Call For Inventors! WD-40 Wants YOU!

Edison Nation announced today that the WD-40® Company is challenging inventors to come up with a new delivery system for the product's many uses and to create new product concepts that have wide-reaching applicability and purpose, like WD-40. Put your thinking caps on, these tasks are both difficult; your solutions must be innovative and patentable.

The first challenge -- you don't have to take on both -- is to create an innovative way to deliver WD-40 to end users. To do that, you need to think beyond the application of the Smart Straw®, the Blast, and the No-Mess Pen®.



Think about the product's many uses, supposedly the number is up to 2,000, and they are all listed on the WD-40 official website. Beyond the three packaging options already in use, what group of users might be helped by a different delivery system? With new technologies coming out every day, are there other applications for WD-40, such as nano-technology, that would be more appealing in a different form?

As for the second challenge, creating a new product for the company's line, do consider the current products in the WD-40 family. Products like Spot Shot®, X-14®, and Lava®, are tough cleaning products of DIY'ers, as well as the myriad of plumbers, carpet layers, house cleaners, and others that use WD-40's products professionally.

The company claims that WD-40 is in 83 percent of American households, so that gives you the idea that what WD-40 is looking for is not a niche product, but something everybody needs. Look at how WD-40 describes its line of products: [The Company] "offers a complete line of products to help you accomplish almost any task, including the clean up afterward."

Now, the rules are posted at Edison Nation, which makes these general suggestions:

Your product concept must:

  • Be innovative and patentable
  • Feature both utility and function
  • Be consumable - not a tool, device or piece of equipment (or if a device, very simple to make and use)
  • Be demonstrable, creating a positive and observable change
  • “Connect. Protect. Fix. Perform.”
  • It is not necessary to submit scientific formulas or product formulations.
  • Identify the Who, What and Where
    • Who is the end-user?
    • What will they use your product for?
    • Where will they purchase the product?

The deadline for submissions is May 20, 2009 at 11:59 PM, Pacific Time. The winner will receive a $2,500 advance and a "generous percentage of sales for up to 20 years." My advice, as always, is to read all legal documents very carefully and, if you have questions, get them answered by knowledgeable persons before you sign or submit anything.