Monday, June 10, 2013

The Inventor’s Notebook post AIA

America has finally joined the rest of the world and shifted from a ‘First to invent ’ system to a ‘First to file’ one. Now all I’m waiting for is for the Metric system to come kicking in the door; 12 inches in a foot, 5,260 feet in a mile. Seriously! Thankfully I didn’t have to study math in America, word problems would have been the death of me. But I digress; under the new America Invents Act passed in 2011 a number of sweeping changes have been made to Patent law . Amongst these amendments probably the most noteworthy is the change to a ‘First to file’ system. The name may seem slightly misleading as it really means the first inventor to file.  The law now favors the inventor who files for a patent and reduces his invention to practice first over the inventor who first came up with the idea for the invention (if separate claimants).

You may be thinking that if the law doesn’t care about who conceived of an invention first then maintaining documentation to prove the same, such as an Inventor’s notebook, has in effect, become impractical. Even though this line of reasoning seems intuitive at first, it is a superficial assessment of the change. An inventor’s notebook does more than just establish who came up with the idea for an invention first. Reduction to practice is equally, if not more, important. By constantly updating your notebook you establish that you have in fact been working actively to reduce your invention to practice. A major factor considered while granting patent rights.

What is an inventor’s notebook? Yes, it is basically just a book to jot down your ideas, diagrams and progress on a particular or number of inventions in. Before sarcastically thanking me for stating the obvious, there are a number of rules you should know that, if overlooked, may ruin the credibility of your notebook and make it inadmissible as evidence in court. For example the notebook must have a fixed number of pages, each numbered. Loose leaf binders or stapling pages later on are not allowed. You should not tear or erase any material. Do not make any alterations or leave empty spaces; making any changes after a witness has already signed nullifies the credibility of the entry. There should be space for a witness to sign at the bottom of each page. Also all supplemental material such as graphs and diagrams must be inserted permanently with glue. It is good practice to maintain a record of a single invention in a notebook as it easier for courts to establish a timeline without getting confused.

One of the main reasons patent applications are rejected are because they lack novelty based on a current reading of prior art of the relevant field. Technology is advancing at an exponential rate. No really, it is. Those are not just sugary words but fact backed by verifiable data. People familiar with Moore’s Law  and its many derivations  will attest to this rate of growth in the field of electronic technology. Even though it is slowing down, the amount of knowledge being created in each and every field day after day is mind boggling. The reason I bring this up is because an idea one believes is novel today may just as well lack novelty in a matter of months or alternatively a person can challenge a patent application on the grounds that there is a reference to existing prior art that the applicant failed to mention at time of filing. Proving beyond doubt, that you had in fact come up with an idea before it was referenced in prior art becomes imperative.

But don’t relax just yet, conception predating prior art is advantageous, no doubt, but in and of itself not enough. You have to show that you were actively reducing the invention to practice since conception. This is where recording all your updates come into the picture. Courts do not rely on your oral testimony when verifying the truth. You could be George Washington incarnate; the court would still need evidentiary proof apart from your word. Inventor’s notebooks are verified by experienced witnesses in the field and lend it authenticity.

Protecting your invention is not the only advantage of maintaining an inventor’s notebook. You can also use it to document research and development. This not only protects your R&D, but also keeps a time-stamped record of all research activities. Making it easier to identify trade secrets your company possesses while also providing proof in case of any derivation proceedings. Another benefit of documenting R&D is that in case an entrepreneur of a company spends a substantial amount of time in the research facilities, he can seek a research tax credit. But without supporting documentation keeping track of the hours spent in research, no claim can be made.

I won’t lie though, maintaining a number of inventor’s notebooks and following the stipulated rules can be bothersome. Not to mention having to get everything verified by a witness time and again. An easy alternative is Traklight’s IP Vault®. It stores all your documentation online, secure and time stamped. All your uploaded files are inherently verified by Traklight®. Another advantage is that since everything is stored on a cloud you can retrieve your data on the fly wherever you are. Not only for the technologically savvy, online storage of sensitive data reduces the hassle of protecting intellectual property for anyone. Irrespective of what mode you prefer, maintaining a log of every stage of your invention is a must and should not be ignored.  

This article is intended to be general information and nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Please consult with an attorney before making any intellectual property decisions.

[1] It is based on an observation made by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, who stated that the number of transistors and integrated circuits would double every 2 years. This rate is predicted to slow down by 2015. 
[1] The rate of development of other electronic technology is also strongly linked to Moore’s Law. For example, pixels in cameras, memory in computing devices and processor speeds.
[1] Basim Shami ,et al v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2012-78)

This blog was written by Mrigank Mishra of, a site that provides inventors, creators, and small businesses with integrated software tools to identify and protect intellectual property. Visit and take our FREE Risk Quiz or download our White Paper for more IP Education.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Women Invented Products Showcased on Good Day Sacramento

The Women Inventorz Network was so honored to be given the opportunity to share some of the amazing inventions in our community of women inventors on Good Day Sacramento.  Here are the products that were actually showcased on the show and where you can buy them:

A tireless search amongst ordinary and overused patterns left Elonka empty handed for that perfect d├ęcor to compliment her infant son's room. This void sparked a creative mission to design unique and tasteful selections; the kind of item you buy for that special little person or grown-up in your life! A small personal line fulfilled that void and when word got out, she went from giving her creations as gifts to taking orders.

Her design goal from the beginning has been to craft quality pieces, research and source the best materials to offer customers high-end merchandise at affordable prices. Designing beyond the ordinary to extraordinary!

Meri Cherry, an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles, California, was tired of seeing her students come to school in t-shirts that said "I'm a spoiled brat" and other negative phrases.  She knew, if given the chance, the youth of today would come up with great ideas for t-shirts that were positive and full of energy and fun, just like the students in her class.  A few months later, VeryMeri was born.  Meri's idea was simple,  leave the designing to the kids while giving back to the community.

Show everyone what you would want to see on a t-shirt. You are only limited to your imagination! It can be anything from words, characters, shapes and colors or a mix of everything! Let the world see what you would wear! 

The Q-Redew is a handheld hair steamer that quickly restores moisture, rejuvenates and reshapes hair using warm steam as mist. Used on dry hair it revives in minutes and leaves
hair dry.  Q-Redew was created  by a curly girl for wavy/curly/kinky coily hair, so she understands what curly hair needs!!!

Drink Duets
Drink Duets  are soft, reusable, waterproof  Bottle Tags that Keep you and your Drink Together!
 Slip a colored tag over the neck of your water bottle and you'll be able to keep track of your drink. They come with  12 different color tags to a package. The tags can also be written on or decorated if having different colors isn't enough to differentiate.  Great in the beach cooler, for parties and on the sports field!
The Result:  saving money on bottled drinks, saving time and trips to the grocery store, and no more spreading of germs by accidentally sharing bottles. 

And Drink Duets Glass Skirts  perfectly complement  the Bottle Tags for casual entertaining. They wrap  around the stem of a wine glass and come with  8  different colors in each package.  The big bright colors make it easy to remember which drink is yours!

SwaggerTags are identification tags that reflect your personality and help you keep track of your gear. By customizing with your own photo, image or logo, you can let everyone know it’s your stuff. You decide what personal information to include and your SwaggerTag reveals the information only if it is opened.

A SwaggerTag is water, weather and impact resistant, with strong attachment points and ties to ensure it will stay with your gear. Available in six distinctive colours: Gekco Green, Dolphin Blue, Hot Pink, Mustang Purple, Dragon Red and Spider Grey.

Corky Koutures "Glamour Galore Collection" is a fun, glam and surprising way to gift a bottle of wine, champagne, liquor, sparkling juices, gift cards, money, jewelry & more. Ones gifting and personalization options are bound only by ones imagination in Corky Koutures hassle free, customizable or regiftable all inclusive presentation package. Perfect for Anniversaries, Bachelorette Parties, Birthdays, Bridal (Bride & Groom Gift, Brides Maids, Maid Of Honor, Mothers Of Bride & Groom, Guest Gifts,  Decorative Pieces,) Corporate Gifting,Christmas Gifts, Debutantes, Ladies Clubs, New Baby Girl Arrivals ,Sweet 16, Pampered Princess Parties, Proposals, and everything in between!

3Girls Holistic believes that natural beauty is a result of a healthy and vibrant life; that health is multifaceted, and that you look your best when you feel your best! Their line of products is intended to not only nourish your skin, but your overall health as well. Because our skin is capable of absorbing up to 60% of what we put on it, they believe that you shouldn’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t want to have inside your body. For that reason, their entire line is 100% natural, handcrafted with either organic or wild-harvested ingredients that have been carefully selected due to demonstrated benefits that they bring to our skin. 

Have you ever tried to grab all of your grocery bags in both hands just to avoid making one more trip to your car? Or how about when you get that uncomfortable feeling that strains your hands while carrying plastic bags? With The Shopping Pal by Zoya, you’ll never have to worry about either of these things ever again! The Shopping Pal is specifically designed to help you carry up to 10 shopping bags in one hand, comfortably. It eliminates finger strain and stress. The ergonomic design makes it easy to fit conveniently in your purse or glove box. The Shopping Pal comes with an accompanying bag that zips into a small and easy to store shape. The Shopping Pal saves you multiple trips back and forth from your car to the house by allowing you to carry all of your bags at one time. If you live in a high pedestrian area or an urban environment, the Shopping Pal is also great for saving you time and trips. It locks your bags in place so if they are in your trunk and they roll around, you can just pick up the handle and all the bags will be together, you don't have to scramble around trying to get them together.

Nightmare Nibblers come from a land far, far away – a magical place where nighttime fears and nightmares simply don’t stand a chance thanks to the Nibblers’ HUGE appetite for frightening things! 

And best of all…the Nightmare Nibbler is NOT fussy when it comes to choosing what to eat! That’s great news because even if what scares you changes, your Nibbler’s appetite for them won’t! As the fun rhyming poem on the hangtag describes, they stay awake and on duty through the night protecting kids from scary things that might give them a fright!

FlopTopz are the only full-length cushioned insole designed for flip flops and sandals.  FlopTopz add cushioning, renews tattered insoles and adds a fashionable touch to your summer shoes!  They are made from a recycled foam, covered in a slip-resistant fabric and are moisture wicking, odor absorbing and anti-microbial.  FlopTopz ECO comes in 3 sizes and 8 patterns...everyone will find their favorite style whether it's bright and fun or simply a solid to go incognito!  "Save your Soles" today! 

Click here to see how you can get your product on the next segment opportunity.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Get Your Product on Television for Summer Time Fun

This opportunity is filled with products that are relevant to Summertime Fun, BUT we will have a new opportunity  soon where your product could be a great fit!!!  Stay tuned to see the products that were selected on Good Day Sacramento!

Good Day Sacramento loved working with us so much
they want more from our Network!

Here is the next great opportunity!...

5 Lucky Women will have their product
on air with the wonderful Good Day Sacramento Team~
Showcasing great products for
Summer Time Fun! 

What you get along with your featured segment:  

Featured on a well-regarded talk show with a large viewership
Media clip for your own marketing
Aggressive promotion online through the Women Inventorz Network
       -Showcasing segment on our homepage reaching over
200,000 pageviews per month

       -Social media promotion to well over 500,000 fans and followers through Twitter      
         and Facebook through our popular tweet campaigns.

        -Permanent blog posting featuring each product that was showcased on the
         segment and where to purchase it.  This will bring SEO to your websites long
         after the segment has taken place.  This is worth the fee alone!!!

The cost is $225 per selected invention for this great

promotional package! 
Deadline for consideration is Monday, June 10th.

Here's how to submit...leave a comment below with a link to your website, or more information about your product. We will contact you directly if we feel it's a fit.  There are only five spots, so this will fill up fast!

Here's our last segment on Good Day Sacramento: