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To patent or not to patent, and if so when?

I am a research student who may have inadvertently invented something commercializable. What do I do now? [more inside]
posted by cestlavie on Apr 7, 2014 - 13 answers

 

Who do you hire to build a simple prototype item?

Where do I begin looking to hire a person as cheaply as possible to build a prototype for a very simple invention I thought of? It will only be for me and not to try and pitch or have made en masse. It extremely simple and involves a containment unit and timed lock but I would need to explain my idea and have somebody build a spiffy looking one. [more inside]
posted by Jenna Roadman on Dec 12, 2013 - 7 answers

How do I bring a product to market?

I have a device that I have "invented". It's a simple mechanical heating device with a specific application in the beverage industry. I know how to build it, but how do I actually bring it to market? [more inside]
posted by special agent conrad uno on Dec 1, 2013 - 13 answers

How to protect idea for database and apps after showing it to someone?

I sent a video outlining an idea I came up with for a DB and series of apps to a contact I made at a big org. I received a terse reply that appeared to be claiming the idea as theirs. What is the best way to respond? [more inside]
posted by brynnwood on Jul 10, 2012 - 10 answers

Old Fashion Candy Classics

Who invented Starlight Mints? [more inside]
posted by Yakuman on May 17, 2012 - 4 answers

From knapping to nano

How many tool 'generations' has there been since hominids began toolmaking? [more inside]
posted by Jehan on Feb 13, 2012 - 14 answers

Father of the electric guitar never learned to play!

I just read this bio on Wired of Leo Fender and I was struck by the last line: "He never learned how to play the guitar." What other inventors, designers, or other people heavily involved in a specific product or industry never used their own products? I'm thinking of auto designers that didn't know how to drive, illiterate linguists, anything like that.
posted by backseatpilot on Aug 10, 2011 - 28 answers

Where would I find all the inventions that would have been amazing if they'd taken off? (but didn't.)

I'm looking for the greatest unproduced patents from the late 1800's through the mid-40's. Amazing, interesting, unusual ideas that, on paper, might have made a big impact - but got no further than the patent office. Where would I find these? [more inside]
posted by rileyray3000 on Jun 10, 2011 - 5 answers

Looking for "The-birth-of-[field of science]" and "The-X-that-changed-the-world" stories.

Looking for "The-birth-of-[field of science]" and "The-X-that-changed-the-world" stories. [more inside]
posted by gottabefunky on Feb 21, 2011 - 27 answers

Have they invented the snorkel-microphone yet?

Privacy-preserving microphone: does this product exist yet? [more inside]
posted by foursentences on Dec 15, 2010 - 4 answers

Things that make other things!

What are some other basic inventions/discoveries that became widely applied foundations for other inventions/discoveries? [more inside]
posted by yoga on Nov 26, 2010 - 20 answers

Innovative culture? check... Now what?

Are there documented, effective methods for stimulating and managing an innovation (idea) pipeline? [more inside]
posted by TheOtherSide on Sep 28, 2010 - 1 answer

Magical Engineering

Resources for the magic trick inventor/builder? [more inside]
posted by DU on Jun 16, 2010 - 10 answers

Floating wagon?

I work in the marsh and we need to carry some pretty heavy equipment soon; we have been trying to think of some way we can carry it all. We are thinking of some sort of sled/wagon that could handle diverse ground going from firm ground to puddles/ponds to very muddy, soft ground. Does anybody have good ideas? [more inside]
posted by Rustbeard on May 28, 2010 - 6 answers

How to make sure a business idea has merit before running with it?

How do you make sure a business idea has merit before running with it? [more inside]
posted by gacxllr9 on May 22, 2010 - 5 answers

Is my product idea worth money?

How do I make money out of a product idea? [more inside]
posted by aqsakal on Feb 19, 2010 - 16 answers

Illusion of discovery?

What's the name of that illusion (if that's the right word) where you think you came up with an idea but you actually heard it from someone else previously?
posted by palet on Feb 3, 2010 - 7 answers

If it does exist, I imagine the school crest is something like duct tape, a paper clip and a mullet

Is there a REAL MacGyver School in the world? [more inside]
posted by rileyray3000 on Dec 22, 2009 - 15 answers

Book about a lab rat who sings and has a fro?

What is this book? For kids, about a scientist's assistant who breaks into the lab safe one night and finds potions that he feeds to the lab rat. Hilarity and mayhem ensues. [more inside]
posted by phunniemee on Dec 7, 2009 - 1 answer

What does the Venn intersection of journalists and inventors look like?

I've been following the development of the CrunchPad with some interest. It's made me wonder, are there any famous examples in history of journalists also being successful inventors/innovators?
posted by runkelfinker on Nov 15, 2009 - 6 answers

WANT TO PRODUCE A FRAGRANCE: HOW?

I want to sell a cologne. How do I do that? [more inside]
posted by defmute on Sep 5, 2009 - 8 answers

How do I protect a card game invention?

I have invented a card game and would like to protect it before I start large-scale game testing. I can't find useful information about the laws surrounding protecting this kind of intellectual property. First, what kind of protections should I be seeking for a card game? Second, any recommendations on reputable, ethical lawyers in Seattle who can help me protect my game?
posted by velvetsmog on Sep 4, 2009 - 9 answers

Step 4: Profit!

I have a product idea for a regional restaurant franchise that I think would do really well. How do I go about making my dream of untold wealth a reality? [more inside]
posted by shiu mai baby on Jun 9, 2009 - 8 answers

how to manufacture 1000+ units of new, custom fabric based product?

I've made a new fabric product that I hope would sell 5000+ units. For viable efficiency I need to buy manufacturing of the product or its parts. I don't want to reveal my product idea, but let's use a SLR camera bag made in sturdy fabric as an example. My product has similar materials, size and complexity. How do I go from there? [more inside]
posted by nolnar on Jan 23, 2009 - 6 answers

Does anyone remember a spherical cubicle?

I saw a website or read an article about an ergonomic "cubicle" that was actually a very large, balanced sphere. The person would lie down inside the sphere in a perfectly supporting "chair" (somewhat like a first-class recliner), facing upwards; the keyboard was at lap level, and the monitor hung from the top of the sphere. Now I can't find it. Help?
posted by tzikeh on Jul 15, 2008 - 6 answers

What would happen if I used a portable air conditioner in my car?

Is this possible? Or just dumb? What would happen if we used one of those new, small, portable air-conditioners in a car on a temporary basis? [more inside]
posted by Toto_tot on Jul 14, 2008 - 18 answers

Compensation package for an inventor working for a non-profit

I'm an engineer/inventor who is in salary negotiations with a non-profit and I hold the patent for a mission critical technology. I have some questions about how to secure the best offer. [more inside]
posted by Cardboardbox on Apr 10, 2008 - 9 answers

How do I get a prototype of an invention made and conduct market research?

How do I get a prototype of an invention made and conduct market research? [more inside]
posted by jesirose on Feb 22, 2008 - 10 answers

"Look Dave, I can see you're really upset about this."

How difficult would it be to either build a GPS with a little bit of a personality, who is disappointed with you when you make wrong turns, or to mod existing GPS units to have a hint of a personality? [more inside]
posted by onlyconnect on Feb 17, 2008 - 32 answers

High Risk Patent

I had an idea that, if patentable, would be worth quite a bit. However the chance of it being patentable is low (about 10-20%) and wouldn't be marketable by itself and would most likely require sale to a computer manufacturer. Are there any businesses that handle these kinds of ideas for a % of ownership in the potential patent? [more inside]
posted by JakeLL on Oct 16, 2007 - 19 answers

Has anyone ever heard of this show or guy?

I am considering taking my invention (patent pending) to a show called "The big idea with Donny Deutsch" which also has a show on television in the US on CNBC. Has anyone ever heard of this show or Donny Deutsch? The show is holding a road show in San Francisco for inventors in October and I would like to know if anyone has any feed back regarding this company.
posted by Little on Aug 5, 2007 - 15 answers

How do I get public exposure for my invention?

Does anyone have any suggestions/ideas on how to get my patent pending invention known to the public besides my website? This invention is for home improvement/decorating, no other product is available to the public that even comes close to what I have and it resolves a problem that all most every home uses for a window treatment. I am "financially challenged" so money is a huge issue. I welcome all replies!
posted by Little on Jul 23, 2007 - 14 answers

How do I materialize an idea for a product?

I have an idea for an improvement on a current product. How do I materialize it? [more inside]
posted by h2 on Nov 18, 2006 - 11 answers

You will never succeed in life... ?

I have found that when you are motivated to something unusual or difficult people dont hesitate to tell you how flawed your dream is, and why you will never and cannot physically succeed. Sometimes, these thoughts creep into my head, which I would like to combat, thus my question. I need quotes or excerpts about people who claimed someone famous in history would never succeed, who ended up making themselves look rather foolish when that person did infact succeed. (examples inside) [more inside]
posted by JokingClown on Nov 2, 2006 - 34 answers

Practical Astronomy

I've heard astronomy has given us great insights about basic physics (and could be seen as a form of basic physics research). What technologies do we have today that can trace their gensis to astronomical findings?
posted by phrontist on Sep 29, 2006 - 10 answers

Tales of the origins of now-ubiquitous innovations?

I'd love some help/direction/inspiration finding stories and quotes about inventions and technologies that are now ubiquitous, but were once considered to be unnecessary or impractical. [more inside]
posted by padraigin on May 2, 2006 - 18 answers

Plato denied Greek inventiveness?

During a recorded history lecture I was listening to recently, the professor mentioned in passing that Plato had said something to the effect that 'the Greeks never invented anything (but perfected what they borrowed)'. Can anyone point me to or quote the actual text in question, if it exists? [more inside]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Apr 20, 2006 - 5 answers

Do inventors pay royalties for fictionally-inspired technology?

If someone were to create an actual working version of fictional technology, would the inventor have to pay royalties to the owner of the original fiction? [more inside]
posted by Servo5678 on Apr 5, 2006 - 19 answers

Making that Brilliant Idea Real

Inventionfilter: Lets say I've come up with a brilliant idea that will change the world as we know it. How do I go about making this idea a reality? [more inside]
posted by ZackTM on Mar 20, 2006 - 15 answers

How do I bring a widget to market?

How do I bring a widget to market? [more inside]
posted by MrMulan on Oct 24, 2005 - 10 answers

Who invented the disco ball?

Who invented the disco ball?
posted by ootsocsid on Sep 4, 2005 - 11 answers

Do YOU have an idea for an invention?!

I have an idea for a product, and I'd like to get a prototype made. Does anyone have a service they'd recommend? And how does one research materials? (It's going to be solely made of some kind of rubber, but I don't know what to call the kind of rubber I want...)
posted by crickets on Aug 19, 2005 - 5 answers

These are not the gummy bears you're looking for.

How does one get a food item made/packaged/produced? [more inside]
posted by Kickstart70 on Aug 18, 2005 - 8 answers

Gizmo-maker extraordinare

I want to make a widget. Where do I find people who can help me make such widget? In this specific case, I want to make a co2 powered gizmo that goes around and around. [more inside]
posted by striker on Apr 25, 2005 - 4 answers

Pitching a New Feature

How would a nobody consumer go about contacting a major corporation about adding a new area to an existing piece of software? This software in question is already updated all the time, it seems like it would be easily implemented, and would bring in new revenue. [more inside]
posted by ArsncHeart on Mar 12, 2005 - 9 answers

Product production resources for the lowly inventor?

So all of us mad inventors now know about eMachineShop and PIC microprocessors and interesting connectivity devices. And some of us have designed truly wicked little systems just begging to make it onto the front page of Engadget. [more inside]
posted by felix on Feb 18, 2005 - 2 answers

What is the most amazing invention created in human history? And why?

In your opinion, what is the most awe-inspiring, amazing invention created in human history? And why?
posted by grefo on Dec 3, 2004 - 72 answers

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