics at the local Chinese food restaurant 

Thursday morning, we all met at the Congressman’s office to talk more about the subject. In addition, we chatted about his time as a Reagan speech writer, his time with the Afghan freedom fighters and surfing.

Louis and Congressman Rohrabacher

As a Californian, he is my Representative and lives near me, so I invited him to my garage workshop and “man cave”… he accepted.

In addition to all the meetings and events, Chris and I were interviewed by the media. We were approached by a writer with Bloomberg’s Washington Bureau who has been on the patent beat for 13 years. She wanted to chat with us for background on the patent legislation and to better understand the effects of this legislation from our perspective. It was a very interesting and frank 2-hour conversation.

As you can see, it was definitely an exciting and eventful two days that we hope will prove to be beneficial. If you’d like to get involved or stay informed about this legislation, visit this forum thread I’ve created to find out what you can do!

The Story Behind the Gyro Bowl

If you’ve been around this community long enough, you’re likely very familiar with EN inventors Brad and Melinda Shepard, and their top-selling product, the Gyro Bowl – but do you know the entire story?

Brad and Melinda

Brad and Melinda were recently featured in the Huffington Post, where they shared their journey of inventing the Gyro Bowl, from messy crackers to millions of sales. Read the full Huffington Post article.

New Product Ventures from Edison Nation

Innovation isn’t just our business, it’s our passion. It’s the mission of our in-house team to do exceptional work that takes your ideas from concepts to market-ready products. Occasionally that same work is noticed by companies who want to collaborate with us and/or members of our team.

As a result, over the past several months, we’ve been working on a few new products (and taking on some new product categories!) and we’re excited to share two of them with you today. We hope you’ll not only head over and show us some social media love, but possibly give these products a try!

When we saw the science behind Stemage, we knew this was a venture we couldn’t pass up. We’ve partnered with world-renowned surgeon and cellular biologist, Dr. David Scharp, on his remarkable formula, as well as an amazing team at kathy ireland World Wide to bring this new skincare line to market. We hope you’ll come like us on the Stemage Facebook page.

Be on the lookout for an email with an exclusive Stemage coupon code just for EN members!


Hot Huez
Our team is always tracking the latest consumer product trends. One of the most recent fashion trends amongst teens and young adults is the application of temporary colored hair chalk. It might be the fastest way to achieve a high fashion makeover but everybody had the same complaint: “it’s too messy to put on.” We knew if we could make the application process cleaner and easier, we’d have a hit on our hands. Our industrial designers dove right into the problem and created an ingenious solution that takes hair chalking to the next level.

Hot Huez is now available at Rite Aid and Walmart stores nationwide! Bed Bath & Beyond, Kmart, and Walgreens are slated to follow in June. Please support Hot Huez with a like on the Hot Huez Facebook page.


Small Business Breakthrough: Help your favorite business grow!


During the month of May, Edison Nation is proud to participate in The Small Business Breakthrough, a national movement to promote small businesses so they can amplify their word of mouth marketing and grow.

We’re participating in this movement with other like-minded businesses because we know that small business is the lifeblood of the American economy. When small businesses grow, we all win.

Please join us in promoting small businesses by visiting The Small Business Breakthrough website and nominating your favorite small businesses to win some fantastic prizes (including a free Edison Nation Insider membership), and then by sharing that nomination with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, or email. Be sure to use hashtag #SBBreakthru.

Thank you for helping us support small businesses!

Betsy Kaufman Talks Eggies and Edison Nation on The Jeff Probst Show

Did you miss Betsy Kaufman on Wednesday’s episode of The Jeff Probst Show? See the Eggies® inventor discuss working with Edison Nation to launch her big idea in the clip below:

From the “Moms with Million Dollar Ideas” segment

Read even more about Betsy’s Eggies story from submitting the idea to seeing it on store shelves.

NC Students: Win Prize Money and a Consultation with Louis Foreman

NC State University’s Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) is gearing up for its third annual Prize for Innovation challenge, and this year we’re thrilled to be a part of it! The challenge will encourage high school and college students from across North Carolina to work collaboratively to come up with an innovation, product or tool that will benefit their community.

The winning teams will receive $5,000 toward their product’s development AND a consultation with our CEO, Louis Foreman. There will also be a $1,000 prize for finalists in each age group.

Important dates to remember:

  • November 16 – Applications are due
  • December 3 - Finalists will be announced
  • Early February - A public vote will determine the winners
  • February 11-12, 2013 – The two winning teams (one from each age category) will be announced at IEI’s 28th Annual Emerging Issues Forum

To learn more or apply for the challenge, visit the Prize for Innovation website.

Vote for the Enventys/Edison Nation team in the Red Bull Creation Challenge

When Red Bull put out a call for inventors to go head-to-head in a “hack-and-make-a-thon” for a chance to win $5,000 and a trip to the World Maker Faire in New York City — our engineering and design teams decided to answer the call!

Team “Designated Drinkers” entered the “Bullduino” opening round of the 2012 Red Bull Creation with a unique party desk concept, and was named one of 12 finalists to qualify for a 72 hour build-off, which ran from July 19 at 9 p.m. until July 22 at 9 p.m.

The team received the theme for the build-off (“Game of Games”) only moments before the build-off began, then were tasked with creating a concept in the allotted time, all while streaming their process live on the web. During their 72-hours of brainstorming, making, breaking (and drinking lots of Red Bull and beer), the Designated Drinkers emerged with a finished product — “Fools Ball.”

Now, it’s up to the public to vote and decide which teams are named the winners, and we need your help. Below, check out the short video to see how Fools Ball works, then follow the instructions to vote!

Note: You must have a Facebook account to vote.

1. Go to the Designated Drinkers team page
2. Click the orange “vote” button
3. Allow the pop up and log into Facebook
4. Click “Go to App”
5. Re-click the “vote” button

The Edison Nation team and “Designated Drinkers” appreciate your support!

Introducing Edison Nation Medical!

New medical innovation platform, Edison Nation Medical

We are pleased to finally share with you an initiative that has been in the works for quite some time. Our team here at Edison Nation has joined forces with the Charlotte, N.C.-based health care organization, Carolinas HealthCare System, to form an all-new innovation platform and online community known as Edison Nation Medical.

Following the model of, Edison Nation Medical will partner with leading health care manufacturers, retailers and distributors to discover and license new innovations focused specifically within the medical field. The goal will be to help expedite innovations within this sector that ultimately improve patient care, create operational efficiencies and lower costs without sacrificing the quality of care that patients deserve.  Edison Nation Medical’s online portal will be the source for doctors, nurses, administrators, patients and everyday people who have a great idea and want to see that innovation commercialized.

To learn more about this exciting new platform for health care innovators — or to sign up for a free account, visit You can also connect with Edison Nation Medical on Twitter @ENMedical.

Congrats to the FIRST® LEGO® League Global Innovation Award Winners!

This year, Edison Nation had the pleasure of serving as the “Go-To-Market Sponsor” for the FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) 2012 Global Innovation Award, which took place Tuesday, June 19. The challenge encouraged the participating FLL student teams to come up with an invention idea that promotes food safety.

With several great ideas to choose from, the ceremony concluded with TWO teams being named winners:  Moderately Confused for their “Erasable Barcode” and S.I.S. Robotic Revolution for their “Smart Sticker”! As their prize, the teams will receive up to $250,000 in development services from our crew here at Edison Nation, along with the opportunity to appear on Season 5 of Everyday Edisons. Congratulations both of the winning teams! We can’t wait to help bring these great product ideas to market!