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Advice for Inventors

What I Learned From...Letters from Iwo Jima


So you finally make it to the big presentation. That big sales call. Or you find yourself standing before a panel of judges in a contest. What do you do? How should you approach the situation? How do you get inside their heads? How do you convince them that your idea has value? Let's see what a recent film about one of the deadliest and most depressing battles of WWII has to say about the issue.
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Four Things You Need to Know About Manufacturing in Asia


Thinking about manufacturing your product overseas?

Today, Asia is a hot topic amongst small businesses and inventors who want to benefit from the cost-savings there. If you are taking a product to market that will compete against products that have been on the market for some time, you might have no choice but to begin manufacturing overseas. Whatever your impetus, it's a topic that's worth becoming familiar with when you assess manufacturing options for your product. read more »

Reverse Product Placement : IdeaWatch 2.0:


Any marketer can get a product placement into a movie, TV show, or video game. But if you're really clever, you'll do just the opposite...find ways to turn fictional products into real ones. In this post we look at the new product development strategy called "reverse placement".
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10 Top Tips For Branding Your Invention


I wanted to name my massage tools "Knuckles" because they are based on shiatsu massage, often accomplished with the knuckles of a massage practitioner's hands. But the word "knuckles" looked funny to me. When I transcribed "knuckles" more phonetically, the brand perked up! "Nukkles" said "fun," and "feel good," and it was zippy, and yes, it said the product feels like knuckles! read more »

Here are 10 tips to help you reach the perfect brand name for your new invention!

What I Learned From...V for Vendetta


I'm a big believer that what you find to be true in one area of life often has far-reaching implications for other areas of your life. So I'm starting this series on little nuggets of truth, advice or experience that I come across that are relevant to the world of inventing, small business and entrepreneurship and that I hope will give all of you who have joined me in this often crazy, unpredictable and dangerously fun world something to think about. And what better way to start than with a little anarchy...
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Inventor Partnerships Can Be Made In Heaven (Sometimes)


Inventors need partners highly skilled in their fields, but flexible in their approach. Good listeners. Adventurers. Partners who create a plan for the product, not squeeze a product into a plan.
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Licensing Your Invention: The Good, The Bad, and The Incredibly Bad


For some of us, it's really hard to take the invention reigns into our own hands; we tend to feel so beholden to a company that's interested in our product. But licensing is a business, and you have to behave like a business person in order to protect your interests. If a company is offended by you requesting the information you need, consider yourself saved from a bad or incredibly bad licensee!
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Ten Things to Know About Pitching to American Inventor


This Sunday, on the LifeTime Television show Health Corner hosted by Leeza Gibbons, Jodi Pliszka, inventor of Headline-It and one of the top twelve finalist on the American Inventor television show, will be featured at 9:30 a.m. / 8:30 a.m. central. Please make sure to catch the show if you can.

Jodi Pliszka is our special Guest Blogger today. In anticipation of the upcoming auditions for Season Two of American Inventor, she had some helpful advice for inventors interested in auditioning.

Here's her article: read more »

How Do Inventors Go To Market? (Part 5) Become An Entrepreneur!


It's hard work being an inventor!It's hard work being an inventor!Patent, schmatent. You don't need one right now. You want to just get your idea to market! Ok. I am finally turning my attention to the entrepreneurs among you. I warn you I'm not letting you totally off the patent hook, but I sympathize with your impatience. Actually, my most successful products, those in the Nukkles® line, were marketed while I was in the patent process, and I used the money from their sales to pay for the patent! But whether you eventually decide to go for a patent or not, if you're serious about getting your product on the market, you will have to put on the entrenpreneur's cap sooner, I advise, rather than later. So, let's get started!
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How Do Inventors Go To Market? (Part 4) From Patentability Opinion To Patent Application


 After you have reviewed, assimilated, and discussed the results of your patentability opinion with your patent attorney, you will have enough information about your idea to make some informed decisions about the direction of your invention.

 Having that information gives you a real sense of accomplishment and power. From this point until your product is selling, you get to feel power and accomplishment... ah... not that many times. So enjoy it!

 Here's a glimpse into what to expect from the full patent process, as well as ways you can use the patent work you've already done to get more marketing information... also crucial to your decision to go for the full patent.

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Timing Is Everything


Do you know when is the best time to send out your invention?

Our guest blogger Roger Brown is a freelance Inventor who has successfully marketed tools, toys and a kitchen utensil without the aid of an Invention Submission Firm. You can see some of his inventions at rogerbrown.net. He graciously agreed to share with readers of AmericanInventorSpot.com some valuable advice.

Here's his article: read more »

How Do Inventors Go To Market? (Part 3) The Patentability Search And Opinion Helps You Decide


A professional patentability search and opinion provides invaluable information to help you decide whether or not to apply for a patent. If your own research has indicated you've got a hot idea, then find the money to commission a qualified patent attorney in your field to do this paper for you.

Read about what a patentability search entails and what to expect from the patent attorney's opinion.... read more »

Find The Right Patent Attorney For You!


Choosing a patent attorney is an important step in the invention process so give yourself some choices. Perform due diligence on two or three attorneys to see which one best suits your needs. Conduct yourself professionally because the attorney will be screening you as well. If you’ve been following my columns (go to Myra Per-Lee’s blog page) then you know just what you need to do to hold up the inventor side of the partnership. Get ready! “This could be the start of something big!”

 

I laid the background to the current column in What You Need And Don’t Need In A Patent Attorney, my last blog. You may want to review it before you charge ahead. read more »

What You Need And Don't Need In A Patent Attorney


Don't Worry, There's A Big Net Down ThereDon't Worry, There's A Big Net Down ThereWould you jump blindfolded from a building because an ad-man tells you there will be a safety net below to catch your fall?

Perhaps this is too dramatic a scenario to demonstrate the importance of doing your own research before making any decisions. But so many of us make business decisions based on an advertisement or on the advice of a friend who’s had some personal dealings in the area. That information may be useful to you, but it should only be part of the big picture that is your own thorough research on the subject! read more »

How Do Inventors Go To Market? Part 2: The Provisional Patent Application


There is an easier way to get started in the patent process than filing a full-blown utility patent application; it's called a Provisional Patent Application. It fits into both major marketing plans -- going direct to market or through the formal patent process -- it's not expensive, it offers a degree of protection against knockoffs, and it buys you time. But, it must be done very carefully so you don't ruin your chance of future success. Learn why you should file and how to make the best of your application.
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Making Your Pitch to a Company for the First Time


Roger's Super SleeverRoger's Super SleeverHave you decided to try to pitch your invention to a company?

Our guest blogger Roger Brown is a freelance Inventor who has successfully marketed tools, toys and a kitchen utensil. You can see some of his inventions at www.rogerbrown.net. He has graciously agreed to share with readers of AmericanInventorSpot.com some valuable advice on how to prepare for your pitch.

Here's his article:

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It is surprising how much thought and time an Inventor will put into their idea and how little time they will put into how they are going to pitch it to a company. Your pitch matters as much as, if not more than the idea. If you can’t convey your product's benefits in a short and concise manner, you can kill your chances with a company. read more »

To Market, To Market: How Do Inventors Go? (Part 1)


 

Sometimes inventors are so excited when another person or a company is interested in their invention that they jump at the first opportunity that is offered to them. This can lead to later regrets, and I write from experience.

Who has your best interests at heart? Who wants your product to sell millions? Who knows your product best? If the answer is you, then you need to plan your best path to success with your invention. read more »

Top Ten Lies of Inventors


What lies do you tell yourself? Are they helpful or hurtful? As an inventor, your lies they may be lethal.

Our Guest Bloggers, Tatsuya Nakagawa and Peter P. Roosen, are the co-founders of Atomica Creative . Atomica Creative is a strategic product marketing company that has been involved in many successful product launches in North America and Asia in several industries. Roosen and Nakagawa have recently released a book titled "Overcoming Inventoritis - Lessons from Thomas Edison, the world's greatest product marketer". They have some valuable advice that they wanted to share with readers of AmericanInventorSpot.com.

Here's their article: read more »