Thursday, July 17, 2008

Braid Bites-by NuBeads (Just Bead It!) New Product Launch!

Introducing Braid Bites (Just Bead It!) , hitting the market is an outstanding new innovation for your hair created by NuBeads founder Patricia Dobine. Patricia contacted Invention Support and Idea Design Studios to help design and produce her vision. Not only was the product designed and produced but Patricia was able to create a New Business Venture. Patricia along with our group created and electrified a new concept in beading hair. The inspiration for this invention came to her through the need for a less time consuming method of beading her braids. Patricia desired for more opportunities and options with her fashion and her hair fashion statements. Braid Bites allows for that expression to be unleashed. As an inventor and entrepreneur Patricia worked diligently and professionally on this concept. Her attitude and expressions are that of a true artist that wants their work and effort to benefit others.

Out of pure frustration with the current process Patricia development Braid Bites so anyone can snap them on saving time and creating a new style. This invention is a practical idea for the consumer wishing to bead their braids, twist etc., or maintain their existing braids. The concept is practical for hair designers, large corporations that provide hair products and manufacturers of hair products. This new invention was forged through her experience and knowledge of the industry.

After many design models and prototype refining Braid Bites became a reality. We here at Invention Support and Idea Design Studio applaud Patricia’s efforts and dedication. We are happy to be apart of such an outstanding new product. We will continue to help Patricia market and sell Braid Bites through multiple cross promotion campaigns, web presence, trade show exposure and word of mouth contact. We are confident this product will be a success and we are all looking forward to our continued efforts with Patricia.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Inventing in todays Economy!

Many people around the country are feeling the slow down in today’s economy. We have all felt the rising gas prices at the pumps, the bursting real estate bubble and the stock market uncertainty. You have probably even decided to take that great new product idea you thought off awhile ago and put it on the back burner. Let’s face it, this may not be the brightest of economic times but it doesn’t mean we should all stop in our tracks. On the contrary now is the time to be more creative and to find ways to push forward. You don’t have to stop working on your goals nor should you. Reevaluate your situation and remember how inspired you became when you first had that new idea. Life is all about new growth, opportunity and experiences. Things will continue moving forward with or without you. Are you going to be on board or let someone else steal your thunder?

Business is still moving forward and in a big way. Take the recent agreement of Anheuser-Busch to be sold for around $52 billion dollars to Belgian Brewer InBev. Now, we all know that an individual inventor is not on this type of scale and I only bring this up because you will be surprised at the business deals still happening in this economy. When everything seems to be so negative it is important to focus and find the positive. Inventing is never meant to be a quick fix to your financial situation, but it can be a very rewarding opportunity. Like every new business venture it takes time and dedication to accomplish your goals. There are also plenty of ways to have more control over your project and keep a realistic budget. One of the best ways to stay in control of your new idea while maintaining a realistic budget is to create something you can start selling on a small scale. This can be accomplished with Limited Run Manufacturing. Even if you are interested in a licensing deal for your idea you should consider the advantages of selling your product on a retail level first. Because you have created your product and have inventory you now have the opportunity to make ROI (Return on Investment). Think of all your friends, family members and business associates your product would be great for. This is usually your first target market and it is where you should start to sell your new product. At the same time have a website created to add a true business look and dimension. It will also help you continue to expand on your marketing and sales. You should talk to everyone you meet about your new website, passing out business cards and flyer's with your company website and product information. Now you’ve created a storefront without the monthly rent payments so your overhead stays lower and your budget goes into the inventory not the rent. Of course, just like any new business venture there are no guarantees that you are going to be successful but you do have a fighting chance and you are keeping your risk level low.

Sometimes however, it may become necessary to raise capital for your new project. The most apparent reason is so you as the inventor don’t have to take on all the risk. Look at many successful business ventures and individual entrepreneurs. Even Donald Trump, he started out raising capital and having investors join his projects and he still does. The advantage you gain by producing your product will help in the ability to attract and gain investors. If a potential investor can actually use your product and see it selling you have increased the odds for them to want to invest. An investor can see the real potential and how there investment might grow. Think of it this way, would you feel more comfortable investing into an idea or new product that was produced so that you can hold it in your hand, test it out and see some sales. Or, invest in one that is still just a thought written down on paper? Every situation is different and pulling together investors can be a great way to keep your invention moving forward but remember the more hands in the cookie jar the fewer the cookies. So be very specific on the percentages each investor will receive and regardless whether your investor turns out to be a family member or a business associate document everything. Keeping good records can eliminate headaches later.

On a final note be sure to spend wisely. If you need help with your project and are going to pay for a service make sure it is going to be useful. Have the big picture in your mind and take each step according to your ultimate goal. Here is a very brief explanation and time line:

  1. Design your idea and search for similar products

  2. Prototype

  3. Check into Patenting

  4. Build your business identity (Logo, Website, Brochures)

  5. Limited Run Manufacturing

  6. Sell/License your product (Word of Mouth, Websites and Trade Shows/Events)

For additional information on any of these topics or for help with new product development visit Invention Support.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Invention & Idea Show

We recently attended the Invention & Idea Show sponsored by the Minnesota Inventors Congress. They are celebrating there 51st annual event, established in 1958 they are a non profit organization dedicated to the advancement of inventors and their ideas. Check out some of the show details at Invent Helper . The event was held June 13th and 14th as the world’s oldest annual convention.

Among some of the great relationships we established at this event we meet with The United Stated Patent and Trademark office representatives, Inventors Network, Pelham West Licensing Scouts and Invent Right. We are sending follow up information to all the licensing scouts at this show to include products we have currently contracted to license. One product specifically we are working with that grabbed attention was Swing Correct. This is a great new product to perfect your golf swing. Another of our products Conform-A Tie also got some notice. We are looking forward to continued interest in other products and additional progress from our licensing efforts.

Some of the products we witnessed at the show included the Step-Up which won the 2007 Grand Prize and one of our favorites Spiral Eye Needles which caught the eye of many of the attendees. It goes to show you that having a physical product can really help to gain recognition and exposure.

After attending multiple seminars and having many discussions with professionals at this event we have once again confirmed our initial program. Here are the initial steps that inventors should follow for product development.
First design your idea (Idea Design) and be creative with it. Have a professional create 3d designs and computer models for visual effect and design originality.
Next get a professional to do a patent search for you (a great source for this is found at the United Inventors Association) which is another group we met at the trade show.
After completing the initial two steps its time to move onto the physical prototype stage (Prototype). This step is very important and should be done professionally, not only does your invention need to function but it needs to have manufacturability. You want to know it can be reproduced and what it will take to do that.
Now you have a functioning product, its time to look into a patent. If done sooner you run the risk of a patent on something that you may not be able to produce or a product that must go through major changes in design (which could cause more patent work anyway). There is much debate as to when to file for a patent, so you should always consult with a professional.

In coming Blog posts we will have some in-depth posts from each of the contacts we established from this years event. We are looking forward to next year’s event as we continue to build on the relationships from this year.

If you need help with a new idea or product Click Here!

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Non-Disclosure and Provisional Patents

As a new inventor you may be and should be concerned about protecting your new idea or invention. Keeping good records is key to start. Always document any activity involving your project and label your records starting with your name and date of entry. If you are going to need help moving forward with your idea, or you decide you want to show your idea to someone always present or request a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement before they review it. The biggest mistake for first time inventors regarding these types of agreements is using one that has no time frame for disclosure. In our opinion in order for the agreement to hold up there must be some time frame. A normal time frame seen on agreements in the United States is between 2 to 3 years. Longer time frames tend to appear in Europe, as much as 10 years. Be very cautious of any documents without a timeframe as they may not hold up in court. This happens a lot with invention promotion firms wanting to review your idea. They will not include a time frame just so you will feel safe and not question them. However, this shows they don’t really care much about your idea or you as the inventor. More often then not they are more interested in your money anyway!(We will discuss Invention Promotion firms in later articles with more detail). View this time frame as a motivator to keep you moving forward with your project and always use one regardless of who is reviewing your idea. You may review one of our confidential agreements at look under the terms and conditions section.

Aside from non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements another way for early protection is to file for a provisional patent. If you have determined your idea to be patentable then this application will give your idea one year of protection. It can be a realitivly inexpensive way to have time for initial work like research, development and testing. However, the patent office is very strict about disclosure and that one year time frame. You must apply for a non-provisional application within that year or risk losing the ability to obtain a patent. One option is to apply for the provisional patent after the initial designs and patent searching are complete. By doing this you will have a strong understanding of your new product and will not be wasting time on the provisional one year limit. Visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office for more details on provisional patents at .

This article is for information purposes only and is not intended nor subject as legal advice. Consult with your own attorney for clarification. All information expressed exhibits only the opinions of the writer.

Friday, June 6, 2008

First Step to Inventing

Lets face it, the main reason that so few people reach there goals in life is because they simply don't take action. The same is true with new ideas and inventing. Far to many inventors will never take action on an idea only to find it on the market in a few years. Or, they will get a negative comment from there brothers sisters cousins uncle and never move forward. Remember a persons attitude is a reflection of there life. Use real facts and research to make decisions on your idea. Take advice from people you value the opinion of and have had the experience and accomplishments to back it up.

Take action on your idea or invention. This does not mean to blindly follow through just because you have an idea it means move forward obtaining real answers until those answers tell you otherwise. Here are a few questions you need answered early:
  1. Does my idea have a specific purpose or fill a need?
  2. Do I have a great design and function?
  3. Have I seen anything similar to my design or function? (Preliminary searching)
  4. Does my idea or invention work? (If not can I get help to make it work?)
  5. Would people I know buy this idea?
  6. Do I feel strongly enough about my idea or invention to put forth the effort?

These questions will get you in the right direction. Get answers and make decisions that feel right. Ultimately, when we take action it may turn into positive answers and sometimes it will not. Either way you can feel good that you are taking action and moving forward. Your directions may change and your life may change for the better.

Remember, there are no guarantees in life but rest assured if you do nothing then you will have no control of what ever happens. This is the greatest time in history to work on a new idea or invention. So start by taking some Action!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Summer Time! Create Ideas with Kids!

If you have inventive natures why not bring the kids into the action. Summer is here and it is a great time to bond with the kids. They probably have already seen you tinkering around with your ideas and have shown interest. How about getting them involved? It is important to keep them active and learning. One thing is to hand them the modeling clay and have them try and shape together your idea or try and draw it out. But, it you need help with more kid friendly ideas we have some great sites for you to check out.

There are plenty of resources online for kids to help inspire there inventive minds. The United Stated Patent Office has a great kids section for learning and exploring fun. Check it out at . It is a very interactive and colorful site with lots of learning games and interaction. Next on the list is Kids Invent. This is a great site to purchase instructional brochures for inventing at schools and home. The brochures are inexpensive ranging for around $3.00 to $5.00 for each activity. They also have a great description so you can review them and pick out the ones you and your child are most interested in. Check out there site at .

The next place we found interesting is By Kids for Kids. This site is very kid friendly they have contests for cash prizes and really cool ideas to share. The site is geared for kids of all ages. Check it out at . The last site is really more of an overall kid friendly zone and not just about inventing. It is worth mentioning because it has many links for research and education. Check it out at .

Now you have some great resources to get involved in this summer to stay creative. Keep and open mind and just run with it. Oh yeah and don’t forget to have a few BBQs in between.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Prototype your Idea or Invention.

This comes second nature to many individuals who have thought of a new idea or invention out of necessity. Especially when it comes to a new tool for around the house or work. Many inventors have created homemade prototypes and use there idea on a regular basis. By doing so they have amble time testing there idea and making improvements.

However, if you find yourself less then mechanically inclined there are a few ways to simplify making the prototype or physical model of your idea. But first lets briefly discuss the two main types of early stage prototypes (non-functional and functional).

  1. Non-functional prototype (Mainly to examine the overall appearance, form and feel you want. Good start and motivational builder. Gives you the opportunity to examine for early improvements or modifications.)

  2. Functional Prototype (A working model. If it is feasible this will give you the ability to test, improve, retest and improve until you have a solid product.)

Don't be surprised to find yourself with many changes in the beginning, James Dyson the inventor of the Dyson vacuum cleaners went through thousands of prototypes to see his vision through. Of course he was creating new technology but this is why it is a good idea to design your idea first. Draw it out or design it on the computer. If you need help use a professional to design your idea. Early design work can save you time and money later in the development process. A good design start would be to have a 3d rendering created. This is like a 3d model of your product on the computer. Usually, it is not movable yet so get multiple views to have good representation. This will make your idea look like a real product and you can still make changes before a prototype is created. The more visual you can be in the beginning the better.

Usually, the most inexpensive way to prototype your product is to make a homemade model. This can mean simply buying modeling clay or cardboard to create a model for visual effect. It can be a great way to be hands on with your project. Depending on the complexity of the idea, your skill level and motivation you may feel capable to create a working prototype. Go out and buy the material to create it and because you did the initial design work you can use that as your template. Of course, at some point you will probably want to create a professional prototype to understand and solve manufacturing issues, tooling and production costs as well as to do product testing. Also, remember that when you are having a professional prototype created find out whether the prototype will be functional or non functional. Don't just assume that your prototype will be functional.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Steps to Kick Start your Idea or Invention

Here are a few things to help you move in a positive direction with your new idea or invention.

  1. Write down all of the immediate details of your idea. Grab a notepad or create a document on your computer and start with your name, date and time of the entry. You are starting an Idea Journal. Start listing every detail that comes to mind. Don't worry about any specific order or making your idea perfect just let the creative juices start flowing. Think of it as your personal brainstorming session. I suggest that if you came up with the idea as a team or group effort everyone should do there Idea Journal separately then reconviene for new sessions. You need to write down everything that comes to your mind without distractions. If you have a design in mind do a diagram. Even if you think you can't draw well don't judge yourself everything can be refined and organized later. The main purpose is to get information documented of your first thoughts. Understand that your idea will go through many changes along the way but those first thoughts will be the foundation that you will revisit for inspiration.

  2. Next, with a basic understanding and possibly a rough design it is time for some research. You want to check around for anything similar to what you have in mind. The Internet is a great place to start for this research. There are many search engines but these two sights will work well. First go to and type in the specific search term (Description-be specific; remote lawnmower not just lawnmower) about your idea and scroll down the pages. You can't just rely on the first page for all the answers and try different word variations. Then you can do a free patent search at . Again, type in specific information about what your idea is and scroll down the pages. Remember this is not a guarantee no one has thought of your idea before but it is a great start.

( Design your Idea and Patent Referral list at )

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Making your New Idea a Reality

Many of us have thought of a New Idea or Invention that feels like a winner. Some to fill a special purpose or to make life easier and others have thought up ways to make existing products better. Whatever the challenge, industry or market your idea fits into one thing remains the same, most people never follow through or search out the resources to make their New Idea a Reality.

We will discuss the early stages of your idea or invention from designing, prototypes and protection. Then Focus on the steps to production, business identity, marketing and or licensing. We will break the myths and interview successful inventors and companies to get the inside scoop on there successful ventures. This Blog is designed to shed light on direction and to discuss all the resources available today for the average person to move forward into Making Your New Idea A Reality!