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Be Like Sherlock in Your Patent Search

SherlockSherlockIf you dread the idea of doing a patent search, playing the detective extraordinaire might prove a resourceful and fun persona for the task. Always looking for new ways to approach life’s drudge, Myra Per-Lee offers some advice on attacking the preliminary patent search.
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Paint That Can Insulate

Insulation PaintInsulation PaintFinally, there is an easier and cheaper way to insulate your home. How? It's called insulation paint and it isn't a new idea. For years it has been used commercially, but that is quickly changing as it is marketed to the public. It is becoming more of a popular product to use in residential homes as another source to save energy and help reduce heating and cooling costs.
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Ten Best Office Products of 2006

Is your professional life painted in shades of manila and Post-It yellow? The manufacturers of these ten products know how you feel, and have set out to bring style, ingenuity, inspiration and innovation back to the office.

So while you're still thinking about what to enter in Staples' Invention Quest, take a look at my picks for Top Office Products of 2006. read more »

Batteries Can Now Be Powered by Water

A brief item crossed news wires Tuesday announcing a Japanese company’s invention of water-powered batteries. The company, Total System Conductors (TSC), says the batteries are as powerful as everyday batteries currently in use and will offer a cheaper alternative to what’s on the market. Plus, they have an unlimited shelf life, unlike common batteries which lose up to 25 percent of their charge per year when stored unused. You could stow a battery in an emergency kit today and use it 50 years from now without consequence.

But are water-powered batteries really new? read more »

TIME Magazine Picks Its Inventions of the Year

Time Magazine is out with its Best Inventions of 2006.

What made the list?

Put the hypo-allergenic cat outside, get off your floating bed and take a look. read more »

Is a Free Energy Source on the Horizon?

Steorn's marketing campaignSteorn's marketing campaignFrance is known for its artists, Germany for its conductors, Italy for its opera singers, England for its thespians, and Ireland for its literary giants. Names like James Joyce, Seamus Heaney, Maeve Binchy, and William Butler Yeats roll off the tongue when we discuss that brilliantly contemplative, Guinness-drenched country.

However, Ireland may soon take its place on the world stage as the next scientific wonderland. In the 1990s, it made a name for itself as the technology capital of Western Europe; and now, budding from kernels planted in the era of the Celtic Tiger, is a new discovery that could potentially overhaul everything we think we know about science. Free energy: free energy that breaks the first law of thermodynamics and will turn the world on its head if the rumors are true. read more »

Lean, Green, Driving Machines

RecyRecyDo you ever wonder what we will be driving in the future? What we will use to fuel our cars? Will we still be using gasoline or is there hope for something cheaper, better, and more environmentally friendly?


Yes! There are alternatives and today we can already use some of them. Electricity, solar energy, and even algae are just a few of the many options. The green doesn't just stop at the fuel tank either. Even the exteriors of vehicles are getting green makeovers. Take a look at my list below and see what I mean. read more »

Need Invention Help? Try Inventors Anonymous

Have you started to question whether you next great idea is really great? Need to bounce your ideas off someone?

Myra Per-Lee developed, manufactured, and marketed about a dozen products in a ten year period, most on her own with very little start-up capital. The most successful of her inventions, massage tools for adults, animals and infants, known as Nukkles®, Nuzzles®, and Snukkles®, is still going strong after eight years on the market. Myra lets us in on where inventors go to get an honest opinion.

Here's her article:

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Why does everyone call us paranoid just because we don't want to talk about our ideas? I'm mum because I don't want to spend my energy describing projects, when I could be working on them. And more than fear of theft, I fear others hounding me to death about what I'm doing. read more »

Inventors, Is Your Idea All Yours?

Roger Brown's Super SleeverRoger Brown's Super SleeverDo you know if the great idea that you have is yours or not? If you're not careful, it may be the property of the company you work for.

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 rogerbrown.net. He shares his valuable advice with readers of AmericanInventorSpot.com some valuable advice.

Here's his article:

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The majority of Inventors work at regular jobs and invent during their time off hoping to come up with that million dollar idea. What they neglect to find out is if their company has an invention policy. read more »

Merry Halloween! The Booming Holiday Decoration Market

In case you haven’t been to Target or WalMart lately, Halloween is the new Christmas.

In this article, I take a look at the opportunities for inventors created through the ridiculous over-commercialization of holidays. read more »

Great Product Idea? What to do Next.

Did you just come up with a great idea? What do you do next?

Myra Per-Lee developed, manufactured, and marketed about a dozen products in a ten year period, most on her own with very little start-up capital. The most successful of her inventions, massage tools for adults, animals and infants, known as Nukkles®, Nuzzles®, and Snukkles®, is still going strong after eight years on the market. Myra lets us in on the secret of what to do after you've come up with the next best idea.

Here's her article:

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When you get a brilliant idea for a new product, don't you wish you could just write it down and drop it into Wal-Mart's suggestion box and, then in a week, receive a big fat check? Boy, I do! read more »

Bar Code Scanners Reinventing Shopping Again?

Last week I wrote about an ethos of surveillance we’ve been cultivating here in the United States. One so rampant that we’re now monitoring US/Mexican border crossings with state sponsored webcams. Even as citizens, we’re being screened at every place outside of our homes: banks, restaurants, bars, you name it.

This got me thinking. If businesses are monitoring us, is there any way that we can monitor them? If we’re being observed to make sure we’re not stealing from stores, is there a way we can monitor stores to make sure they’re not stealing from us?

I think there is, but I might need some help with this idea.
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Wacky Product of the Week #4:

Well, here's my wacky find of the week...a light switch.

If you have a mind like mine, there's gotta be something about this product that makes you laugh.

Can you think up anything funny to say for this nifty little device? (light switch) read more »

How to Figure Out if You Just Called the Bad Guys

Access Inventor logoAccess Inventor logoDo you know how to protect yourself from being ripped off by the bad guys?

Our Guest Blogger, Terri Phillips, is an inventor of numerous products. She has worked at an Invention Promotion Firm. She now works in marketing, packaging, and product development for an inventor service company that provides a means of distribution for inventors to sell their products through AccessInventors.com. Terri's goal is to educate inventors from the inside out, so she wrote this article exclusively for the readers of AmericanInventorSpot.com.

Here's her article:

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Have Money to Burn? Pay $130,000 for a Foot Massager

Foot MassagerFoot MassagerI love massages. Love, love, love them. If I hit lotto, I think I would have three personal masseuses come to my house everyday: one for me, one for my husband and one for my younger son (my older son does not like them - obviously we don't know where he gets this from).

But, let's face it, a decent massage costs at least $60 an hour. The problem is I love, love, love, love eating out more (that's four loves). So the massages get put on the back burner. read more »

The Dream of Invisibility

Invisibility CloakInvisibility CloakWould you rather have x-ray vision or be invisible?

Our guest blogger, Emily Swan, graduated with highest honors from Butler University in Indianapolis. After school, she worked in public relations for Borders Group Inc, the book, music, and movie retailer. She's since jumped the PR fence and now works as a freelance writer. An avid science junkie, we hope you'll enjoy her quirky (and sometimes philosophical) takes on modern gadgets. Emily lets us in on the news that every person's fantasy about being invisible may come true in the near future.

Here's Emily's article for AmericanInventorSpot.com:


The fantasy of becoming invisible has long occupied storytellers. Capes, shields, potions, rings, and hats have made characters from Bilbo Baggins to the Greek god Perseus disappear from sight to pursue their daring agendas uninhibited. Invisibility ranks with time travel and x-ray vision in our psyche; it's something we dream about, but catalog as science fiction. But is it? This week, a team of researchers working jointly at Duke University and Imperial College London announced they successfully tested the first invisibility cloak. Click here to see the official announcement on Duke's web site.
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How to Come Up With A Great Product Idea


Ever wonder how inventors come up with those great ideas?

Myra Per-Lee developed, manufactured, and marketed about a dozen products in a ten year period, most on her own with very little start-up capital. The most successful of her inventions, massage tools for adults, animals and infants, known as Nukkles®, Nuzzles®, and Snukkles®, is still going strong after eight years on the market. Myra lets us in on the secret of how to come up with our own ideas.

Here's her article:


One day in 1990, as I was changing clothes after work, I noticed some scuff marks on the right heel of my new shoes. Miffed, as I couldn't recall rubbing them against anything, I got out my shoe polish and tried to cover up the marks on the shoe. While I was at it, I thought I'd check my closet for any other shoes that needed polishing. Funny thing, most every pair of shoes I owned showed the same pattern of wear on the right heel. read more »

Dripping in Trash

Bottlecap Loteria BraceletBottlecap Loteria BraceletIf you like jewelry, art, and recycling, then you should take a look at the treasures I’ve found. Very creative people have come up with very innovative ways to turn discarded items into decorative jewelry. Are they alluring? It depends on your point of view, but if nothing else, at least they are environmentally friendly. read more »

Invention Contests: Three Reasons They're Worth Entering

Have a few hours on your hands? Why not enter an invention contest?

Our Guest Blogger, Tim Whitney, is a bit of a contest nut. He's the National Grand Prize Winner of the KeyCite Key to Good Law Contest, and a national finalist in both the 2005 Staples Invention Quest and Digital Innovations Design-Originality-Creativity Awards. Tim gives us three reasons why we should spend a free afternoon entering an invention contest instead of watching TV.

Here's his article:


Every year, you'll find about a dozen opportunities to enter national invention (or other idea-related) contests. Some hold out the promise of bringing a product to market, some just financial incentives. read more »