Posts Tagged ‘Patents’
It was the first day of the new millennium and he greeted it by walking away from a $20 an hour job to start his own business. He had never been in business for himself before and the endless possibilities were exhilarating and exciting. The man had planned well for his departure and began his new business with a few prime clients in place. With hard work and perseverance, he replaced his previous salary within two years. Then the unthinkable happened. Like the orchestrated detonation of a condemned building, his business collapsed in 2002 due to a major shift in his industry. The bottom fell out and there was nothing the man could do to stop it.
His income dropped by 80%, and in spite of 13 attempts to go back to a “real job”, every opportunity fell through. Relying on food stamps to feed his family, his house in active foreclosure, the man knew there had to be another way. In spite of the bleak outlook, he knew he had made the right choice to start his own business. With a renewed commitment to himself and his family to find the answer he was looking for, the man continued to push ahead with a dream of something more.
Slowly, he rebuilt his business, saved his house and got off food stamps. But in spite of all his hard work and effort, the answer the man searched for alluded him. A year later, when a stranger’s comment reminded him of something he had forgotten from ten years previous, a spark of curiosity captured the man’s imagination with an idea of possibility. How could he have so easily forgotten a “miracle” that had saved his family once before? With little outside help and a lot of hard work, the man ventured into a brand-new marketplace with a vision for the future and his first book in hand. That was five years ago and that man was me. The discovery (or rather, re-discovery, was the Public Domain.
In the past five years, Public Domain content has changed my life. Through the products I’ve created from Public Domain content, I’ve been able to generate a consistent six-figure income every year. The reason why that’s so amazing and such good news for you is that the copyright laws haven’t changed and Public Domain content is more accessible now than ever before. And so I have decided that, in honor of my 5-year anniversary in working with Public Domain content, I am going to teach a brand-new series that reveals the blueprints I’ve discovered and developed to create profit-pulling products from Public Domain content.
In “Public Domain Blueprint,” I am going to reveal the best strategies, the best blueprints for turning the proven content from the Public Domain into laser-focused, profit-producing products using every media type available: Books, Serials, Patents, Government, Images, Audio & Video. You might think that I’ve shared all my secrets about the Public Domain, but you would be wrong. In “Public Domain Blueprint”, however, they all come out. I’m holding nothing back.
If you’re ready for the next level of product creation (and you’d like to get in on the fun at an 85% discount), click the link below and get ready to discover the Public Domain like you’ve never seen it before. Because I’m going to tell you what works and what doesn’t. Click below!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, one of the BEST sources for great Public Domain content is the U.S. Government! Billions of dollars are spent each year to create programs, research, publications, websites, consumer education and much more. And guess what? YOU are paying for it…it’s your taxpayer dollars at work. Of course, the great news is that works created by federal employees during the course of their job are in the Public Domain. What that means for you and me is that there is a LOT of great content of all types, created by some of the brightest people, available to us right now to use for products, articles, blog posts and more!
The challenge is always finding the content. I always say that you can’t find what you don’t know to look for. That’s true “most” of the time. The trick that can overcome that rule is to understand HOW to look…and that usually involves some stealth research tricks…grin…or access to a good search engine. And when it comes to finding content from the U.S. Government, there are several “search engine” options you have available to you.
Below is a list of my favorite, government-related search engines. Each have different focuses for accessing different types of content, but all can lead you down the “Yellow Brick Road” (yellow meaning GOLD…grin) for great content!
http://www.loc.gov (Library of Congress)
http://www.archives.gov (National Archives and Records Administration)
http://arcweb.archives.gov/arc/action/BasicSearchForm (Archival Research Catalog)
http://www.archives.gov/research/alic/ (Archives Library Information Center)
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html (American Memory)
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/ (Prints & Photographs Online Catalog)
In closing, I’ll leave you with this thought…this content is yours…you paid for it with your tax dollars…so why aren’t you using what’s yours? Think of it as the ultimate tax rebate. Make products from the content your tax dollars helped create. Sell those products and enjoy 100% of the profit. Cost to you…NOTHING! (You already paid, remember?!).
Your only question should be, “What can I create next?” Go have fun!
Yesterday I attended the Motor Trend sponsored Pennsylvania Auto Show in Harrisburg, PA where I had a chance to see all the new 2010 and 2011 car and truck offerings from all our favorite auto manufacturers. While crossovers and hybrids seemed to get the most attention from the crowds, the sportscars are what held my gaze. Although I have to say that I was somewhat disappointed with Ford’s showing (or lack of showing) their Mustangs. They had a 2011 Mustang V6 convertible there (yawn) and a 2010 GT convertible (what’s will all the convertibles guys?). No 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 Coyote, no Shelby Cobras. Cheverolet’s display of their Camaro was more impressive (they did a good job with it). But I can’t say that ANY car offered by the manufacturers caused me to pause and say, WOW! The only exception was an after-market Mustang that one of the local dealers had there…a 2010 Roush Stage 3 Mustang with 540HP. That one stopped me in my tracks…grin. Below is a Publicity photo of it:
Was I impressed with the new car designs being offer for 2010/2011? In a word…No! . It’s funny, it only takes ONE auto manufacturer to create a design that becomes popular and then the parade begins with the endless knock-offs (like the Scion xB, the Honda Element and now the new Ford Flex, which I almost like). You saw it with mini-vans, with SUVs, with crossovers and now hybrids too. Where’s your innovation guys (I mean…beyond the concept cars, that is)?
Well, in honor of the Car Show, I decided to dig around in old Patent submissions to see what creative automobile designers from the past could teach us today about designing cars. So of the designs I found are super cool…some, not so much…but ALL are in the Public Domain. Hope you enjoy them (and think about product possibilities)!
I like puzzles…always have. Not the jigsaw puzzles where you have a bunch of tiny pieces that, once assembled, reveal an image of some sort. No…I like wire puzzles and cast puzzles…3D puzzles, usually made from metal that challenge you to figure out how to take them apart, and then put them back together again…kind of like Humpty Dumpty, except without the mess. There is something about working with those puzzles that just make me happy…they help me think spatially, boost my creativity and challenge me to think outside the box. Finding puzzles that really challenge me, however, seems to be more of a challenge than the puzzles themselves. Most level 6 puzzles (the most difficult) usually take me less than 15 minutes to disassemble and re-assemble again. Here are a few of the cast puzzles I played with over the Holidays (these are from Hanayama).
After solving the puzzles above, I was reading the accompanying literature when the following sentence caught my attention:
“At the end of the 19th century, Britain experienced a huge puzzle craze. I managed to pick up a number of the puzzles famous during that period in flea markets, despite their rarity.”
Now, I don’t know what that sentence says to your brain, but to mine it said, “Public Domain” loud and clear! And so I was off and running to research old puzzles. Seeing how they were crafted metal objects, my first thought was to look for patents. After all, designs of physical objects would be covered by patent rather than copyright. While it took me a while to find what I was looking for (you would think “puzzle” would be a good keyword to start with…it wasn’t), I did eventually begin to uncover the goodies. A few examples are included below.
One of the cool advantages, of course, to finding these puzzle patents is that they describe how to solve the puzzle! Not that I would cheat…takes all the fun out of solving them…but good to know, nonetheless. Also, because most patents before 1995 are now in the Public Domain (the average patent term is 14 years and cannot be renewed as-is), you can use the information in them to create your own versions of the puzzles, if you chose to do so. That’s why you see so many variants of the Rubik’s Cube now…the original patent has expired, providing the opportunity for others to create something similar or better! Gotta love free enterprise!
Essentially, that’s what Hanayama did after finding the old British puzzles…he recreated them with a touch of his own creativity to re-introduce the puzzles to a new generation of puzzle lovers. And, after all…isn’t THAT what the Public Domain is all about?! You BET!
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times…the opportunities are endless when it comes to the Public Domain. The problem is that we as product creators tend to have a narrow view of what product creation looks like or what opportunities are available. The truth is, opportunities to use content from the Public Domain abound…much more than you or I are currently taking advantage of. The challenge is to “allow” ourselves to think in ways that are different than we’re used to thinking. The classic definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over but expect different results. And based on THAT definition, most of you are probably insane…lol. I feel that one of my “jobs” in teaching about the Public Domain is to challenge you to get out of the box with your creativity and innovation so that you can tap into some truly amazing product creation ideas rather than accept the mediocrity of copy-cat product creation.
Last night, I was reading up on science and tech news when I came across a curious article about HP and some new technologies that they have been developing based on ideas that are in the Public Domain. I’ve included excerpts below. Notice that the article flat-out admits that the concepts were in the Public Domain (and the author is still living!).
Hewlett-Packard scientists reported Wednesday in the science journal Nature that they have designed a simple circuit element that they believe will make it possible to build tiny powerful computers that could imitate biological functions.
The memristor, an electrical resistor with memory properties, may also make it possible to fashion advanced logic circuits, a class of reprogrammable chips known as field programmable gate arrays, that are widely used for rapid prototyping of new circuits and for custom-made chips that need to be manufactured quickly. The memristor was predicted in 1971 by Leon Chua, an electrical engineer at the University of California, Berkeley. There have been hints of an unexplained behavior in the literature for some time, Mr. Chua said in a phone interview on Tuesday.
He noted, however, that he had not worked on his idea for several decades and that he was taken by surprise when he was contacted by the Hewlett-Packard researchers several months ago. The advance clearly points the way to a prediction made in 1959 by the physicist Richard Feynman that “there’s plenty of room at the bottom,” referring to the possibility of building atomic-scale systems.
“I can see all kinds of new technologies, and I’m thrilled,” he said.
The original theoretical work done by Mr. Chua was laid out in a paper, “Memristor — The Missing Circuit Element.” The paper argued that basic electronic theory required that in addition to the three basic circuit elements — resistors, capacitors and inductors — a fourth element should exist.
Because the concept of a memristor was developed almost 40 years ago by Mr. Chua, it is in the public domain. The Hewlett-Packard scientists, however, have applied for patents covering their working version of the device.
This article also reminds me again of an idea I threw out to the listeners of my Public Domain Teleseminar Series concerning the product ads you see in old magazines. We often think that physical product development based on existing products is off-limits because of patented technology, when the truth is that patents expire after 20 years and cannot be renewed. That means that any patent filed before 1988 (20 years ago) can now be used as the basis for any NEW product creation you can think of. That’s HUGE! Think of ALL the inventions that have occured over the past 100 or 200 years. It’s all available for you to use now as the foundation for new products. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office now offers the ability to search patents (full text back to 1976 and full images back to 1790). You can use their search tool here: http://www.uspto.gov/patft/index.html