Category Archives: Edison Nation

ProtoTYPING: Six Things You Didn’t Know You Can 3D Print

3D systems printer

3D printers are crucial to most successful product development projects. They can make strong parts in just hours, and can build parts over night while designers and engineers rest. While it is obvious that 3D prints are well suited to making prototype parts for consumer products made of plastic, there are a few other applications and materials that are lesser known.

Here are a few things that you may not have realized you could make with a 3D printer:

 

3D Print Metal

While consumer level printers primarily print plastics, there are professional machines that can make 3D prints from metal. Most consumer 3D printers work by driving plastic filament through a heated head that melts the plastic as the print head moves to form the object. They are basically a motorized hot glue gun. This is easy to do with the relatively low melt temperatures of PLA and ABS, but there are significant technology hurdles to doing this with molten metal. So, most metal 3D printers use a process called direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) which uses a laser to melt a fine metal powder to create the layers. DMLS is available with a variety of materials including aluminum, bronze, stainless steel and titanium, and is able to produce parts that are over 99% as dense as an equivalent volume of billet material. While the process can be pricey, small parts like jewelry or small gears with low material volume can be printed through many 3D printing services for reasonable prices.

 

3D printing metal

A batch of DMLS metal parts from PRweb.com.

 

 

3D Print Fetuses and Baby Bumps

It is now possible to get 3D prints of your unborn child from ultra sound data. Traditional ultrasounds emit high frequency sound waves into the womb and the reflected sound data is converted into an image. The waves are emitted in a plane, so the image is 2 dimensional. However, 3D ultrasounds emit the sound waves at different angles and a computer algorithm triangulates the reflections to create an image that looks 3D. These have been around for while, but recently a firm called 3D Babies has created a site where you can upload the 3D ultrasound data and order a 3D print of it. You can pick your position, skin color, and one of two sizes, and they will send it to you in a wooden box.

3D babies

3D printed fetuses from 3d-babies.com

 

Another way to capture the magic of pregnancy is to 3D scan and print the pregnant belly. Many pregnant women take selfies at weekly intervals during pregnancy, and 3D scanning is a natural extension and a lot less creepy than ultrasound imaging. I did this while my partner, Kerry, was pregnant just a couple of months ago. I used a 3D Systems Sense scanner and scanned her belly. Then I did some light editing in the Sense software and made a 3D print on my Printrbot.

3D scan pregnant belly

A 3D printable scan of my partner Kerry’s bump just before my daughter, Ivy, was born

 

 

3D Print Medical Devices and Implants

The applications of 3D printing for in the medical field are growing every week as doctors are finding new ways of applying the technology. Dentists have been using 3D technology for years to make retainers and other orthodontia. However, 3D printing is being used more and more for implantable devices to make complicated surgeries easier. Recently doctors in China did a vertebrae replacement surgery with 3D printed titanium parts. The patients damaged vertebrae was scanned and the doctors were able to design a custom replacement that matched up perfectly to the undamaged part of the spine. There are also many applications for wearable 3D printed medical devices like custom scoliosis braces and wrist guards.

back brace 3d print

Custom scoliosis brace printed by 3D Systems

 

 

3D Print Clothes

Wearables are another high growth category in 3D printing. Most of the innovation in the space is being driven by fashion designers. As they learn the technology and its capabilities, they are coming up with new ways to improve the form, fit, and feel of 3D printed garments. One of the most innovative clothing designs is the Kinematics dress that was created by Nervous System in Massachusetts. The dress features thousands of interlocking plastic 3D print pieces snapped together. The result is a garment the flows and moves with the body like a fabric.

fashion 3D printing

Kinematics Dress from Nervous (n-e-r-v-o-u-s.com)

 

 

3D Print Camera Gear

Just about every hobby that requires equipment can be enhanced with 3D printing. Photography is very gear-centric and there are plenty of ways to enhance your photography capability with 3D printing. With the popularity of DSLR video on the rise, there are a lot of 3D printed parts to help. There are microphone stands, panning dollies and even shoulder rigs that can be built from a mixture of 3D printed and aluminum parts. While these are interesting, my favorite camera accessory to print is a bokeh filter. Bokeh is the intentionally out of focus background of photos with a narrow depth of field. Normally the shape of the bokeh is circular or slightly polygonal due to the shape that the aperture blades make when they come together. However, the shape of the bokeh can be changed by adding a filter to the front of the lens and can create some cool effects. I made a heart shaped bokeh filter 3D print on my Cube 2 printer and took a picture of a batch of roll of Christmas lights to show the effect.

bokeh photograph Bokeh camera

 

 

3D Print Yourself

Printing products and parts is neat, but it is also possible to create personalized prints of you, or your friends and family. One of the coolest ways to do it is the 3DMe service from Cubify.com, which allows you to put your face on a number of different bodies including sports stars, Ghostbusters, Star Trek and even brides or grooms. All you do is upload photo of a face, choose the body, and they print the model for you.

3D print yourself

The world of 3D printing is ever-changing. There are many different types of printers, technologies and new applications being created for them every day. Some require high end machines and professional grade equipment, but there are some neat things that can be done with a commercial grade printer or ordered through a printing service. Hopefully these techniques inspire your next 3D printed project.

 


 

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Inventing 101: A Lesson on Public Disclosure

Welcome back!  I hope you enjoyed my last post on the most common types of patents.  This month, the focus is on public disclosure and how it affects your patent rights as an inventor.

A a reminder, my name is Katie Foss and I am the legal counsel here at Edison Nation and I’m contributing this monthly series to help navigate the tricky road of intellectual property and patent law. At Edison Nation, intellectual property is a cornerstone of our business model and we take extensive measures to ensure that your idea, from the moment it is submitted until it is licensed, is kept secure and private, at no additional cost to you.

Public Disclosure is exactly what it sounds like: the making public of a concept or invention. Unintentional public disclosure is one of the greatest threat to inventors.  Disclosures to close friends and family members will generally not count as public disclosure, however posting your invention online or showing it at a trade show is a different story.  Some inventors use the internet to help promote sales of their invention or to seek investors.  While this can be a great way to boost sales or take a small business to the next level, the inventor must be aware that online sharing photos, videos, or even basic descriptions of an invention can create a bar to patent protection.


patent help
 

Public disclosure can easily occur without an inventor even being aware.  An excited inventor could speak too loudly in public and a third party could overhear, thus constituting public disclosure. In another example, an inventor might show a prototype to someone at a manufacturing plant in an attempt to determine tooling costs. This too could be a public disclosure.

 

Why is public disclosure such a big deal?

Public disclosure is important because, in short,  the USPTO will not issue a patent for an invention that has prior art.  Prior art may be an existing patent or published application, or it may be a photo of an invention that was posted online prior to a patent application being filed.  An inventor’s prior patent application or unintentional public disclosure can be prior art against a later application.  Many inventors believe that ownership of potential prior art has some bearing on whether or not it is used against them, however the USPTO does not concern itself with this.  Prior art is prior art, regardless of the source.

 

So what can YOU do to protect your invention and avoid public disclosure? 

Be mindful of where, and with whom, you are sharing your idea.  While U.S. patent law offers a sort of “grace period” to allow an inventor time to file for patent protection after a public disclosure has been made, it is always best to file some form of patent application PRIOR to any public disclosure.  A provisional patent application is an inexpensive means of gaining a priority date, which we will discuss at length in next month’s post. 

If you are not yet ready to file for patent protection, a simple Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) can allow you to share proprietary information with potential licensing partners, suppliers, manufacturers, or other third parties without it constituting public disclosure.  There are countless NDAs available online that can be easily found and customized to meet your needs.  Any legitimate company will be well versed in executing NDAs and should fully understand your need for confidentiality.  A disclosure made under an NDA is not considered a public disclosure. 


public disclosurepublic disclosure
 

As always, there is no substitute for patent counsel when it comes to knowing and protecting your IP rights.  While this is often a major expense for most inventors, the fact remains that their experience and expertise make them uniquely qualified to provide guidance on these issues.


I hope you have found this information useful, and I look forward to discussing Priority Claims and how they affect your patent rights in next month’s installment. Until then, Happy Inventing!

 

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15 Inventions Every Parent Should Own

Parenting can be stressful. Whether you’re dealing with bath time, monsters in the closet or messy meals, there are a number of things that can add unnecessary challenges to your day. Lucky for you, and parents everywhere, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite 15 inventions (some invented by Edison Nation members!) to help make life easier for you and happier for your little one.

Here’s a round up of 15 inventions every parent should own:

1. SlumberSling Car Seat Headrest

parent inventions
Image Credit: Ashandalysbabes.com

Don’t let heavy heads keep you from a peaceful car ride.

 

2. Baby Mop Onesie

parent inventions
Image Credit: Betterthanpants.com

Saving you time and money, one inch at a time.

 

3. Baby Shower Cap Visor

Baby shower cap
Image Credit: Likecool.com

Say bye bye to shampoo tears with this cute and clever device.

 

4. iPotty 2-in-1 Activity Seat

parent inventions
Image Credit: Amazon.com

For suggested use with “Angry Turds” game app.

 

5. Gyro Bowl No-Spill Bowl

parent inventions
Image Credit: Edisonnation.com

Spins and spins and stuff stays in. Does this invention look familiar? ;)

 

6. Lay N’ Go Swoop Storage

parent inventions
Image Credit: Amazon.com

Activity mat, cleanup, storage and carry-all solution in one.

 

7. Ba Baby Bottle Holder

parenting invention
Image Credit: Amazon.com

The perfect solution for tiny hands. Female model not included.

 

8. Squirt Baby Food Dispensing Spoon

Squirt baby food dispensing spoon
Image Credit: Boon.com

Easy, one-handed feeding, especially in a suit. Male model not included.

 

9. Lobster Clip-On Travel High Chair

parenting inventions
Image Credit: Philandteds.com

Have lobster at the dinner table wherever you go.

 

10. Roller Buggy Stroller Scooter

parenting inventions
Image Credit: Gizmag.com

Good idea in theory, probably not in reality.

 

11. Bunch O Balloons

parent inventions
Image Credit: Kickstarter.com

Birthday party prep made easy.

 

12. Sleepy Wings Infant Slumber Wear

parenting inventions
Image Credit: Amazon.com

Designed to mimic the swaddling method of wrapping. Also turns your child into a human butterfly.

 

13. Filip Smart Watch Child Locator

parenting inventions
Image Credit: Gizmag.com

The latest in wearable microfashion.

 

14. The Joey Hoodie Baby Carrier

parenting inventions
Image Credit: Flickr.com

Who says you can’t be comfortable and carry your child?

 

15. Keep it Klean Pacifier

parenting inventions
Image Credit: Myrazbabyr.com

Automatically closes when dropped or thrown.

 

Do you have any handy parenting inventions or gadgets that make life for you and your child easier? Do you already own any of these products? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Do you have a parenting invention idea?

inventors

 


 

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protoTYPING: How Having a Kid Is Kind of Like Product Development

On February 17th my second child (and second daughter), Ivy, was born. She came out a perfect blonde haired, healthy, 8 lb ball of love. Her first few weeks on Earth have (mostly) been a delight. My partner Kerry was a total champ, birthing her naturally and without any pain medication. The labor and delivery process was fascinating to witness and I was happy to be able to be in the room to help her through it.

JeremyGetting it done in the laboring suite.

Once Ivy was safely out of womb and the excitement started to dissipate, I started to think that having a kid has a lot of similarities to product development. It is pretty obvious that the uterus is the best 3D printer in town, but there are plenty of other similarities too.

Here are some ways that product development and having a child are strikingly similar:

 

You never know what it’s going to look like

While you can look at photos of parents-to-be and mentally average their features to try and guess what a baby will look like, sometimes you get some surprises. Genes can combine in some strange ways and recessive traits from prior generations can reemerge. My mom has dark curly hair, which you would assume would be a dominant trait, yet I ended up blonde. You can barely tell we are related.

Product development is no different. In the early stages of the development process, the focus is on proving that an idea works. Features and functionality can get added and dropped throughout the process. Only in the later stages does it become clear what form the final product will be. When Taylor Hayden had the idea for a wine aerating blender, he had no idea that he would end up with the Wine Shark. While looking at a series of industrial design sketches during one of our meetings he was drawn to some wavy marine forms. He thought one of them looked like it had a shark fin and the rest was history.

product design

The Wine Shark ideation sketch compared to the beta prototype.

It helps to work with someone with experience

Birthing a baby is a pretty intimidating experience. Many women get help from family members, a midwife or a doula during labor. We had a doula for the birth of both of our children and they were a great help for both Kerry and I. Our doulas had witnessed all types of births and worked with many moms, and they knew just what to do help Kerry have the most pleasant birth experience possible.

Many inventors toil in isolation trying to bring their invention ideas to life. Some have success, but it can take years and the path may be wrought with frustration. It is often helpful to find a mentor that can help you to navigate the different stages of product development to keep the project on track, and Edison Nation is a great resource to find mentoring. The Edison Nation community has many experienced members that have been through the whole process from idea to licensing deal, and are easily accessible through the forums on the site. New information is posted from Edison Nation team every week on the blog to help furnish ideas and how to put your best foot forward with prototyping, patenting, marketing, etc. There are also inventor groups all over the country where you can meet others that are working on products.

Doula

Our doula providing comfort for Kerry during labor. 

They need protection

A newborn is a fragile organism that needs many things to be protected. It needs a car seat to keep it safe while driving and it is good to keep away from large crowds for a few weeks or more to mitigate the risk of getting sick, especially one that is born during flu season.

New technology and products also need protection from the elements of the marketplace. This is usually in the form of a patent. Filing a patent affords the applicant a way to prevent others from monetizing their idea and creates a potentially valuable asset that can be licensed or sold. Getting a new idea through the patent process can be a long and expensive process (2 years or more and typically between $6-10,000). However, filing a provisional patent allows an inventor to protect their idea for a year before having to decide whether to file a full patent, and are much less expensive. Submissions to Edison Nation need not be patented prior to submission. Edison Nation files patents on behalf of the inventor if a submission is licensed.

Ivy in carseat

Ivy on her first drive home bundled up in a hat and tucked into her car seat.

They tend to keep you awake at night

It is no secret that a newborn is great at keeping you awake at night. Late night diaper changes, spontaneous crying fits and 3AM feedings all become normal after a child is born. After a few easy nights, my new girl has developed a habit of screaming about 10 minutes after Kerry and I fall asleep. I have never been water-boarded, but given the choice between the two, I may be tempted to try water-boarding over the constant wakeups.

While new babies eventually start sleeping through the night (I hope), new products can keep you up at night from concept through to manufacturing. When the lightning bolt moment hits and you are in the early stages of product development, it is not uncommon to wake up in the middle of the night with a new idea on how to make it better. If the product goes to Kickstarter or is being pitched to an angel investor, there will be late nights making pitch decks or answering questions from backers. If the product goes to manufacturing overseas, there will be late nights on video chat with the factory working out the details. It takes immense effort to get a product from concept to the store shelf and it will likely take many late nights to achieve this goal. The Edison Nation design team experiences the excitement of late night idea surges, the occasional all-night prototyping session getting a product ready for a meeting, and doing sourcing work with companies in different time zones. We live the dreams of each inventor, as well as the late nights.

product development

Late nights are common when caring for a newborn or nurturing an idea or prototype.

It has been an exciting and hectic month to welcome Ivy into my family. She was born the morning after a debilitating ice storm in Charlotte, was almost 2 weeks overdue, and when we found out she was a girl she did not have a name for awhile after her birth. All of these little challenges were difficult to get through in the moment, but made the experience that much more memorable. Hopefully you will be able to overcome the challenges in your product development journey and get your product onto the shelf.

 


 

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2015 Home And Housewares Show Recap: Product Trends

Once again the International Home and Housewares Show proved to be THE destination for those looking for the latest and greatest in consumer lifestyle and product trends. We hit the ground running, pouring over 13 miles of aisles of 21,000 exhibitors over the event’s four days. From 3D printer pancake makers, to the Guinness world record for largest measuring cup, the 2015 Home and Housewares show certainly did not disappoint.

Housewares show 2015 housewares show 2015

 

Here’s our pick of different trends we saw across several categories:

 

Smartphone or Bluetooth Enabled Kitchen Appliances

As your home, car and mobile devices get progressively smarter, why shouldn’t your kitchen? Several companies debuted impressive app and bluetooth-enabled appliances at this year’s Home and Housewares show, promising to make life in the kitchen a little easier.

Black and Decker announced it will be rolling out several Wi-Fi-enabled appliances including a coffeepot that can be synced to your alarm, snooze button included. Another is an indoor electric grill including a temperature probe and smartphone allowing you to customize the doneness of your meat and alert you when it’s ready. They hope to have it available in retail by Christmas.

Blendtec made quite a splash with the introduction of the new Blendtec Connect Food Prep System, a Bluetooth-connected collection of appliances promising to simplify the process of mixing and blending a variety of foods and drinks. The app takes the user through each step of a recipe and sends custom instructions from the selected recipe to each appliance. The assortment includes the Connect App, Connect Blender, Connect Scale and Connect Mixer, the latter three of which are equipped with Bluetooth technology. This allows the units to communicate with the company’s app when downloaded to a smartphone or tablet.

Housewares show 2015

 

Attractive Home Organization

A home can never be too organized. This statement was certainly validated at this year’s Home and Housewares show with an abundance of supremely functional and attractive organization products.

Known for their clever silicone holsters for hair styling tools, crafting and kitchen and bath accessories, Holster brands debuted their new brand, the Lil’ Holster, at this years Home and Housewares show. Similar in style and function to its parent brands, the new silicone holder is intended for smaller household objects, such as kitchen sponges, hair brushes, bath soaps, razors, glasses, keys, and even TV remotes.

Housewares show

 

Another notable product, and winner of the Innovation Award in storage and organization, was YouCopia’s StoraStack, a simple adjustable device that holds plastic food containers and lids in kitchen drawers.

Housewares show 2015

Farm-to-Table and DIY Kitchen Appliances

As the farm-to-table, DIY and ingredients with integrity trend continues to pervade the restaurant industry, it’s making its way into home kitchens as well. From pressed olive oil to veggie spaghetti, this year’s housewares show was no stranger to kitchen appliances promising to expedite and simplify from-scratch recipes staples.

Progressive International showcased their fresh butter maker, a nifty contraption that churns heavy whipping cream for about 10 minutes to produce fresh, creamy butter. The device also allows you to adds herbs and other ingredients during churning for a naturally flavored alternative.

Progressive International butter maker

KitchenAid announced a new Spiralizer attachment for their line of popular Stand Mixers which originally debuted at the Home and Housewares Show in 1955. Sixty years later, the new attachment includes five blades to make spiraling, slicing, peeling and coring fruits and vegetables a breeze.

Housewares show 2015

Lastly, Stratus Investments, a private equity firm and business incubator debuted Olive X-Press, the world’s first and only kitchen olive oil press. The sleek countertop gadget makes 500ml of olive oil from whole olives in just 5 minutes and promises to produce high quality, all natural, pure cold-pressed olive oil for consumer use all year round.

Housewares show 2015

 


 

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15 Creative Websites to Inspire (and Entertain) You

Creativity is the cornerstone of inventing and is the foundational of everything we do at Edison Nation. When we hold innovation searches, oftentimes you’ll need to step outside your comfort zone and think creatively about a category you might not be familiar with. But, how do you summon creativity? How do you come up with an innovative idea? How do you create an exciting interface or design for an idea you already have?

Even if you’re stuck within the confines of your office walls, desperately seeking a creative muse, there’s hope. I asked our designers, engineers and developers what creative websites they turn to for creative inspiration and entertainment and compiled a list of their favorites.

 

Inspiration Grid

Apparatus Studio
A daily-updated blog celebrating creative talent from around the world.

 

Abduzeedo

Vespa Cam
A collection of visual inspiration and useful tutorials spanning a multitude of industries.

 

Hello You Creatives

Bottled Nature
A creative community and blog showcasing humans’ creativity.

 

Creative Bloq

Creative Bloq
A daily balance of creative tips and latest trends in global design.

 

Design Boom

Qantas and Samsung Virtual Reality
The word’s first and most popular digital architecture and design magazine.

 

Yanko Design

Avian Architecture
An online design magazine and daily newsletter showcasing modern design.

 

Hack Design

Hack Design
Articles, videos and tutorials curated by some of the world best designers.

 

Dexigner

Autodesk
An online portal for designers, architects, engineers, artists and creatives of all kinds.

 

Design Milk

New Matter 3D Printer
An online magazine and creative website dedicated to modern design.

 

Oozled

Inspiration
Curated resources for everything creative including prototyping, photography, UX and more.

 

The Design Blog

Pantone Blocks
Carefully picked high quality inspiration featuring works of designers and design studios around the world.

 

You The Designer

Nike Packaging
Graphic design lifestyle blog highlighting the best of what the design world can offer.

 

Design Taxi

Design Taxi
Highly influential reference source for the creative world.

 

SolidSmack

Fuller's Fly's Eye Dome
Online community about 3D CAD, technology, design, robot, etc.

 

Core77

Dyson 360 Eye
An online magazine dedicated to the practice and produce of the field of industrial design.

 

So, what are your favorite favorite creative websites that you turn to for inspiration? Are you familiar or would recommend any of the sites we’ve listed here? Let us know in the comments below!


 

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Inventing 101: Types of Patent Applications

Patent image

Patent Law and intellectual property can be a tricky road to navigate, especially for independent inventors. At Edison Nation, intellectual property is a cornerstone of our business model and we take extensive measures to ensure that your idea, from the moment it is submitted until it is licensed, is kept secure and private.

My name is Katie Foss and I am the legal counsel here at Edison Nation. My responsibilities include drafting and reviewing legal documents, completing IP reviews of invention submissions, coordinating inventors’ patents and trademarks, handling potential infringement cases, and more. I’ll be contributing a monthly blog series where I discuss various components of Patent Law and intellectual property to help you better understand the process. You can learn more about what I do and who I am in my Meet the Team blog post.

Katie Foss

In this first installation, I’ll discuss the different types of patent applications. Remember, while this information is good for all aspiring inventors to understand, Edison Nation takes on all responsibilities regarding patenting, trademarking and copyrighting, where applicable, for ideas that are successfully licensed.

There are various types of United States patent applications, and each comes with its own set of requirements. Most inventors will never experience filing a plant application for a cross-species of flora or have to deal with the Statutory Invention Registration, so this post will focus on the three most common types of applications: utility, design, and provisional.

Per the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a utility application is filed for inventions that propose a “new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or a new and useful improvement thereof, it generally permits its owner to exclude others from making, using, or selling the invention for a period of up to twenty years from the date of patent application filing.”  Utility applications cover inventions that introduce novel methods and functionalities, which ultimately means they cover how an invention works rather than just how it looks.

patent example

Utility applications can be quite expensive and may take several years before an issued patent may be acquired.  It is a highly involved and complex process and, as is true of all types of patent matters, it is best to have a licensed patent attorney guide you through his process to ensure the application is prepared and maintained properly.  To remain active, issued patents are subject to maintenance fees.  These fees increase in cost over time, and are due at 4, 8, and 12 years from a patent’s issue date.  Utility patent applications are considered “non-provisional,” which is exactly what it sounds like. It is a patent application that is not a provisional application.  Any patent application that is not a provisional application or a design application is often referred to by the USPTO as a non-provisional, but, to be clear, not all non-provisional applications are utility applications. 

A provisional patent application, sometimes referred to as a “PPA” is a place-holder application.  It is often referred to as a place-holder application because it is generally filed as a precursor to a utility patent application.  Filing a PPA provides inventors with one year to prepare and file a utility application to protect their inventions.  PPA’s are not examined, so they do not truly afford any patent protection rights. However, they do provide a priority date and allow you to use “patent-pending” status when referring to your invention. A priority date is extremely important in that the earlier your priority date, the greater your protection, as anything similar filed after that date is not considered prior art against your application.

PPA’s are often a good option for individual inventors in that they have a much lower filing cost, and they provide inventors with one year to fine-tune, market, test, etc. prior to committing to a utility application.  But inventors must note that if you allow your PPA to lapse without filing a utility application which claims priority to the PPA, you will lose your rights to that early priority date.  While you can re-file for a new PPA, assuming there has been no public disclosure of your idea, you will have to restart the process and get a new priority date.

By contrast, a design patent application is filed for “new, original, and ornamental design embodied in or applied to an article of manufacture, it permits its owner to exclude others from making, using, or selling the design for a period of fourteen years from the date of patent grant.”  Basically, design patents cover the overall look of an invention rather than its functionality.

Design patent example

Design applications are generally less expensive than utility applications, and they also tend to have a faster examination period.  They are often a good option for inventors who have developed a new look for something rather than a new method for doing something.  While utility patents arguably offer more protection against potential infringers, design patents are an enforceable IP right and may be the right path for some inventions.

In sum, licensed patent counsel, including what is covered by an Edison Nation licensing deal, is the best resource for selecting a patent path and navigating the complex process of patent prosecution.  However, the more informed you are the easier it will be to understand your intellectual property and how to best protect it.

Keep inventing and check back next month for more information on intellectual property and how you can protect your ideas!

 

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From G1-G8: Mastering Stages 1, 2 and 3 of the Invention Submission Process

It happens to everyone…you’re driving to work, you’re walking through a store looking for that one thing you can’t find anywhere, you wake up from a dream, you’re in the shower and BING! You’ve got an idea.

BING

It’s an awesome idea and you know just where you share it…Edison Nation. So you log in, you perfect your invention submission online and you hit “Submit”! And then it starts, the curiosity, sometimes the anxiety, the endless logging in, the nail-biting…what’s happening now?

Allow us to help you relax, well, a little. This is the first installment of a blog series where we give you a look into what happens when your idea is shared with the Edison Nation review team. In this post, we’ll look at Stages 1-3. Back to our story…once you click “Submit”, your idea is now live in Edison Nation’s secure system and is visible to us. The idea will appear on your Dashboard and you’ll see your first green check – you’re at G1 (green at Stage 1)!

 

submit invention

How do you get to that check mark at Stage 2? Make sure your idea fits the search description. Read and gain an expert understanding of the search landing page. Familiarize yourself with the search sponsor to ensure your product idea would be a great fit for a their product line. For example, if the search is for an innovation in tool storage, do not submit a bathroom organizer. If you meet all the requirements of the search, you’re now a G2 (green at Stage 2) and onto Stage 3! In Stage 3, we’re going through your submission section by section to understand your idea and ensure it is unique and innovative.

 

invention submission

Remember, first impressions are important. When you submit your idea, make sure it is complete and ready for review. Once submitted, at least one person from the review team will be reading it within 24-48 hours of your submission. We should be able to understand your idea quickly and easily. Once we have familiarized ourselves with your idea, we complete preliminary research to find potential competitors.

 

As the majority of innovative ideas are improvements on existing products, the details you provide in your submission should address why your idea is better than potential competitors in the space. Research, research, research! Use a search engine to look for similar products. Search for different variations of the product title, function and benefit to ensure your considering all potential competing products. If your idea stands out from the crowd following our initial review, you’ll see that third check on your Dashboard and you’re onto Stage 4!

 

invent help

The next installment of this series will take a deep dive into what it takes to achieve that elusive “G4”…


 

 Have you ever thought, “wouldn’t it be cool if…”?

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We exist to get product ideas out of your head and onto retail shelves, all at no risk to you.

Second Invention Idea Licensed from Ellery Homestyles Innovation Search

Edison Nation invention  Avatar

We’re excited to announce that a second licensing deal has been signed from the Ellery Homestyles Innovation Search we hosted last fall. To remind, Ellery Homestyles is a leading supplier of branded and private label home fashion products, which are sold in major retailers such as Walmart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, JCP and Kohl’s. We have already announced that Elizabeth Crouch’s idea was also selected by Ellery in the same search search back in September.

Daniel Moskal came up with his invention idea specifically for the Victoria’s Classics Innovation Search held earlier that year. While it was presented to the sponsor at G7, it unfortunately was not selected. Taking his Insider feedback to heart, Daniel’s idea was later opted into the Ellery Homestyles search with much better fate.

Daniel, who describes himself as the “last person you want decorating your home,” challenged himself to step out of his comfort zone and come up with several ideas for the search. He first identified a strong problem and then thought about potential ways to solve it while considering the perspectives of consumer, manufacturers and distributors:

“[You have to] put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Are you solving a problem in a way that motivates consumers to change their way of doing things and part with their money? Put yourself in the shoes of the manufacturer and distributor, does your idea fit into their existing product line? Does the cost allow for a good profit? Is it strong enough for them to focus on your invention over other profit opportunities?

While we’re excited to disclose that Daniel’s idea will improve the way we decorate, we are still working to develop and patent it. As is customary when licensing deals are signed, we protect the intellectual property of the inventor and the licensor until it is patented. Until we are able to announce more details, be sure to stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates.

“If you are going to succeed as an inventor, you are going to fail again and again along this path. Like many members, I had spent tens of thousands on lawyers and prototypes while trying to develop unsuccessful inventions on my own. Edison Nation enables you to fail for $20 and the community that comes with EN increases the quality of the learning experience.”  – Daniel Moskal

Congratulations, Daniel!


 

 Have you ever thought, “wouldn’t it be cool if…”?

License Product License product License product

We exist to get product ideas out of your head and onto retail shelves, all at no risk to you.

Edison Nation Inventors “Pitch the Hill” to Showcase American Innovation

Patent litigation

As you may know, Edison Nation has been a key player in fighting for the rights of independent inventors. Last year, Edison Nation was instrumental in ensuring the voice of independent inventors was heard, resulting in Senator Leahy dropping proposed patent legislation that favored large corporations over legitimate patent holders. In addition, Edison Nation CEO, Louis Foreman, has been called on, multiple times, to brief the House and Senate Judiciary Committees on legislation related to the U.S. patent system.

In a continued effort to raise awareness for the rights of independent inventors, seven Edison Nation inventors recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to pitch their invention ideas to a panel of investors on Capitol Hill and demonstrate just how important independent inventors are to the fabric of our country. Members of Congress and government officials were present throughout the event to learn firsthand the vital role independent inventors play to the U.S. economy.

Unfortunately, “snowpocalypse” (no more than an inch of slush) forced Charlotte airport closures the morning of the event and Louis, as well as the Edison Nation team, were unable to join the crew in Washington, D.C. Fellow Edison Nation member and accomplished inventor, Eric Huber, rose to the occasion in absence of Louis Foreman to speak on his behalf on a panel of speakers. Despite our absence our group did a great job representing Edison Nation, independent inventors and the spirit of American innovation!

 

inventor help
Edison Nation members prepare to showcase their inventions

 

Washington D.C.
Eric Huber stands in front of Capitol Hillpatent legislation
Pitching and exhibition took place in the historical Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Building

Inventor speaking

Eric-Panel
Eric Huber fills in on the panel for Edison Nation CEO, Louis Foreman, to represent the voice of U.S. independent inventors

 

Capitol Hill
Edison Nation inventors prepare for pitching and exhibition in the Russell Senate building

 


 

 Have you ever thought, “wouldn’t it be cool if…”?

License Product License product License product

We exist to get product ideas out of your head and onto retail shelves, all at no risk to you.