How to Sell Your Invention

So you’re an inventor, and you think you’ve finally struck gold with your most recent invention. This one, unlike all the others before, is going to make your name and your fortune. The names of Edison and Tesla, Ford and Bell are running through your head, and you know, if you can just get this idea out there, you’re sure to be mentioned in the same breath as all of them.

But how do you do that? How do you get your idea out there?

This is a surprisingly difficult problem for inventors. Your invention, after all, isn’t just a book you can self-publish. To publish the specifics may well ruin your right to recuperate any money at all from all your work.

So, where do you go? There are a number of options, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.

First, you could go to businesses that specialize in the area of your invention and see if they are interested in buying it from you. The benefit here is, if you can get a willing ear and sell them on it, you are likely to get a decent payday from it, and the problems of production and selling are taken out of your hands. The downside, of course, is that you’d probably be required to sign over the rights to your invention. This would mean that you wouldn’t see the major money if the product took off (nor would you suffer the major losses if it didn’t), and you’d most likely remain an anonymous inventor. You could, however, use the success of this first invention to build a name for yourself in the industry. You’d then find the next invention has an easier path to success.

Another option would be to show your invention at trade shows to try to garner some big money investment. Should be successful, you’d likely have the capital to push your product into the mainstream, however you may not have the knowledge of how best to use that money. You would also be suffering under the requirements placed on your by your investors, who are likely to want to see a return on their investment in a set amount of time. This extra pressure can be quite daunting for those new to the business side of the invention.

A final way and perhaps the preferred one of the 21st-century inventor is to use sites like Kickstarter to launch your invention yourself. By getting small investments, it is easier to accommodate your investors with small gifts instead of major returns on funds. You have more time to develop your product and its brand. You may also make incidental connections that might lead to larger markets.

The downside is that you are still on your own to develop the means of reaching the mainstream market. However, a Kickstarter, or similar fundraising site, does immediately raise your profile so that a transition to Amazon and other sellers might be a little easier than through a more private fundraising system.

For an example of how an invention can launch quickly and lead to a big profile and success, check out the story of the Growler Chill.


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From 1993 to 1998, six children, all below 2 years old, died after the defective crib they used collapsed, trapped their neck and strangled them (all six cribs were from the same manufacturer).

Product-related injuries and deaths tracked and recorded by the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), include the following:

  • For the years 2001 and 2006, toy-related injuries were 255,100 and 220,500, respectively;
  • In 2005, Dell recalled 200,000 of its laptop batteries which could overheat and cause fire;
  • In 2003, nearly 30,000 electric blankets had to be recalled due to their tendency to overheat and catch fire when these are folded or bunched;
  • In 2006, Toyota recalled over 1.4 million of its cars due to defective parts; and,
  • Due to the use of the Ortho Evra® birth control patch, a number of young women were found to have developed blood clots, which also caused their death.

Thousands of product liability claims are filed in various U.S. courts every year, leading to settlements or court decisions in favor of consumers who have either been directly or indirectly injured by defective, harmful products.

The tasks of regulating the manufacture and sale, and of ensuring the safety of consumer products, including children’s toys and nursery items, is assigned to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a government agency that was created in 1972.  Some of CPSC’s specific tasks include:

  • Determine the allowed size of children’s toys;
  • Set limits for toxicity of, and noise produced by, toys;
  • Make sure that toys’ batteries and magnets are inaccessible to children;
  • Ensure that children’s toys are not designed with sharp parts and edges which can cause wounds;
  • Require manufacturers to display product labels that will warn parents about a toy’s possible dangers;
  • Issue recalls on harmful products;
  • Ban products that can cause danger; and,
  • Formulate other product safety requirements.

About 69,000 children in the U.S. are rushed to emergency departments every year due to defective nursery and children’s products. In 2014, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued recalls on 17 million units of children’s products which included infant carriers, high and hook-on chairs, full-size and non-full-size cribs, portable cribs, infant bathtubs, infant slings, strollers, walkers, play yards, swings, stationary activity centers, and toddler beds, among others.

The Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, LTD, posted the following in its website: How often do you give a thought to the safety of one of the many products you purchase? Most of us take it for granted that the products we use every day are safe. Unfortunately, this may not always be the case. Sometimes, in the push for quick profits, businesses push items onto the market without sufficient testing to determine that they are safe. It is the responsibility of those who design, produce, and market consumer products to ensure that they do no harm. If a product does injure or kill someone, anyone along the chain from design to manufacture to distribution of the product can potentially be held liable for the damages it caused.

 

 


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Construction sites are always dangerous places, even for workers, due to the many different hazardous factors present and used or operated within their vicinities. These include dangerous and flammable substances, sharp and heavy tools, heavy machinery, dangerous fumes and dust, and exposed electrical wiring; one may also include the high places where construction workers need to do their assigned work.

State and federal government entities are fully aware of the various dangers construction workers (as well as many other workers) are exposed to. Thus, due to workplace dangers, the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed into law in 1970; this Act, in turn, gave birth to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1971, a federal agency tasked to enforce safety and health standard laws in all workplaces.

Since the OSHA came into existence in 1971, it has made an impact in the industrial field, reducing the number of workplace injuries by 67% and deaths by 65%. Thus, while the 1970s registered as many as 38 worker deaths per day, the strict implementation of OSHA rules, especially during the last few years, has resulted to about only 12 fatal accidents in construction sites beginning in 2012. Still a loss of many lives, but definitely so much lower compared with the past decades.

Some of the safety standards that OSHA enforces, in construction sites particularly, are proper lighting all throughout the construction area, adequate worker protection against falls and falling objects, wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE), safe and sturdy stairways and ladders, use of reliable and properly assembled scaffoldings, 2A rating fire extinguishers every 3000 square feet, body-flushing and eye-washing facilities within 25 feet of battery-changing areas, properly displayed and clearly visible accident-prevention signs, which ought to be removed when hazard no longer exists in the area, and ground fault-circuit interrupters (GFCIs).

Accidents that construction workers may sustain during the performance of their work, especially those resulting from their co-workers’, supervisor’s or employer’s direct violation of the safety and health standard laws, may be considered personal injuries, injuries that are product of someone else’s negligence or carelessness. Though injured workers (or those who develop work-related illnesses due to exposure to hazardous substances, even if the illness becomes apparent months or years after the worker has already resigned or retired from work) may apply for the Workers’ Compensation Insurance benefit, they also have the right to file a claims lawsuit against their employer. One of the conditions stipulated in the Workers’ Comp is freedom of the employer from further legal responsibility once the injured worker avails of the benefit. On this regard, it is highly advisable that a worker who gets hurt in an accident seek the help of a lawyer, who has full knowledge of, and experience in, personal injury laws and lawsuits, respectively, and who can advise him/her about the legal rights he/she has regarding lawsuits and compensation for whatever damages the injury or illness would result to.


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“Hot work” is the term used to refer to people whose jobs regularly expose them to heat and danger. These individuals include those who work in construction sites, railroads, mines, chemical plants, liquefied petroleum exchange plants, restaurants, hotels, and so forth.

To these workers, especially those whose work take them to gas or propane exchange plants, the possibility of an explosion accident is one big risk that they face every day. 2010 records released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show 187 lives lost due to a fire and an explosion in a propane plant. In July of 2013, another propane explosion, which injured eight workers, wreaked great damage in a refilling plant and which required residents within a half-mile from the explosion site to evacuate, occurred somewhere in Florida.

Though a highly combustible and dangerous gas, propane, which can be made into liquefied petroleum gas, is a very common fuel used in American homes and commercial buildings. People use it to cook food, barbecue, heat their homes and fuel engines. To avoid possible occurrences of propane explosion, propane systems and propane-powered appliances should be checked by qualified service technicians regularly. Home owners and residents should also avoid using propane grills inside their homes or in small and enclosed areas; they also should never use damaged propane cylinders or tanks.

It only requires a small amount of propane for an explosion to occur. Thus, if there is any hint or suspicion of propane leak, you should never switch on or use any device or appliance which causes a spark.

Besides home use, the Milwaukee personal injury attorneys of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® mention the use of this gas in a wide variety of industries, from glass companies to brick kilns to agricultural centers. In these environments, propane is often stored in larger containers, making the potential for a large explosion even greater. If a propane tank isn’t properly cared for, a leak could develop that the smallest spark could set off.

An explosion, especially if this occurs in a workplace, can result to innocent workers getting injured and being made to suffer extremely painful injuries that can alter their condition and activities for the rest of their lives. Though the results of an explosion accident may be irreversible, it will somehow be a relief for the injured worker to know that he/she will be paid the full amount of compensation that will allow him/her get the medical treatment needed and which will help see to his/her family’s daily needs.


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Where there are motorized vehicles, then one thing is most likely to happen: accident.

Way back in the early 1900s, people already saw that cars were bound to crash; this is why carrying auto insurance was made a mandate. Motorcycle, car and truck accidents are not the only causes of accidents, however, ships and boats, have, for so long, even longer than any motor vehicle on land, been causes of injuries and death to so many men, even during ancient times.

Today, the U.S. Coast Guard, as one of its many functions, makes a compilation of all reported recreational boating accidents in the U.S. In 2015, for instance, it counted 4,158 accidents that resulted to 626 deaths and 2,613 injuries. This 626 deaths is much higher than the 2013 and 2014 records, which were at 560 and 610, respectively.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the top five leading contributing factors to accidents are operator inexperience, operator inattention, improper lookout, excessive speed and alcohol. Operator inexperience, specifically, has been the leading cause of boating accidents all across the U.S. for almost two decades now. Boating is a totally fun and adventure-filled activity; however,operating a boat without having proper knowledge about its safe operation and proper attitude while on water can be dangerous even to experienced operators.

Boat operators have a lot to learn, including boating laws and regulations, rules on navigation, what to do in a weather-related emergencies, and knot tying among others. The U.S. Coast Guard advises operators to take a boating education class where they will learn all the basics, and the dos and don’ts of boating. While taking this education class is not really required for operating a watercraft in some states, having the knowledge on how to have a safe and enjoyable time on the water may reduce the likelihood of getting into an accident.

The Clawson & Staubes law firm mentions and explains in its website some of the laws boat operators will need to observe while on waters. It also explains what legal action a person can pursue in the event an accident does occur due to the carelessness or negligence of someone else.


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