Thursday, October 5, 2006
More Bang for Your Buck: Inventions
It happens to all of us. We think of something to make our lives easier -- but turning an idea into an invention requires time and talent. Now, in tonight's More Bang For Your Buck, we're going to show you how to get companies to invest in your invention.
WSVN -- One brilliant idea, that's all it takes to become a millionaire. It could be any idea.
Like eBay -- it started off as a place to trade Pez dispensers.
Or Coca-Cola -- it was supposed to be headache medicine.
Or maybe even something new like this invention called the Pantree. South Floridian Elliot Anker designed it to organize his cookeware.
Elliot Anker: "So many people have ideas, but I think a small percentage follow through on those ideas."
As the expression goes, neccessity was the mother of Anker's invention.
Next month, the Pantree will be making its debut on QVC.
Elliot Anker: "The one thing I learned right from the beginning was to take it one step at a time."
The first step is to get your idea on paper.
According to author Howard Silken, you need to write out a description and do a search with a patent office.
Silken says this is one time you don't want to rely on the internet.
Howard Silken: "It maybe patented but not on the market."
Then, if nobody's thought of your idea, purchase a provisional patent.
For $100 it will provide you instant protection for a year, and you won't need an attorney.
Howard Silken: "You do have that one-year time where you can find out if it's viable and sellable."
Now, to sell your idea, you will need a prototype.
If you hire help to build your invention, make them sign a confidentiality agreement.
And make sure the prototype is presentable before you hit the road.
Howard Silken: "You'd be making a big mistake if you don't make a prototype and bring it up to the state of art and make it workable."
Ellliot's hoping his pantree is popular.
So far, the reviews have been good, but the best part is having his family with him along the way.
Elliot Anker: "It's a family descion. It's not a unilateral decision because it affects everyone. There's a major risk when it comes to stopping what you're doing and earning a living and going through a development process."
Remember, you can patent intellectual property such as a cooking recipe or a way of doing business.
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