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Careers

Inventor Smart Career Opportunities  Patent Protection Team CareersWe will be posting career opportunities here as they arisePlease check back soon for updates  Development Team CareersWe will be posting career opportunities here as they arisePlease check back soon for updates  Model Making Team CareersWe will be posting career opportunities here as they arisePlease check back soon […]

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Invention Showcase

This area will be for the Inventions For Sale — Inventors will be listing their inventions that they have inventory of and our website will take percentage of sale and the inventor will pay reoccuring fee to keep their product posted. Inventor will receive email notifying them of order of their product and they will […]

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Services

Trust us with your idea and let us do the rest! Here is what Inventor Smart can do for you:To learn more about these Inventor Services schedule an appointment to discuss a plan for your invention with one of our Inventor ExpertsInventor Smart Evaluation TeamLet’s discuss your idea, brainstorm and discuss your path to success. […]

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About Us

Inventor Smart is your complete turnkey solution to make your Invention ideas a reality!Our team of invention experts at Inventor Smart and I will help you with everything you need to give your new invention idea it’s best shot of success.We will evaluate your idea, help with protecting and developing it. Then, there’s the possibilities […]

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Home

 Do You Have a Great Invention Idea? Our Inventor Smart team can handle every step of the invention process for you. We successfully work with inventors to help:ResearchProtectDevelopand profit from their innovationsLet’s discuss how we can help you todayGet StartedMeet Our Chief Invention OfficerBrian FriedHi! My expert invention team and I can provide you and yourREAD MORE > “Home”

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An Inventor Profile

Are you already an inventor or do you want to be an inventor?

What does an inventor act or think like?

When you call yourself an inventor, it can take on a whole new meaning to your life. You can live up to the title by being aware of how things work in deeper detail and this thought process can become second nature to you. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, here is the definition of an inventor, "to create or produce (something useful) for the first time". As any successful inventor will tell you, the research you do before you set out on your journey can help bring you closer to your goals. So let's evaluate "you" as an inventor by answering the questions below.

Do you have an inventive mind?

Do you come up with ideas and solutions to challenges on a daily basis? Inventive minds are always seeing the next logical step that could be taken, while the rest of the world simply shrugs its shoulders and makes do with things as they are.Do you say, "This could be done differently" or "that could be improved", "this could be modified a bit" or "that could be a big winner"? Inventive minds get excited when there is a puzzle to solve. Do you see opportunity everywhere you look? Inventive minds are positive and pro-active. They consistently ask themselves, "Why not?" when other people give up.

Do you have inventive habits? Check out these invention questionnaire 

1. Are you curious?

2. Are you the kind of person who asks questions?

3. Do you find yourself wondering how things work?

4. Do you take things apart and see if they'll go back together in a different, more efficient way?

5. Do you make notes and sketches and conduct experiments?

6. Do you like to keep track of your ideas and use your notes and sketches to fix and tweak them from time to time?

7. Do you brainstorm with others and get them excited by your ideas?

8. Is it as much fun to talk about the process as it is to work on it?

9. Do you find yourself feeling energized when you share your ideas and get input from others?

10. Are working on some idea that you're nearly ready to talk about?

11. Have you done your due diligence?

12. Have you researched the market and compared your concept with others currently on the shelves?

13. Have you registered your patent to protect your concept?

14. Are you at the prototyping stage?

15. Have you created a sample that allows other people to see and touch your idea and believe in its possibilities as you do?

16. Do you have a design engineer who is willing and able to take your prototype and create a professional design?

17. Have you looked for opportunities to partner with a designer and take advantage of his established contacts?

18. Are you ready to go to the marketplace?

19. Have you decided whether you want to manufacture it yourself or license it to someone else and let them pay you royalties?

20. Have you registered your business and surrounded yourself with the best team to help you reach your goals?

Do you have a goal?

1. Do you want to solve problems and overcome challenges?

2. Are you driven by a desire to make the world a better place?

3. Are you searching for opportunities to beat the odds and win?

4. Do you want the personal satisfaction of a job well done?

5. Are you the kind of person who sets high goals and standards and consistently meets and surpasses them?

6. Do you want to be famous?

7. Are you looking for the recognition that comes with success?

8. Do you want to be rich?

9. Are you focused on the tangible rewards that come with high volume sales and repeat business?

Do you have what it takes to achieve success?

To take a great invention idea or concept from brain wave to prototype to marketplace, it takes more than dedication, determination and drive. To do your due diligence, to research and refine, to educate and inform, to overcome setbacks, to protect your work, to form partnerships and leverage your success takes more than perseverance and people skills.

Whether you're inventive and imaginative; whether you brainstorm or work alone; whether you're still thinking about taking that first step or you're already working on your big idea, the one quality you have to have in order to succeed as an inventor is patience.

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Licensing Your Invention

You have a great idea and want to make money with it but perhaps your funds are low, your knowledge of manufacturing is limited and you're not ready to quit your day job to go into business with it. Licensing is an alternative way to bring your idea or invention to market with limited risk using someone else's resources and collecting a royalty payment. A simple definition of licensing is to rent your intellectual property, such as a patent, trademark, trade secret, algorithm or process, and partner with a company that has manufacturing capabilities and distribution to bring that idea to the marketplace with the ultimate goal of all parties making a profit.

 

Be Prepared Before You Present Your Invention Idea

Now take your invention idea and bring it up to a point where you have some intellectual property protection, conducting your own basic search and/or a professional patent search. Reference previous answers.com article for more information on claiming your idea: "Start Here With Your Idea" You may consider starting with a provisional patent or design patent filed. Once you file you have patent-pending status. Sometimes you may not need any formal intellectual property protection and may want to just start with a confidentiality agreement or non-disclosure agreement to present your idea. This way is possible, however you are at your own risk and not every company may want to look or hear about your non-protected idea.

Imagine Your Idea in Retail

While doing your research, think about what type of stores or retail channels you can imagine your product in such as big box brick and mortar retailers, specialty stores, boutiques, catalogs, home shopping channels, online retailers or craft fairs. You can start by walking up and down the aisles of the stores where you imaging your product being sold. Keep an eye on what is already being offered and where your product would be placed. Flip over the packages to find the company name and information to later research the company background online. Browse their product line, read up on their management if available, find out where they are located, what stores they distribute to and if they have a section on their website for new product submissions.

What is a Licensee and Licensor?

The manufacturer with distribution is called the licensee and the inventor presenting their invention is called the licensor. The Licensee can have their own manufacturing facility that they run or they outsource their production to an outside factory. They can have a built in distribution team that presents the products to their current retail accounts or may pitch new accounts for distribution. If they choose not to have an in-house sales platform, they may have sales reps or agents which usually have established accounts in a specific category and industry.

Presenting Your Idea to a Licensee

It's time to start making some calls to the companies you researched and feel may be good candidates for your idea. Call their corporate number and ask if they review outside invention ideas and if so, how you could present yours to them. Be prepared when they ask for what protection you have on the idea. They may ask for an exchange of non-disclosure agreements. It may take some navigating through the receptionist or gate-keeper to find the person or department responsible for licensing, product development or other titles that differ in each company. You may get through to the person directly or be given an email address to send your information to.Be prepared to deliver a quick elevator pitch on what your idea does and what makes it unique. They may ask for photos, a sketch or prototype or whatever you can show. You can also have a very short homemade video ready to email to the potential licensee.

The Verdict

If the company is interested in your invention, you the licensor, would be paid a royalty which is a percentage of sales that is usually received in quarterly payments. There are other provisions that may be included in a licensing agreement could be exclusivity, countries covered, guarantees of minimum sales, advances against your royalties and terms of the agreement. Most of the time the licensee, your new partner, will involve you with certain steps of the design modifications, packaging designs, activity of production, placement into retailers, however your involvement may be limited.If the potential licensee tells you they are not interested, try to get feedback to see what they thought and why they are passing on your idea. Be respectful of their decision and keep an open door to be able to present your next idea to them.

Finding a Licensing Agent

There are also licensing agents within industries that can help you make a match to a potential licensee. You can find them at industry trade shows, industry magazines or direct distributors and manufacturers in the industry can direct you to their contacts. Another resource can be networking through inventor clubs in your area.

Continue on your quest to find the right partner to present and license your invention to. Remember that just because a licensee or potential partner tells you that they are not interested, doesn't mean that you need to abandon your idea or be discouraged. It may be that they were not the right partner and you need to keep looking. Listen to what feedback you are receiving from everyone and keep an open mind on making adjustments along the way to bring you closer to making that deal.

By Brian Fried

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Who to Trust with Your Idea or Invention

You have been keeping your idea or many of your ideas a secret all this time and now ready to bring them to reality.

This may require you to search for outside help, which means that you will have to reveal what you are working on or thinking of at some point. So how can you protect yourself and your idea from getting ripped off? Let's see who you might need involved and how to take certain measures to keep your idea confidential with others.

Who Would I Need To Help Me With My Invention?

It could be your inner circle of friends and family that you want to ask of their opinions about your idea. If you're considering filing for a patent or other intellectual property, you may want to hire a professional patent attorney or agent. You may want to develop a computer engineered drawing (CAD) and may need the assistance of a product designer or an engineer. Perhaps you want to make a prototype and will need to send those CAD files to a 3D modeling service or get a quote for production from a factory in the United States or overseas. There may also be an opportunity to show, sell or license your invention to opportunities that come along and they may want to see everything you have been working on.

What Should You Tell Them Regarding Your Idea or Invention?

At first when you are evaluating companies and what they have to offer, keep the conversation general. They will most likely need to know more specific details before providing you a quote so find something similar that already exists and mention to them to give some estimate of what you might expect. Review this process with several service providers and get a feeling of how they conduct themselves, what their costs are and what you can expect from them.

The Trust Factor

It's important to consider that before speaking to anyone about your idea or invention in detail that you have an NDA also known as a non-disclosure agreement in place. This NDA serves to protect your idea and information you share as the disclosing party and anyone who signs it agrees to keep any related information they receive from you confidential unless you permit otherwise. Whether you are seeking help from service providers, discussing your idea with consultants, or gauging consumer interest, ask everyone involved in discussions to sign an NDA and keep a record of them filed away.You may also here the NDA also be referred to as a Confidentiality Agreement or an MNDA, which stands for a Mutual Confidentiality agreement.

Where to Get a Non-Disclosure Agreement for Your Idea or Invention?

There are some government sponsored organizations such as SCORE that offer a sample template on their website [score.org] that could work just fine for you.You can also ask an attorney for a blanket NDA that you could use and fill in the blanks as you present the agreement to the receiving parties. They may charge a fee for providing you their form or they could charge you for each use of the form you ask them to prepare for you.

You may have this initial fear of someone stealing your great idea and keeping it all to yourself. The options are to keep it all to yourself until you one day see it on the store shelves developed and for sale by someone else, saying that it was your idea back in the day or sourcing out the help you need to bring your idea to life and owning it. Taking the steps of researching and networking can also help with background knowledge of who you are about to collaborate with. Your risks can also be minimized by having the receiving party of your idea or trade secret on notice when asking and them signing an NDA, keeping track of correspondence and building a mutual respect for each other.

By Brian Fried

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Finding a Manufacturer for Your Invention

You brought your invention idea through the beginning steps of the process, preformed a patent search and now exploring various options of bringing your invention to market.

You could license your idea to a manufacturer with distribution which requires minimal risk and pays you a royalty or you may decide to go into business for yourself by manufacturing your product and taking a larger risk with potentially a greater return.

Responsibilities of Invention Manufacturing

Now that you decided to manufacture your invention...

there are some questions you need to ask yourself. Do you have the finances to invest for set-up, tooling, production, packaging, liability insurance, websites and marketing initiatives? Do you understand your industry and what the buyers or sales reps will expect of you? Are you prepared to handle shipping, warehousing, accounting, product safety testing and other responsibilities that come along with starting a business? There are entrepreneurs that forge ahead and find out these answers as they go along, perhaps learning lessons along the way and some may look to find a partner or partners to help in sharing the responsibilities.

 

Invention Manufacturing in the U.S. or Overseas

Manufacturer working on a new invention idea in a factory

The entrepreneurial inventor may look to keep manufacturing in the United States or search for manufacturing overseas.

You will need to evaluate production costs, volume minimum order quantities (referred to as MOQ) and maximum capacities of production, shipping costs and overall comfort level of a local factory vs. overseas. With technology today, cameras can be honed in live on your production activities whether in the US or overseas through the internet.

 

Finding a Local U.S. Invention Factory

Find a manufacturer for your invention

 

When searching for a local manufacturer, there are resources online with directories of manufacturers such as ThomasNet.com.

Filter what you are searching for by using the words "contract manufacturing" and include the generic industry or specific terms that the search would recognize. Contract manufacturing means that the factories are for hire and work with outside companies. You can also search by state and even by city to find a factory near you. Trade shows have manufacturers that exhibit and you can speak to them directly. Ask other people, including friends and family you may know that are involved in manufacturing or work in industrial parks may give you a lead. Also, finding a fellow inventor that may have taken their invention into manufacturing may have a factory they could share that work with inventors and possibly accept smaller orders to start.

 

Searching For an Overseas Manufacturer for Your Invention

 

Exploring overseas factories can be just as easy as finding them locally.

There are many online directories to explore such as a popular international portal called Alibaba.com. Search for a similar product compared to yours that can direct you towards a matching factory. Pay attention to the vendors on the website while doing your search by referring directly to manufacturers. There are many distributors that simply sell product inventory from factories and there are brokers that represent many factories. Indicate which are factories, connect with them with an online chat feature, web video call, call by phone (many of them speak English well) or email them for more information and a time to connect. Do research away from the website on a search engine to learn more about them or go to the direct website of the factory and get familiar with what they offer. Be sure to ask if they own the factory, if they're an employee or a broker. Ask questions about what type of products they manufacture, get references and call US companies that they work with. Also, as mentioned earlier, check with other resources and referrals to connect you with overseas factories.

 

Requesting a Quote

 

When approaching a manufacturer for a quote, they most likely will be asking you for computer engineered drawings (CAD) or 3D files that the factory will be able to review in development software tools to evaluate how much material and labor may be needed. They may also help in assisting to identifying what type of materials you could use and estimate a cost for the tooling or set-up costs to mass produce your product.

Finding a manufacturer may be one of the most important decisions you make. Think about the time and costs associated with starting with production. Once you start with a factory, it may be complicated to start moving around your production and equipment used including tooling or molds. You can look at your selected factory as your partner and work towards open communication, understanding and expectations to have peace of mind for you to focus on other steps of launching your product.

By Brian Fried

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