DaVinci Institute 17 October 2009 Invention Patents Entrepreneurship
<ul><li>Topics: </li></ul><ul><li>Brief introduction </li></ul><ul><li>12 entrepreneurs / 15 ideas / 11 apps / 5 patents <...
<ul><li>Engineering & business education </li></ul><ul><li>Father & brother: 10+ patents each </li></ul><ul><li>(John Verm...
9 Entrepreneurs, 9 ideas, 6 patent applications: If there’s no business, there’ll probably be no patent. Having a patent d...
Why were these patent apps abandoned? Example: Surftree <ul><li>Initial patent application cost <$1000 (self done). </li><...
<ul><li>Instrumentation for water treatment plants. </li></ul><ul><li>At least 5 years of development (perhaps 10+ years)....
<ul><li>3D Mouse using same technology that’s in the iPhone. </li></ul><ul><li>Provisional Patent Application filed Novemb...
<ul><li>Invented pneumatic pressure regulator for Norgren in 1962. Design is still in production. </li></ul><ul><li>Starte...
<ul><li>Idea  Patent  Product  Company  Wilkerson  Retire </li></ul>John VanderHorst’s Inertia Pump (1980-1985): US P...
How does the inertia pump work? Accelerate a pipe with liquid in it Use a check valve to prevent back flow in reverse cycl...
Turn configuration into a loop and oscillate it Inlet Check valve Fluid flow direction
<ul><li>The John VanderHorst Story: </li></ul>
“ Minimize investment through Do It Yourself” <ul><li>ISSUE: SOLUTION: </li></ul><ul><li>Funding $100K+ out of own pocket ...
<ul><li>Tow-N-See Mirror patent summary: </li></ul><ul><li>US utility patent application Jan 2003, granted Dec 2006. </li>...
<ul><li>What’s next for Tow-N-See: </li></ul><ul><li>$200-$300K/year business. </li></ul><ul><li>Runs itself. </li></ul><u...
<ul><li>Lessons and observations: </li></ul><ul><li>Hurdles   </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Patents only useful with products & bu...
<ul><li>Also keep in mind: </li></ul><ul><li>Most issued patents are never commercialized.   </li></ul><ul><li>Commerciali...
<ul><li>Questions and discussion </li></ul>
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Inventor Boot Camp Bert Vermeulen 10 17 2009

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Inventor Boot Camp Bert Vermeulen 10 17 2009

  1. 1. DaVinci Institute 17 October 2009 Invention Patents Entrepreneurship
  2. 2. <ul><li>Topics: </li></ul><ul><li>Brief introduction </li></ul><ul><li>12 entrepreneurs / 15 ideas / 11 apps / 5 patents </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons and observations </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Engineering & business education </li></ul><ul><li>Father & brother: 10+ patents each </li></ul><ul><li>(John Vermeulen/Robbert Vermeulen) </li></ul><ul><li>Teach Mech Eng Design at CSU </li></ul><ul><li>Helped file 11 patent apps since 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>corp21.com helps entrepreneurs </li></ul>Bert Vermeulen:
  4. 4. 9 Entrepreneurs, 9 ideas, 6 patent applications: If there’s no business, there’ll probably be no patent. Having a patent doesn’t mean there’s a business. Inventor Idea Patent App? Result Business? Bert Surftree (software) 2004 Abandoned No Rita Web video software 2004 Abandoned No CR66 Used car sales 2004 Abandoned No Dr Deeds Investment software Search only Not pursued No Happy Life Software 2006 Abandoned No MedXCo Reduce urine smell 2006 Abandoned No Elias Open space cooling Search only Did not pursue No Vesta Microcontroller Search only Did not pursue Small Ice Ear bud jewelry Design 2008 Granted Small
  5. 5. Why were these patent apps abandoned? Example: Surftree <ul><li>Initial patent application cost <$1000 (self done). </li></ul><ul><li>Three years later, the examiner came back with lots of objections. </li></ul><ul><li>Product wasn’t selling. </li></ul><ul><li>It would have cost $3-6K of professional advice and fees to get something narrow allowed. </li></ul><ul><li>Not worth it. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Instrumentation for water treatment plants. </li></ul><ul><li>At least 5 years of development (perhaps 10+ years). </li></ul><ul><li>First patent application filed September 2009 after working on it for 2+ years. </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity. Market leader. Industry expert. Product pre-sold. </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cannot file abroad after public disclosure. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cannot patent ideas 12+ months after first offered for sale. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need more than one patent application to be filed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Entrepreneur is 73 years old. </li></ul></ul>Entrepreneur #10: ClearCorp.biz
  7. 7. <ul><li>3D Mouse using same technology that’s in the iPhone. </li></ul><ul><li>Provisional Patent Application filed November 2004. </li></ul><ul><li>Regular Patent Application filed October 2005. </li></ul><ul><li>Patent allowed June 2009. In final steps. </li></ul><ul><li>Now working on follow-on patent applications. </li></ul>Entrepreneur #11: Axelo.net:
  8. 8. <ul><li>Invented pneumatic pressure regulator for Norgren in 1962. Design is still in production. </li></ul><ul><li>Started own business in 1964. Marginally successful. </li></ul><ul><li>Hired by Wilkerson in 1966 to design around his Norgren patent. Design is still in production. </li></ul><ul><li>Has been an inventor/entrepreneur ever since. </li></ul>Entrepreneur #12: John VanderHorst:
  9. 9. <ul><li>Idea  Patent  Product  Company  Wilkerson  Retire </li></ul>John VanderHorst’s Inertia Pump (1980-1985): US Patent# 4,370,101
  10. 10. How does the inertia pump work? Accelerate a pipe with liquid in it Use a check valve to prevent back flow in reverse cycle Oscillate back and forth
  11. 11. Turn configuration into a loop and oscillate it Inlet Check valve Fluid flow direction
  12. 12. <ul><li>The John VanderHorst Story: </li></ul>
  13. 13.
  14. 14. “ Minimize investment through Do It Yourself” <ul><li>ISSUE: SOLUTION: </li></ul><ul><li>Funding $100K+ out of own pocket </li></ul><ul><li>Product development Made own protos. Outside tooling </li></ul><ul><li>Manufacturing Build them yourself. $0/hr for 1 year </li></ul><ul><li>Product introduction Visit local dealers </li></ul><ul><li>RV show in Denver </li></ul><ul><li>Partner in Europe </li></ul><ul><li>National distribution Keep trying for 9 months </li></ul><ul><li>Mail samples to dealers </li></ul><ul><li>Worldwide licensing Know how to negotiate </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Tow-N-See Mirror patent summary: </li></ul><ul><li>US utility patent application Jan 2003, granted Dec 2006. </li></ul><ul><li>International utility patent abandoned. </li></ul><ul><li>US design patent application Dec 2004, granted Sep 2006. </li></ul><ul><li>European design patent granted. </li></ul><ul><li>Competitor launched copy-cat product spring 2008. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>What’s next for Tow-N-See: </li></ul><ul><li>$200-$300K/year business. </li></ul><ul><li>Runs itself. </li></ul><ul><li>Available for sale to the right buyer. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Lessons and observations: </li></ul><ul><li>Hurdles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Patents only useful with products & businesses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It takes time and money </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Opportunities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A business with a patent is worth more </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Issued patents can create credibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For larger businesses, a good defense is a good offense (numerous issued patents) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can do some of the work yourself </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Also keep in mind: </li></ul><ul><li>Most issued patents are never commercialized. </li></ul><ul><li>Commercialized patents can be quite valuable. </li></ul><ul><li>There is starting to be a market for good patents. </li></ul><ul><li>Patent litigation costs at least an order of magnitude more than patent prosecution. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Questions and discussion </li></ul>
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