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If you are an inventor or perhaps have an idea that might garner potential in the marketplace, you may be wondering if getting a patent is the best course of action. It’s understandable because out of all the patented ideas and inventions that have been made, only a fraction turned out to be successful.
However, it is important to know just how powerful having a patent can be if the idea or invention does have real market potential. Here are just a few of the many ideas that were patented and became a part of daily life.
It may seem strange, but board games are a patented invention. While games like chess were around long before the patent process began, a man by the name of Milton Bradley patent his invention idea for the board game concept which resulted in Bradley making a considerable fortune thanks to the games he and his company created.
Bottle Sealing Device
It may seem a little strange today, but for a time bottled beer and soda pop were not very popular items because they would lose their fizz often long before they were purchased. It was then that William Painter developed a bottle cap called the Crown Cork, which contained a corrugated-flange edge that combined with a cork lining to seal the bottles and keep the drinks inside fresh and tasty. This simple invention revolutionized the beer and soda industry and resulted in boosting the sales to what we see today.
It may seem strange that the bowl of cereal you enjoy for breakfast is a patented invention, but it is true. A man by the name of John Henry Kellogg came up with the idea when he forgot to properly store his slab of wheat dough which then hardened and turned into flakes. At the time, Kellogg was running a sanitarium, but the patent allowed him to expand his efforts into cereal and the rest is history.
Foot Measuring Device
In the old days, getting the right pair of shoes was not easy as there was no way to accurately measure the feet so that the right size could be quickly retrieved. That is, until Charles F. Brannock invented a simple device that took only seconds to measure the feet which allowed for the quick retrieval of the right size shoes. While rather simple in application, the result was a service that significantly reduced waiting time and increased customer service.
Paper Bag Machine
Many ideas and inventions improve an already existing product either through better quality or faster production. There was a time when it took 30 people along an assembly line to create a single paper bag. However, Margaret Knight changed all that by developing a bag maker which cut, folded, and glued the bottom of the bag which greatly increased the efficiency of the process.
This invention is one of the most often-cited, but it was developed from a previous invention and perfected it. Arthur Fry worked for 3M and came up with the idea of using bright, neon-like paper and putting light glue on the back so it could stick to all sorts of surfaces. A bright invention for sure.
The safety pin is one of those inventions that people never think twice about, but is one of the most useful devices ever created. Walter Hunt twisted a piece of metal, sharpened the point, and attached a fastener to create the first safety pin. He patented his invention and even today it is still one of the handiest products every created. From diapers to holding together broken bra straps to attaching all sorts of items, the safety pin is one of the most useful inventions.
How to Patent Your Idea
Now that you know of just some of the many ideas and inventions that have been patented, your next step is to seek out patent protection for what you have created. It will need to meet certain criteria, have commercial potential, and not be duplicated by a previously patented item. This will mean keeping careful notes about how you came up with and developed the idea along with the effort to research it through the patent office.
It may take time and persistence to get your idea or invention patented. Still, the effort to go through the patent process is worth it for the protection and potential that it provides.
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