Ladies, get your inventive minds in gear; a large company is actually inviting your ideas! That's right. Today Edison Nation announced a new invention contest sponsored by Bed, Bath, and Beyond (B3) that calls for product ideas to retail in its stores. This 'for women only' invention contest is scheduled concomitant with the recognition of American Women of Invention, this year recognizing the 200th anniversary of the first woman* to receive a patent on her invention.
Before you start thinking about what to create, check out the rules for the contest, as well as the legal agreements inventors must sign: The Live Product Search Innovator Agreement and the Live Product Search Assignment Agreement. These are important for you to study; before submitting anything, you need to know what your rights will be as the inventor.
Submissions will be made online through Edison Nation's Live Product Search Dashboard; prototypes are not requested.
B3 is looking for products that are related to the home and that are solution oriented. Products for cleaning, comfort, organization, and convenience are desirable. Products should be immediately recognizable as to purpose and function and perceived as a good value for the price.
Edison Nation will screen the submissions and introduce them to B3. There is a $25 fee for each submission which is paid to Edison Nation. You can submit multiple inventions to the contest, but each through a separate entry. Although Edison Nation will screen products, it's a good idea to do some research yourself, and I suggest at least market research to see if your idea is already out there.
Here are two columns that will help you: How To Come Up With A Great Product Idea, Great Idea? What To Do Next (this is important information for your submission). You don't have to go through the patent search, but if you want to save yourself $25 if an item very close to it is already "out there," read To Market To Market.
Entry deadline is April 30, 2009. B3 does not require much for the application, so rev up your invention engine and submit! You go girls! Good luck and let us know if your product makes it!
*Mary Kees was the first woman to patent her invention in 1809. She invented a method to weave staw with silk to create hats. There were many female inventors before Kees, but in many states women were not allowed to own property independent of their husbands, so they did not go through the patent process. America's Library