I am an inventor and I’m always thinking of ways to develop new products. The first product I designed and made a prototype for is called ©RunawaySpray. This is a lipstick size ‘ladder’ or ‘run’ stop spray for stockings and tights. This product took ten years of research and development, as I ran a retail business when I was 17 to pay for the cost of patents and making the first precious products to show to potential customers.
Holding the finished product in my hand was an amazing experience. I won an award for this product and became one of the Female Inventors of the Year (BFiY) which was such an honour. This created a lot of publicity and I sat on some very fabulous couches, including Richard and Judy, (where I was asked to write a script on invention, so Richard and Judy could act it out during the show as I had technical knowledge and they wanted to show how inventions used to be a very male dominated industry). I also met Gloria Hunniford on her show and went on The Big Breakfast, Sky News, The ITV lunchtime news, The World wide Service, Local radio and many others. It was an amazing time and I learnt so much for the talented teams there.
My first customers were Superdrug and The Arcadia group, which was beyond my wildest dreams.
Advice for inventors.
Always do a product search before you spend money on patents as there may already be a patent filed for a similar product. The design might not have come to market and you may not have heard about it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
I called a my now patent attorney and asked them their hourly rate. I then wrote down hundreds of questions. Next I limited those questions to the really important ones, then booked my hour and asked every one of them!
To keep your product design safe, draw the design in every possible format until it won’t work anymore. This covers you if someone tries to copy or design a similar product, as the design variation will already be under your patent.
I went to the library and found every copy I could of confidentiality contracts. I then made my own from the outlines. I had it verified by a professional. I then asked anyone I told, or showed samples of my product to, to sign it before the meeting.
Feel free to ask any questions about your inventive ideas here. Don’t write down the actual product idea though!