Finally! Cloop's Patent was officially published, publicly on October 24, 2017. U.S. Utility Patent 9797420.
How the idea came to us?
The idea started from a real need....keeping earbuds and laptop cables organized while traveling heavily for business.
Available solutions, such as Velcro and regular rubber bands just were not enough. The problem with Velcro was that it was too cumbersome and difficult to manage for repeated use, and it wears out. Also, regular rubber bands, they would get lost or break too easily.
Our first prototype was done in 30 seconds! It just took the following: rubberband + two magnets + glue.
I thought the idea was great so I investigated the market and couldn't find any similar products available commercially.
With the help of my brother's product design engineering background, we created and documented multiple 3D prototypes using 3D printed molds and utilized a silicone injection process to optimize the design and discover ways to improve the performance.
After continued market research, we found there was a potential opportunity here. So before investing more time and money, we decided to investigate more about the patent process and bought a book called "Patent Yourself" by David Pressman on Amazon. We also read many useful articles on http://www.ipwatchdog.com/. This was a good starting point to have effective communication with a patent lawyer, that we later hired to help us get started.
We learned how useful a provisional patent pending application can be, as it can help you as an inventor if done properly. It requires much less investment upfront while you continue to develop the business and develop the potential market for 12 months. It also gives you an early effective filing date in a later filed non-provisional patent application.
Now we are proud to have accomplished this great milestone and are looking forward to the future. In our case, it took 4 years to go from 'paper-napkin-idea' to 'Patented'. Our patent contains 20 claims, and 9 drawing sheets that covers the key aspects of our invention. Everything from the structure and material, to the way the surface of the band is designed to achieve greater performance is included.
We welcome you to check out the official publication through the United States Patent and Trademanrk Office (USPTO) public pair website https://portal.uspto.gov/pair/PublicPair, or simply by third-party U.S. patent databases websites, such as http://patents.com/us-9797420.html.
We hope this serves as an inspiration to other inventors. Therefore, we have summarized what we think are the key points to consider during the early days of your invention:
1. Perform market research for commercial and available patents (Do a Google Patent Search and USPTO search).
2. If none found, document your idea, and discuss with a third-party witness.
3. Create a simple prototype and document your idea details.
4. Buy some books to educate yourself about the patent process. This will help you maintain an effective and friendly communication with your patent attorney.
4. Engage with a Patent Lawyer for a professional patent search.
5. If chances are positive, apply for a provisional patent-pending application.
6. Create a go-to-market plan for the next 12 months to validate the commercial value of your idea.
7. Apply for a non-provisional patent application.
8. Consider applying for a PCT international patent application.
9. To strengthen the intellectual property of your invention and commercial efforts, consider applying for a trade-mark, which is easy and cost-effective.
10. Always consult with your patent attorney before taking any defensive or offensive action.
11. During the whole process, it is very valuable for you to keep developing the commercial value of your idea by promoting it yourself or hiring a third party business developer.
Lastly, a big thank you to our backers, customers, friends, family, and business associates for their rallied support. We couldn't have made it this far without you!
-The Cloop Team
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