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Rebecca Rescate’s Citi Kitty cat toilet training set is doing well. With over $1.4 million in sales though her website alone, you could say she’s doing very well. But Rescate thinks she can do better, so she hit the set of ABC’s Shark Tank seeking help from the investors. In the end, she agreed to [...]
When I saw pharmacist Dominique McClain Barteet presenting her Onesole interchangeable shoe invention on Shark Tank, the first thing I thought was, “Hmm, where have I seen this before?” Then I remembered – USA Network’s now-dead show Made in the USA featured a collapsible and interchangeable shoe idea back in 2004. On the USA show, the [...]
Kim Preis appeared on this week’s Shark Tank with her line of maternity t-shirts featuring the phrase “Due in.” As in, “My baby is Due In November,” or “I am Due In September.” Preis said that her company, Samson Martin, has sold $1.4 million worth of these shirts, but that sales have declined in recent [...]
Jan Anderson and Jason Augenstein took their magnetic appliance covers to the Shark Tank last week. The invention is simple: it’s a magnetic, decorative sheet that can be applied to the surface of an appliance to dress it up a bit. Anderson explained that the idea came to her while she was living in military [...]
Last night’s episode of Pawn Stars featured an Antique Curta Calculator. Introduced in 1948 by Austrian Curt Herzstark, this mechanical device was the world’s first handheld four-function calculator. Herzstark filed for U.S. patent protection in October 1949 for his “Independent Actuator Tens Transformer” invention. Patent #2,588,835 issued to Herzstark in 1952. As Rick Harrison mentioned [...]
The recent discovery that Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices track their owner’s movements and store that information in a database shocked privacy advocates. Apple quickly issued a statement denying the claims, explaining that they are tracking the device’s location, not the owner’s location. Get that? They’re not tracking you, they’re tracking something you always carry [...]
Wisconsin resident Tammy Pintor has filed suit against fellow Wisconsinite Leslie Van Dorf and her company Purse-Les for allegedly violating her US Patent on the Pocket Bra. From the Chicago Tribune: Tammy Pintor, owner of TJ Secret in Menomonee Falls, has a patent for a brassiere that holds and conceals electronic devices, cosmetics, money or [...]
Architect and Inventor Mark Burginger pitched his Qubits construction toy on Season 1 of ABC’s Shark Tank. Billed as “The Construction Toy of the Future,” Burginger describes Qubits as a building-block toy superior to others on the market because if its ability to form curved structures. Burginger’s invention is disclosed in US Patent #7036277, titled [...]
A recent episode of A&E’s Storage Wars television show featured a show participant acquiring a strange musical instrument known as a Waterphone. While the instrument itself is not familiar to most, chances are you’ve heard this instrument in any number of Hollywood horror movies, usually right before something really, really scary happens. On the [...]
In the US, we call it “Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner,” or “Mac and Cheese.” In Canada, the same product is known simply as “Kraft Dinner,” or “KD” for short. Seems that a college professor has run afoul of Kraft’s legal department with his healthy-cooking class entitled “Kick the KD.” Kraft’s legal department took exception [...]
Clothiers Mike Abbaticchio and Shon Less showed up on this week’s Shark Tank hawking their HillBilly line of clothing. Basically, they put the words “Hill Billy” on stuff and sell it at a markup to, well, Hillbillies, I’d guess. Fortunately for the entrepreneurs, ultimate redneck & hillbilly extraordinaire Jeff Foxworthy was on hand as a [...]
Having trouble keeping track of both your kids and your luggage while rushing through the airport? Don’t want to send the bag or the child through baggage claim? Here’s an idea: why not strap your kid to your luggage? This way, you’ll only have to keep track of a single item instead of two. That’s [...]
Joseph K. Moore and his company First Defense Nasal Screens were profiled on this week’s episode of Shark Tank. Moore’s invention is simple – it’s an inexpensive, adhesive nasal filter that the user applies to the exterior of their nose. Moore filed for patent protection in October 2007. (Patent Application Number 11/928,226, based on U.S. [...]
Copyright law allows a copyright holder to collect what are termed “statutory damages” in an infringement case. Unlike traditional injury-based damages, statutory damages are not related to the actual harm done to a plaintiff. Instead, they are set by Congress, and are defined in the copyright statute. (Hence the term.) The copyright statute provides: (c) [...]
Ah, Penn Jillette. He’s a magician. He’s a comedian. He’s an actor. He’s a thinker. He’s a skeptic. He’s a writer. And he’s also an inventor. I have to wonder, is there anything this guy can’t do? In 1999, Jillette was granted US Patent 5,920,923 for his creation of a “Hydro-Therapeutic Stimulator,” an invention geared [...]
In the early 1990’s, mathematics professor Richard Channing Garfield invented a collectable card game called “Magic: The Gathering.” In case you haven’t heard, Magic (or MTG) was a great international success. The game won scores of awards, created an active collector market, and even spawned a professional player circuit. The game has been credited with [...]
The first installment of the second season of Shark Tank also brought us James Martin and what he described as his “revolutionary” invention that allows wineries to package wine into individual per-serving portions. The vessel is a plastic-covered cup, and to drink the wine inside one need only to peel back the plastic & imbibe. [...]
ABC’s Shark Tank is back for its second season, and the first episode introduced us designer Jonathan Boos. Boos and his company “Wurkin Stiffs” have invented a novel way of keeping a shirt collar in place – namely, magnetic collar stays. Boos received this patent in 2008 for a “Method and apparatus for keeping a [...]
Electronic Post-It Notes have been around about as long as the GUI interface, but that didn’t stop Microsoft from filing this patent for the “electronic sticky note” in 2003.
Harry Bigelow of Milwaukee, WI sought and received this 1920 patent for an improved Ouija board. No word on whether the device caught on commercially, but the patent went on to be cited as prior art for both a fortune telling device and a “frog support.” Whatever that is. .