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Why would you as a firefighter want to use a patent attorney that is a professional fire fighter and an Inventor?

Why would you as a firefighter want to use a patent attorney that is a professional fire fighter and an Inventor?
by Andrew Spriegel
January 12, 2011

Many of the advances made in firefighting and EMS equipment and training have been made by firefighters and paramedics.  So if you are one of the numerous firefighter/EMS inventors, who do you go to write a patent to protect your idea?  Paul Filon, full-time lieutenant and paramedic in the Strongsville Fire Department and a licensed and registered Patent Attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  Paul works at Spriegel & Associates, LLC (Patent & Trademark Attorneys) in Hudson, Ohio, http://www.Smart2Patent.com.

In addition to working as an EMT/paramedic for 22 years and a firefighter for 16 years, Mr. Filon is also chemistry specialist and Haz-Mat technician for the regional Haz-Mat and bomb teams.  He is experienced in several technical rescue disciplines and teaches a variety of firefighter and EMS classes.

Spriegel & Associates, LLC is gaining a reputation as working with firefighters, Captain Phil McLean is one of their clients and one of those inventor/firefighter types that owns Sensible Products Inc. (www.senpro.net), in Richfield, Ohio.  Phil and his business partner, retired Fire Chief, Russ English are quality manufacturers of unique holders and bracketry for fittings, adapters, brass goods and tools mounted on fire trucks.  Here is what Phil has to say about working with Paul:

I have worked with Paul Filon on several occasions related to product development. With his Fire Service background and knowledge of Emergency Services it made the development and patent process easy for me and my company as we were developing a new product in the business. He is an energetic worker and has a passion for all the work and all of his professions.  His multi-professional experience was and continues to be an asset to our project.

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The Pet Rock was more than a gag or fad it was a brilliant marketing strategy

The Pet Rock was more than a gag or fad it was a brilliant marketing strategy

By Andrew Spriegel
January 16, 2011

Nothing is as easy or as simple as it seems.  How times have you heard someone say “A guy made millions selling pet rocks.”

Marketing, Marketing and More Marketing

In inventing, retail and service businesses, success or failure often depends on marketing.

Gary Dahl, a Los Gatos, California advertising professional was in a bar in 1975 with his friends who were complaining about their pets.   Dahl, as a joke told his friends that he considered dogs, cats, birds, and fish messy, not well-behaved and they cost too much money,  he had a pet rock.  His “pet” was clean, well-mannered, easy to care for, required no expensive foods required no feeding, bathing, walking, grooming, was well-behaved, had an even temperament, would not grow elderly or pass away or become sick.  They were the perfect pets, and Gary joked about it with his friends.  However, he soon took the idea seriously, and went home and started to write an instruction manual for a pet rock.  The manual was full of jokes and gags that referred to the inanimate rock as a pet.

Dahl quit his job to launch Rock Bottom Productions, the company that sold the pet rocks for $3.95 per “pet”.   Marketing, packaging and shipping the pet rock like live pets, in cardboard, pet carrier boxes, with straw for the rock to rest on and breathing holes.  Large volume sales only lasted about six months, however sales made Dahl a millionaire.

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So You are Wondering if You Should use an Invention Promotion Company to get Rich?

So You are Wondering if You Should use an Invention Promotion Company?
by Andrew R. Spriegel
December 16, 2010

Let’s take a look at Davidson as an example.

Here is how I and other interpret the numbers:

Davidson received $745 from each of the 50,516 research contracts ($37 million), and an average of $3k-$15k (lets use $5k) from the 13, 849 New Product Sample Agreements ($69 Million) for a combined total of $106 Million received; the total number of consumers who obtained license agreements is just 376, and the number who actually made more money in royalties than they paid is only 14.  This is a success rate of 14/13,849 = .001%.

This success is actually inflated if you consider the 14+376 /589,418 of the New product submissions.  This would then be an even lower  .00066%.

Apparently, because they have been sued for their actions, they now must publish these numbers for full disclosure.

I am going to send a letter to Davidson to check that I did the math correctly.  However, based on how I am interpreting their numbers your odds are very low at being successful.

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Ask the Experts

Andrew R. Spriegel interviewed by www.asktheexperts.org.uk 2010

The Invention of Trying
by Paul David Lucas

What drives people to become inventors? Perhaps Edison thought it would be an illuminating experience; maybe Watt thought it would be a good way of letting off steam. However, for Andrew Spriegel, it’s about making dreams become a reality.

Admittedly Mr Spriegel may not yet rank up there with the likes of Henry Ford, Wilbur Wright and George Stephenson, but his achievements should not be overlooked. He has already racked up dozens of patents to his name including products for the Invacare Corporation that dominates a $120 million a year market and has no competitor that has yet challenged the product for features and functions; and his first patent for a Laparoscopic Surgery device.

Having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, Mr Spriegel went on to work in lead electromechanical design engineering or management positions for companies such as GE Astro Space, GE Transportation Systems, GE-Lubrizol, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space, Invacare, GOJO Industries, Kensey Nash Corporation and IBM, while also working on designs and projects involving NASA, International and US Air Force satellites, the Space Station, Locomotives, Off-highway vehicles, surgical devices and durable medical equipment.  It’s an impressive resume, but despite his personal achievements, Mr. Spriegel is not only focused on his own career – he’s also keen to help others reach the top.

At 48, he entered law school to study patent law and has since set up his own firm – Spriegel and Associates – to assist inventors and companies with the complicated world of patent law.“We take on inventors only if we believe they can commercialize their product,” he said.

“If we think the inventor won’t be successful, for example if their product is too complicated, they don’t have the necessary skills/drive, they believe it is a ‘get rich quick’ thing then we turn them away.  We want our firm to be known as a patent law firm with a high success rate in helping people commercialize products.”

Among the latest products Spriegel is helping to become a reality is the Portion PadL, which allows users to cut equal slices of pizza very quickly. It may seem straightforward enough but it solves a number of problems for food companies and fundraisers alike – because equal slices of pizza mean increased sales, reduced food waste and improved presentation.

“It actually does what it is supposed to do and that is to allow the user to cut equal slices of pizza very quickly,” commented Spriegel. “Greg Getzinger (the inventor) did a lot of research and experimentation to perfect the product. In addition, Greg is a pizza shop owner, very driven, a lot of fun and great at marketing the product.”Another of his hot products is the Nee-Z-eeZ a sleep aid device designed to ease the pain in your back, legs, hips and knees. Inventor Frank Fleischer, who initially developed the product for himself, earns high praise from Spriegel for the shrewdness of his invention and for capitalizing on a gap in the market.

“Frank Fleischer, the principal inventor, is 80 years old and can run circles around a lot of people much younger,” he said. “It amazed me how many people sleep with a pillow between their legs to align their hips. Frank owned a very large shoe business and they built specialized shoes. He knew there was a large population of people that needed the product.”

Of course it’s not just individuals to which Spriegel’s inventions hold appeal – he is also keen to push products with mass market potential for businesses, such as the MyTee golf business card which helps companies get their name out into the public domain by die stamping five foldable golf tees to a business card.

“We are selling the card both in the US and internationally,” said Spriegel. “The people/companies that have purchased it and distribute it love it.”

So with so many inventions under his belt, what advice would Spriegel offer to up and coming innovators?

“Commercialize products that are unique and very simple,” he said. “I tell them not to work on a product that they can’t get manufactured in small quantities and sell themselves – this can give you positive cash flow very quickly. Never start with a product that needs tooling or that you can’t fund yourself.”

He’s also keen to drive home the importance of trademarks and patents and that inventors should seek legal advice as early as possible.

“Many business people don’t realize that a business name/trademark can be the most valuable intellectual property that they develop,” he said. “They often use a common name that will have little or no value. For example, Coke is calculated to be worth approximately $67 billion, Intel $32.3 billion, IBM $56.2 billion. Companies spend a lot of money advertising their name every day, but if your name is Joe’s Pizza it is difficult to build that name into a brand, as opposed to Dominos, for example.”

He continued: “I would never commercialize a product unless I could patent it. I think an inventor should approach a patent attorney as soon as possible in the process. I also tell inventors that in commercializing a product that the patent/trademark fees in the end will only be a small part of the expenses.

“People say that inventors can write their own patents and it reminds me of the commercial where the guy is talking to his surgeon on the phone and the surgeon is telling the guy where to cut into himself to do the operation.”

The ability to try lies in all of us. The invention of trying is the technology behind the next phase of breakthrough and the next generation of inventors.

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Invent and Grow Rich – Here are a few examples of Self-Made Millionares

33 percent of Self Made Millionaires are Entrepreneurs – Many based on simple or accidental Ideas


FitDeck – http://www.fitdeck.com

Create a deck of cards featuring exercise routines, and sell it online for $18.95. Sounds like a disastrous idea to me. But former Navy SEAL and fitness instructor Phil Black reported 2005 sales of $4.7 million. Surely beats what the military pays.



Designer Diaper Bags – http://www.diapeesandwipees.com/ 

Christie Rein was tired of carrying diapers around in a freezer bag. The 34-year-old mother of three found herself constantly stuffing diapers for her infant son into freezer bags to keep them from getting scrunched up in her purse. Rein wanted something that was compact, sleek and stylish, so in November 2004, she sat down with her husband, Marcus, who helped her design a custom diaper bag that’s big enough to hold a travel pack of wipes and two to four diapers. With more than $180,000 in sales for 2005, Christie’s company, Diapees & Wipees, has bags in 22 different styles, available online and in 120 boutiques across the globe for $14.99.


Got Junkhttp://www.1800gotjunk.com

This junk removal service was established in Vancouver, Canada in 1989 by founder and current CEO Brian Scudamore. He purchased a used pickup truck for $700 and came up with the slogan “We’ll stash your trash in a flash.” In 1993, months before his graduation, Scudamore quit university to concentrate on his business full time. Naturally his father, who was a Doctor by occupation, wasn’t too excited about his son’s professional plans but had to give in seeing his son’s enthusiasm. All you’ve got to do is call the company up, tell them you have a bunch of junk stashed up, and they will come and hurl it away! The company has established more than 220 franchises throughout the United States, Canada and Australia, and is worth more than $100 million



Setting up a website today is a piece of cake. But finding the domain name that you want and which already is not taken is quite the opposite. So one man exploited this opportunity and came up with a unique idea that made him considerably rich; he simply suggested domain names for websites. Mind you it does take a certain degree of creativity! So here is how it works: after depositing 50 dollars, clients start receiving a list of available domain names via e-mail for a 30 day period. If they see a domain they like, they register it and notify the service about domain acquired. If no domain is registered, the money is refunded in full. The firm is now worth at least $5 million, courtesy this ridiculously simple idea.


Toll House Cookies

When she ran out of baker’s chocolate in 1930, Ruth Wakefield of Whitman, Mass., baked the first chocolate-chip cookie by adding semisweet chocolate bits to the recipe. Incorrectly, she had assumed the end result would be plain chocolate cookies. She named the accidental result after the inn in which she baked, the Toll House.


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Do you want your business to look like a billion dollar multinational? Consider Optic Lingo!

by Andrew R. Spriegel
May 6, 2010

You don’t have to be a billion dollar multinational to take advantage Optic Lingo‘s design services – small companies too can benefit from their award-winning capabilities.  Optic Lingo does work for Fortune 100 and 500 companies, large to small companies and individuals.  Here is a sampling of the large companies they do work for:

How do they accomplish that work for such a range of clients?  First off “they” is Craig Miloscia and he knows how to leverage his skills and others based on the job.  Craig Miloscia is a very skilled industrial engineer and when he has a large job he collaborates with others.  When Craig has a smaller job he tackles it himself with his immense talent.  Craig knows how to work within the client’s budget.

Craig Miloscia grew up in Shakers Heights, Ohio.   His Father is an engineer and his mother is an artist.  Industrial design was a hybrid of those 2 professions.  He attended Shaker Heights High School and graduated in 1983.  Graduated in 1987 from Pratt Institute in NYC with a bachelors of industrial design degree.

Craig started his own full service design firm right after college graduation which is now called Optic Lingo.  Early in his career worked on many team projects that won major design awards before he was 30 years old. Awards included:  Time Magazine’s best consumer product of year, IDSA (Industrial Designers Society of America) gold award and ID (International Design) Magazine’s top annual review award. Since then Craig has designed state-of-the-art products that have sold around the world in the millions and they have even appeared on many television shows and in movies. B y taking communication and web design courses over the years one of his core competencies is digital design. This has helped Craig design many user experiences for prominent technology companies. Along with being design director at Optic Lingo Craig currently is an adjunct professor at University of Akron teaching web design courses and Northern Ohio chapter secretary of IDSA.  Craig enjoys golfing, snowboarding and triathlons when he isn’t designing.

Here is a sampling of the services Craig Offers:

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Forty (40) Simple Inventions that made Inventors or Companies Residual Wealth or Millions

Forty (40) Simple Inventions that made Inventors or Companies Residual Wealth or Millions

1. J.C. Hormel of Hormel Foods in the 1930’s, rather than disposing of excess pork shoulders, he combined them with sodium nitrate and water to create a jellied loaf of canned table meat, popularly known as Spam. More than 6 billion cans of Spam have been produced. http://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8#q=history+of+J.C.+Hormel+of+Hormel+Foods&hl=en&rlz=1R2GFRD_enUS355&tbs=tl:1&tbo=u&ei=s

2. The History of Jello: Frank Woodward, a school dropout and, who by the age of 20 had his own business, bought the rights to Jell-O for $450. http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bljello.htm

3. The chocolate chip Toll House cookie was a MISTAKE! http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/wakefield.html

4. Kitty Litter is a huge hit: http://www.essortment.com/all/kittylitterwho_rixo.htm

5. Q-Tip: http://www.qtips.com/history.php

6. Scotch Tape: http://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8#hl=en&tbo=p&rlz=1R2GFRD_enUS355&tbs=tl%3A1&q=Scotch+tape&aq=&aqi=g6g-c1g1g-c1g1&aql=&oq=Scotch+tape&fp=60911712a90c7586

7. LaserMonks: LaserMonks.com is a for-profit subsidiary of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Spring Bank, an eight-monk monastery in the hills of Monroe County, 90 miles northwest of Madison. Yeah, real monks refilling your cartridges. Hallelujah! Their 2005 sales were $2.5 million!

8. FitDeck: Create a deck of cards featuring exercise routines, and sell it online for $18.95. Sounds like a disastrous idea to me. But former Navy SEAL and fitness instructor Phil Black reported 2005 sales of $4.7 million. Surely beats what the military pays.

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