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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

(10) Judges of Inventors Competitions

I was watching the American Inventors on TV and there were 3
contestants who were eyeing for the final round. They were:

1) Erik Thompson, 40, hails from Detroit, Michigan, where he is a
factory worker and the owner of a gym.
The Receiver's Training Pole - A detachable vest that football players
and other athletes can wear to train and develop proper catching
skills. A large bow-shaped arm attached to the vest forces the player
to catch the ball with his hands, not his chest, thus reinforcing
proper technique.

2) Mark Martinez, 43, is a self-employed handyman from Chino, California.
Sackmaster 2000 - The one-man, one-scoop sandbag shovel. An
ergonomically designed shovel with a hollow handle that allows the
material being shoveled to be instantly deposited into an attached
bag. Designed to save time, and ultimately lives, when sandbagging
during floods and storms. Can also be used for sacking grain, leaves, etc.

3) Sheryl McDonald, 41, is a former airline service agent from Van
Nuys, California.
The Un-brella - An umbrella that inverts inward and folds up into its
own handle, to make it easier to close in windy and wet situations.
Also insures that you don't get doused when closing your umbrella
while getting into your car.

And when the inventors presented their inventions (proto-types)before
the judges, the judges comments were:

1) It is too bulky
2) It is not 100% working
3) You did not present your product well eventhough it is a good invention
4) You are not dressed up for the presentation
5) Your product packaging is not good enough
6) The color is not attractive
7) Craps, craps, craps....

I think these comments is an insult to themselves. I think some of the
judges do not know what they are talking about and what they are
looking for in selecting a good invention.

I once attended a judging briefing for a local inventor competition. I
was told that more points will be given out for the presentation than
the commercial potential of the product !!!!! I was really shocked to
hear that.

You mean if an autistic inventor came in with a great invention which
have great commercial potential but he cannot present himself well
because of his condition, he doesn't deserve to win eventhough he may
had invented the Rubic Cube?

As a judge, you must be able to look beyond what is presented to you.
A chair is not always a chair, a house is not always a house....

Even if the inventor presented his 'idea' for the application on a
chair, you as a judge, should not stop your scope at that. You should
be asking yourself, if the 'claims in the patents' can be apply for
other products as well.... Event though his invention or patent do not
much for a chair, perhaps it might be the break thru for a table or a
cupboard. This will prove to be a great invention.

A good invention must be a good selling product. There is no better
judges in the world than the commercial market forces.... Say what you
want, if your product cannot sell, it is a failed invention.....

-23rd April 2007


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