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        Tampa Bay
          The Official Publication of the Tampa Bay Inventor's Council
JAN / FEB           2006

     Hear All About                                                   TV Reality
     This Year’s                                                      Shows:
     Really Big CES                                                   Good or Bad ?
                                                                      By Bob Lougher, UIA Executive
     Show                                                             Director
                       p. 2                                                                p. 7

     Summary of                                                       The Most
     Speakers for                                                     Common
     Nov./Dec.            p. 3                                        Mistakes First
                                                                      Time Inventors
                                                                      by Steven Thrasher
     Make Plans to                                                                         p. 8
     Come and Hear
     Our Next                                                         Ask The Experts
     Speakers                                                         From the U.I.A.
                      p. 4                                                                 P. 11

     Progress Report: LAS VEGAS • JAN 5-8 2006
     Machine Shop                              Check Out
     Class                                     National
     by Rob Aiken                              Upcoming
                  p. 5
                                               Events                                       p. 10

                "Inventors Helping Inventors"                            JOIN US EACH
                 The Tampa Bay Inventor's Council is here to help
                 you succeed, forge ahead, maintain your purpose,   2nd and 4th WEDNESDAY
                 and achieve what you intend to. Everyone in this
                 group is behind you.                                    EVERY MONTH
                10750-A Endeavor Way,                        VISIT OUR WEBSITE:
                   Largo FL 33777                                     GET NEWS UPDATES:
                    (727) 548-5083
                  My Visit to the CES In Las Vegas
                            By Wayne Rasanen, Vice President

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), January 5-8 2006 is THE largest
electronics show in the world, and this year was a record year with over 150,000
people walking 1.67 million square feet of displays in three different locations in
Las Vegas. If you have never been to Las Vegas, CES is all the excuse you need to
make the trip to the glitziest city in the world. Although CES is not open to the
general public, a few connections and some minor qualifications can get you free
admission to the debut launch of several key technologies. The hotels filled up
quickly and if you didn’t book your room early, you had to settle for locations far
from the action.

The main event was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center with three huge
halls. The South Hall was divided into four parts, 1 & 2 downstairs held mostly
audio-video gear and 3 & 4 upstairs had a lot of computer related companies such
as ATI, Nvida, Palm, and Creative to name a few. Each floor would compare to
the Jacob Javits Center in New York and each section was bigger than the entire
convention center at the Mirage.

The Central Hall is by far the biggest hall and housed all the really big players
such as Microsoft, Intel, Panasonic, Sony, and Toshiba. Everyone brought out
their latest products for a full hands-on presentation. The X-Box 360 display was
almost always three people deep waiting for a chance to try out the dozen
machines, each with a different game. Sony had their new electronic book, a
small tablet sporting e-paper. The batteries are good for over 10,000 page turns
because the image remains without drawing power. XM Satellite Radio hosted a
series of live performances and I managed to score a signed DVD (one of only
ten) from Jon Anderson of the rock group “Yes” fame after he entertained us with

The North Hall featured cars, and lots of them. Everything you can put into a car
such as GPS, video screens and some ‘killer’ audio was on display in ways you
can’t imagine. It was like MTV’s “Pimp My Ride” on steroids. Many of the cars
would likely never see the open road, but were purely show pieces. There were
also plenty of classic cars and trucks built for fun and travel but probably cost as
much as a three-bedroom condo.

Just outside the North hall was the Las Vegas Hilton where most of the Asian
manufacturers displayed their products from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Keep in mind that this is only one of the three locations and it also had a few
displays outside these massive halls, such as the House of Tomorrow and the
‘Ultimate Dorm Room’.
                                                               ( Continued on Page 12 )

Page 2
            Past Speakers                     Center specifically for light
                                              manufacturing. Even a cafeteria and day-
             November 9th                     care center are in the compound, thus
                                              enabling the start-up to attract and retain
Our guest speaker was Tonya Clark,            employees. The program also provides
representing the STAR TEC Business            most of the administrative and book-
Acceleration Center. Located only ½ mile      keeping duties for its client companies.
from our meeting room, STAR TEC helps
fledgling start-ups remain focused on their   For an inventor to be considered for the
business strategy by providing them with a    program, he/she must be a business
referral network of contacts and              entity with an existing team and an
connections; mentoring, management            existing prototype, and have sales for at
guidance and educational programs;            least six months. The
access to local, national and international   inventor/entrepreneur is required to
markets; and access to capital. Inventors     invest some of his/her own money into
are only one category of entrepreneurs that   the venture as seed capital. STAR TEC
may benefit from the program. STAR TEC        looks very closely at the team -- talents,
is a non-profit organization funded by        abilities, experience, commitment. With
client fees, government grants and private    the inventor having selected the right
donations. Its purpose is to promote          team, STAR TEC can then work with the
economic growth locally. The program is       team to design a realistic and do-able
especially good at matching up small          business strategy.
businesses with government contracts.
                                              After Tonya finished, a general
A start-up joins the program by agreeing to   discussion about invention innovation
give STAR TEC a portion of the start-up’s     ensued.
stock or some other ownership interest.
Then the start-up leases space in the
Center at lower-than-market rates and                      December 14th
uses the space as its home office
throughout the enrollment period.             We had two sets of guest speakers tonight.
Currently seven companies are in the
program. As each “graduates” and moves        The first set consisted of Don Patz and
on, a new one joins.                          Mike Smutko, representing the local
                                              chapter of the Society of Manufacturing
                                              Engineers. SME’s main mission is
The STAR TEC team consists of 29              education about manufacturing. Through
individuals; only three are employees and     regularly scheduled meetings and
the rest are volunteers. Also several local   activities, SME chapters serve as local
businesses provide the program with           forums for networking and contact
resources and specialized assistance.         building, information sharing and problem
Mentoring is provided by members of           solving. Chapters organize and sponsor
STAR TEC ’s advisory board, most of           plant tours, conferences, guest speakers,
whom are on various local corporations’       special events and other illuminating
boards-of-directors.                          activities. Don and Mike stressed that
                                              members are from many fields, not just
                                              engineering. Membership is open to
The program cannot help inventors who         anyone from any background, and only
intend to licence their inventions or sell    costs about $80 per year. The local chapter
their patents. It definitely can help those   has its general meetings (open to anyone)
inventors who intend to manufacture and       at 6:00 pm on the 3rd Thurs. of each
sell their products themselves. There is      month. These meetings are held very close
space available within the STAR TEC
                                                                                  Page 3
to the TBIC clubhouse: inside the facilities    units (remember: the bigger the batch, the
of Concurrent Technologies Corp. at 7935        cheaper is each unit within the batch) and
N. 114 Ave, Largo, FL. Visit the local          instead pay a lot more to have only one
chapter’s website at . SME’s local chapter      unit made. Then sell that unit. Doors are
often has field trips to manufacturing          much more likely to be opened for you if
companies in the area, and non-members          you have some verified sales, no matter
are welcome to attend. But reservations are     how small. A large-batch production run
required; simply go to the website and          can be made after the doors have been
make the arrangements. And get onto the         opened. He also said that simple
local e-mail list too. Every how-to-invent      inventions make the most money because
book warns that common stumbling blocks         the more complicated your invention is,
for most independent inventors are an           the easier is a competitor’s task of
ignorance about general manufacturing           circumventing your patent claims.
processes and not knowing anyone in the
manufacturing field for advice or answers.                Upcoming Speakers
An inventor’s greatest resource is his/her                   For January
contacts & connections -- that is; who
he/she knows. Here is a local chapter of        Last year we saw the start and casting of
manufacturing experts who love to gather        several new TV shows featuring inventors.
regularly and share their expertise with        This year they will be aired in millions of
whoever wishes to listen.                       homes around the nation(s). Being an
                                                inventor today is a powerful thing with the
Next up was inventor Bob Solomon                ability to change the world like never before.
describing the successes and failures of his    (Please note, Rock Stars still get more groupies!)
invention projects, and what he learned
from them. He developed a toilet seat that      Make sure you get off on the right foot &
assists the person with sitting and standing,   make plans to attend our first TBIC meeting
ideal for the disabled and elderly. After       on January 11th. Our guest will be Mr.
discovering that this idea had been recently    Edward Dutkiewicz, Registered Patent
patented by someone else, he contacted          Attorney and all around good guy. Ed will
that inventor and bought the patent.            address all of our questions (as time permits)
Subsequent manufacturing R&D revealed           about protecting your intellectual property.
that the manufacturing cost would require       The first step with any invention is always to
a retail price that was much higher than his    make sure you have your ducks in a row
market research showed people would pay.        before you let the cat out of the bag!...I'll let
Therefore the product would not be              you think about that one for a few seconds....
feasible to produce unless Medicare would
be willing to underwrite most of the retail     Next up on January 25th, our meeting will
price for qualified recipients.                 cover how to license your ideas to
Unfortunately Medicare did not approve          corporations with our special guest, Mr.
the product, his investors pulled the plug      Robert Oros of Business Development
and the project crashed. Bob was faced          Resources. Robert will tell you about a step
with the gut-wrenching decision of              by step process that can enhance your ability
continuing to push, push, push ahead            to become successful in licensing your
anyway, or to accept defeat, give up and        inventions. As you may already know, less
move on. He chose the latter; knowing           than 4% of patents typically earn much
when to fold and learning how to let go is      money. I believe that if we can improve our
what he gained from the experience and          odds of success, than we must! Robert will
shared with us. His current project is a        cover Strategic growth opportunity, due
hermetically sealed, air-tight storage shed,    diligence, technology development,
and everything looks like a green light         branding & licensing. If you are serious
now. One piece of advice he gave is: in the     about being an inventor, you don't want to
early part of your project’s manufacturing      miss the opportunities we have this January!
stage, resist the temptation to pay a           Remember, for directions and information,
manufacturer to produce a large number of       visit our website
Page 4
         Ed Holdgate's
                                               So how does learning machine shop
       Machine Shop Class                      practices help an inventor? Obviously
               by Rob Aiken
                                               doing the work yourself is much cheaper
                                               than paying a machinist to do it for you.
Back in October, club member Ed
                                               But if you should need to hire a machine
Holdgate volunteered to teach basic
                                               shop, knowing the basics makes it easy to
machine shop skills to anyone interested.
                                               communicate effectively with the
Four members (Bruce Gordon, Pete
                                               machinist and/or engineer. The same
Lefferson, Robert Shaw & myself) along
                                               applies when searching for a
with two nonmembers (Robert's father
                                               manufacturer, because these basic
Lloyd and John Toth) are now receiving
                                               machine shop practices are the foundation
this training, and we love it!
                                               of many manufacturing processes.
We are really digging-in to this
                                               We six students still have several weeks to
personalized hands-on instruction, four
                                               go. If Ed makes this offer to TBIC again I
hours a day, one day a week. Ed's
                                               would certainly recommend going for it.
common-sense teaching method is easy
                                               Jump in! If you feel that you are not
to follow and his home workshop is well
                                               especially mechanical, or even if running a
stocked. This is the fun way to learn and it
                                               big mechanical monster is intimidating for
doesn't cost a dime.
                                               you, don't worry. This is informal,
                                               personalized instruction in a very small
The man is well qualified to teach us. He
                                               group of friends. Ed knows how to slow
began his career as an apprentice while in
                                               down or modify the lesson in accordance
high school, and did standard machine
                                               to your needs. Best of all, it's fun!
shop work for several years. Then he
taught machine shop practices in an
                                               Ed Holdgate is a fantastic, selfless person!
apprenticeship program managed by the
                                               Asking nothing in return, he teaches
Kodak Corp. During his years with
                                               machine shop to others because this is
Kodak over 6,000 people received hands-
                                               what he does best and what he loves to do.
on training from Ed. Now retired, he does
                                               A genuine expert in the fields of machine
volunteer machine shop work and
                                               shop work and machine shop education,
training for the Coast Guard airbase,
                                               Ed is a tireless volunteer spirit and a true
numerous small businesses and
                                               inspiration to others. Thank you Ed
individuals. And he keeps busy with his
                                               Holdgate! TBIC is very fortunate to have
own projects and inventions. Ed has
                                               you as a member.
received income from some of his
inventions over the years.

Most of the learning centers around
operation of the vertical mill and the
lathe, with smatterings of band-saw, drill
press, grinder and workbench practices.
Each student is building his own
miniature model of a sailing ship's
cannon in accordance with Ed's
blueprints. But when each day's lesson is
over, we can remain and work on our own               GET LATE-BREAKING TBIC NEWS
invention projects with Ed's expert
                                                        Stay Informed – See what’s new
assistance and advice.
What could possibly be better?
                                                                                   Page 5
                  ALERT !                                       Membership
There has been at least one complaint of receipt of
unsolicited/non-opted email that appears to have
sourced our TBIC mailing list. We will never use               Make your inventing
your contact information for anything but TBIC               process more effective and
related matters, nor will we sell or give this                       more fun !
information to others for such use. If you are
receiving emails that are not TBIC related, but you                  Bring a Friend !
feel are being sent as a result of your contact
information with TBIC (for example a unique
email address you only use for TBIC), please                A few benefits you will enjoy:
forward the email to me at and
I will have the TBIC attorney forward it to the                    • Monthly Newsletters
appropriate Federal/State Authority. You have our
                                                                     • Free Workshops
apologies in advance if this is happening to you.
We make every reasonable effort to protect your                   • Updates on Legislation
privacy. Unfortunately, with the switch to a bi-                    affecting the industry
monthly newsletter, we must rely on emails more
to appraise you of speakers, special events and                   • Current Industry News
alerts.                                                               • Focus Groups

         VISITORS WELCOME                                  • Inventor-Related Computer Programs
  The Board of Directors of TBIC wants                              • Inventor’s Library
   to welcome all visitors. We hope that
  you can see the benefits of becoming a                        • Formal Presentations to
                                                             Marketing Media Representatives
   member. Our bylaws allow visitors to
  attend two meetings without obligation.                   • Access to Machine & Wood Shops

                                                         Membership Chairperson: Paul Simmons
      Member exchange
This note is to encourage any member who has a need
to post it in our “Members Exchange” department.
This is not intended as a sale area to promote
businesses, but rather for members to post needs and
request for help on invention related matters.
Listings are free and subject to editing for space and
clarity.      Must submit to Gary Simmons
( by end of third week of
the month prior to next publication.
                                                             Membership fees have changed
Examples would be:
• Need a packaging prototype. Require graphics and
                                                         At a recent Board meeting, it was decided
blister pack expertise. Contact Tom Edison at            by the Board of Directors that we needed
Phone/E-mail/Snail Mail address.                         to change our membership structure and
• Need someone to convert my 2d drawings to *.dwg
format. Contact Orville Wright at Phone/E-               Starting on January 1, 2005 the
mail/Snail Mail address.                                 membership categories and fees will be as

                                                         Student/Jr. Einstein----------------$ 25.00
       GET LATE-BREAKING TBIC NEWS                       Sustaining Members (6 mos.)----$ 65.00                       Sustaining Members (annual)---$125.00
         Stay Informed – See what’s new                  Corporate Members --------------$250.00

Page 6
             TV Reality Shows (Good or Bad)
                                By Bob Lougher, UIA Executive Director

                          Recently, the most frequent inquires received at the UIA involve the
                          growing number of TV Inventor Reality Shows. The questions are:
                          "Are they a scam?" or "Do you endorse them?" As far as
                          endorsement, the UIA is a nonprofit educational institution and is not
                          an endorsement agency. We are an informational organization and, as
                          such, disseminate pertinent information to inventors as we receive it.
                          We do screen all information before we send it out. This is never a
                          foolproof method and should not be construed as any form of
Because of the very strict contractual agreements required by some shows, some people are
asking, "Is this a scam?" I would say, "absolutely not." A scam sugarcoats or conceals
relevant information. These contracts are right in your face, to read, and take to an attorney,
etc. I, myself, would probably not sign such a contract. This would be my own personal
preference. However, for every one of me there are probably a hundred that would sign for
their own reasons.
I would be surprised if these Network Shows didn't have all those technical clauses in their
contract. They have an army of attorneys looking out for their best interest and they are
going to cover every possible base. If you, as the inventor, have doubts or questions, get
sound legal advice.
Many experts have said that even bad publicity is publicity. Who knows what will happen
in front of tens of millions of viewers? It may even somehow get the word out there that
there is legitimate help available. Shame on any inventor that does not get legal or
professional advice before signing any contract.
Acontract will not be any sort of gage on how good, accurate, positive or negative any show
will be. The one thing we know at this point is that "it will be watched by millions." The
final decision to participate lies solely with the inventor. For good reasons, bad reasons,
personal reasons, it is still the individual inventor's call.
Signing rights of inventions over to a company that has such a huge media presence may
not be all bad, all the time, to everyone. Think of the hundreds or thousands of inventors that
are currently going nowhere with their inventions and this opportunity comes along To this
individual, you could have a no lose situation. Not every situati= on is the same and to some
it could be bad. Use common sense and get sound advice.
Because of the nature of television, we have to wait for the actual airing of the episodes. It is
only then that anyone will be able to cast judgment. Personally, I do not watch Network
Television. I guess I do not fit into their demographics. It is my understanding that Reality
TV historically has represented anything but reality. Even if I don't like it, there is always
the possibility that some of those hard working inventors may hit it big.
Enjoy the popularity that inventors are now experiencing. That could change tomorrow.
This type of show may be good for some and bad for others. Get sound legal advice and
contact your nearest inventor support group for their opinion.

Reprinted with permission from the Newsletter of the United InventorsAssociation United InventorsAssociation PO Box 23447 Rochester, NY 14692

                                                                                         Page 7
         The Most Common Mistakes First Time Inventors Make
                    By Steven Thrasher, Registered Patent Attorney

A successful inventor is someone like you--a person who dreams up a great idea, protects the
idea, and then turns the idea into an asset. The successful inventor then engineers a product to
implement that idea, prototypes it, finds a reliable and trustworthy manufacturer, and develops
an appropriate marketing strategy. Of course, a successful inventor is also one who
successfully licenses an invention.

It's tough to be a successful inventor-and first time inventors face their challenges without the
education of experience. They just make too many fatal mistakes! However, many of these
mistakes are predictable and avoidable. This article discusses the biggest mistakes I see
inventors make.

    1. Due Diligence
       Due diligence means making a real effort to make sure you're doing the right thing.
       By analogy, due diligence on the road means at least knowing the speed
       limit – if you get pulled over, claiming that you don't know the speed limit will n e v e r
       be accepted as an excuse. In other words, the law does not allow a person to
       behave as an ostrich and place your head in the sand--you have an affirmative duty
       to be aware of your legal and inventive surroundings. Unfortunately, most
       inventors don't know what they're supposed to do, and so very few do everything
       for which they are held accountable.

For example, if you make a product that infringes a patent, the penalty for
intentional or knowing infringement are more than three times the penalties for
innocently infringing a patent. So, you want to tell the court you did not know about the patent.
However, if you did not search for relevant patents on the products you produce, the court may
conclude that if you had searched (done your due diligence--like looking for a speed limit sign),
you would have found the patent. If they conclude this, the effect is as if you had found the
patent and decided to produce your product anyway. However, if you had done a legitimate
patent search, whether or not you found that patent you would be better off. If the search
concludes that there is not infringement, then you have the search report to back you up. If the
search concludes that there is infringement, you can re-engineer the product to work-around
the patent, or seek a more favorable license. Similar consequences apply to filing information
disclosure statements and many other intellectual property matters. The only way to know how
to spot all these due diligence matters is to seek the advice of a patent attorney!

    2. PromotingAFavorite Idea, Rather Than The Best Invention
       Most inventors have more than one idea that they'd just love to produce, make, and
       market. This should be an advantage. However, many inventors with limited
       resources choose to move forward on one idea above all others for many reasons that
       are, practically speaking, irrelevant. Some choose an idea because it's their first idea,
       the most complex idea, the most high-tech idea, or they think that it's the idea that will
       impress everyone the most. These are bad reasons to choose one idea over
       another. These reasons have little to do with product success, and they may even
       indicate that the idea will face expensive technical or production challenges, or
       unlikely market acceptance.
To minimize the likelihood of making this mistake, talk with your patent attorney and invention
consultant about all your ideas (or as many as are manageable), and objectively rank each idea
based on relevant factors. Relevant factors include at least: the market need (does the invention

Page 8
meets that need?), market acceptance, market size, time required to engineer and produce a
product, product development cost, and ultimate product cost in the market, for example. If
your patent attorney cannot help you with these factors, they should direct you to
someone who can. If they don't direct you to qualified help, seek another patent
     3. MistakesAbout Selling Ideas
        Some inventors believe that they can trick a company into paying them for an idea
        by using a non-disclosure agreement. In fact, this happened so many times that
        concepts have developed at law to prevent this kind of invention abuse. Other
        inventors try to sell an idea--without anything else. If someone knocked on your door,
        would you ever pay them money just to tell you something, especially if you
        thought anyone could copy it or do it? Of course not! No company will, either.
        Companies, and rational investors, invest in assets. With only a few exceptions, t h e
        only ways ideas can become assets are through patents, trademarks, and
        copyrights. Don't let anyone but a patent attorney tell you otherwise!
     4. Patenting Mistakes
        Some inventors try to do things on the cheap--they almost always end up losing
        idea--legal rules in the US and outside the US severely punish inventors who do n o t
        file a timely patent--if you have an idea that may be worth protecting, see a
        patent attorney immediately. The other BIG mistake inventors make is thinking t h a t
        they can patent-it-themselves. Consider the odds: 1) the books on self-
        patenting are as long as some Russian novels, 2) by the time you complete chapter
        ten (if you understand it at all) you'll have forgotten what you read in chapter one,
        3) it wastes very valuable time pursuing your idea, 4) it is discouraging to read
        complicated books on legal theory, and 5) no book on self-patenting is
        comprehensive enough to guide you through all the barricades the patent office c a n
        throw at you. Maybe the best evidence that you need a patent attorney is that the U S
        Patent Office strongly recommends it. It amazes me that some people who
        wouldn't dream of changing their own oil (which can be taught in about 30
        minutes) try to write their own patent (which takes hundreds of law-school class
        hours, hundreds of continuing education hours, and hundreds of on-the-job-
        training hours). There is but one way to minimize patent mistakes – get a patent
     5. Calling an Invention Marketing Scam
        Marketing scam companies ripped-off Americans to the tune of over $100 million
        last year. How can you know who's a true professional? The best way is to get a
        referral from someone you know and trust who has used and been pleased with the
        professional's service. If you do not know anyone who has worked with a
        particular patent attorney before, check to see that they are not listed as being a
        questionable company on the patent office's or the federal trade commission
        websites – it's best to avoid such risk. Then, assuming you do call or write and begin
        communicating with the company, if you feel pressured, run. If you get a
        feeling that you're not being taken seriously, or that you are not being told the entire
        story, begin seeking someone else that you can communicate with. The
        relationship you have with your patent attorney and your marketing partners is
        critical--it must be free of distrust and foster the free flow of information.

Steven Thrasher ThrasherAssociates, LLC, Richardson, TX 75080
(972) 918-9312, Email:

Reprinted with permission from the Newsletter of the United InventorsAssociation United InventorsAssociation PO Box 23447 Rochester, NY 14692
                                                                                       Page 9
                    National / International Upcoming Events
                                      ( Submitted by Robert Aiken )

January 11 - 14, 2006... International Builders' Show, Orlando, Florida.
Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive, Orlando, FL
The largest annual light construction show in the world-over a million-and-a-half square feet of the latest and
most advanced building products and services ever assembled. Hands-on demonstrations and working models
in over 300 building industry categories at the NationalAssociation of Home Builders' annual convention. (800) 368-5242, ext. 8111

January 17- 18, 2006... Northern Plains Inventors Congress / Marketplace for Entrepreneurs
Fargo Dome, Fargo, North Dakota
Organized by U.S. Senator Kent Conrad. All inventors, entrepreneurs, businesses and service providers are
invited to attend this annual event that attracts individuals from across the United States. The NPIC provides
inventors and entrepreneurs with the information necessary to effectively commercialize new ideas, and also
encourages innovation and economic development in the United States by exchanging ideas between
inventors, entrepreneurs and professionals.

January 29 - 31, 2006... ERAMid-Winter Conference & Trade EXPO, Miami Beach, Florida.
Electronic Retailing Association. Meet with the most influential players in the DR industry! Over 630
attendees and 39exhibitors establishing valuable contacts and promising leads.

February 4 - 5, 2006... Orlando Gift Show, Orlando, Florida.
Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive, Orlando, FL
General giftware, home and garden accents, gourmet gifts, party and paper goods, tabletop, holiday/seasonal,
collectibles, souvenir/resort merchandise, stationery, bed, bath and linen and more. Educational seminars
included. (678) 285-3976

February 9-12, 2006... Shooting, Hunting & Outdoor Trade Show, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV
The worldwide annual gathering that unites manufacturer, retailer and all other industry stakeholders to trade,
source and learn about the latest products, innovations and trends in the shooting sports industry. (888) 334-8720

February 10 - 12, 2006... Super Pet Expo, Edison, New Jersey.
NJ Convention & Exposition Center, Edison, NJ (301) 564-4050

March 18 - 19, 2006... Midwest Farm and Ranch Expo, St. Charles Missouri.
Compact agricultural equipment, tractor attachments, lawn/garden, livestock, utility construction, ranch and
related products. (800) 430-6334

March 23 - 25, 2006... 10th Annual Meeting, National Collegiate Inventors & Innovators Alliance,
Portland, Oregon.
Marriott Portland Downtown, Portland, OR
An innovative, three-day format featuring structured and informal networking opportunities, new half-day
interest tracks, the annual March Madness for the Mind E-Team exhibition at the Oregon Museum of Science
and Industry, and a gala 10th anniversary celebration! Non-NCIIAmembers: $585 (413) 587-2172

June 9 - 11, 2006... Minnesota Inventors Congress, Redwood Falls, Minnesota.
RedwoodArea Community Center, Redwood Falls MN
Exhibit your new product idea or invention; consult with the nation's leading experts; special Educational
Seminars for inventors; 6000+ anticipated spectators, prospects, & buyers; get helpful tips and enjoy
fellowship with inventors; meet successful independent inventors of America! The Minnesota Inventors
Congress is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization dedicated to the advancement of inventors and their ideas
since 1958. (507) 637.2344

Page 10
                                 Ask the Experts
QUESTION: If I have to deal with a manufacturer from overseas, is it ok to deal over
the internet or do I need someone as a go between?

Don Kelly: Before you lose your shirt, you must find someone who knows the ropes, a
consultant or professional representative experienced in connecting with
manufacturers. Ask for references and check those references carefully.

Jeff Dobkin: It's tough dealing overseas. It's tough to get references - but that's the only
way to build up a trust. Ask for 4 or 5 references they've done business with in the US.
Then CALL the references. If they can't supply you with that many or they don't check
out, don't use them. If they all check out - it can be worth the savings.

Edie Tolchin: Regarding dealing with an overseas manufacturer, whether by internet,
phone or fax, I would like to pose the following questions:
      1) Are you at all knowledgeable about international trade and the various shipping
terms involved in negotiating the purchase of your product? Examples of shipping terms
are "FOB China," and "CIF New York," and they indicate exactly when the importer
takes possession of the order, who is paying for the ocean or air freight charges,
insurance, etc., as well as who (the supplier or the importer) is responsible for clearing
the shipment through Customs, local delivery from the port to your inland destination,
and so on. Is your purchase order contract drawn up with all terms clearly outlined, so
that the supplier cannot say, at a later date, "you never mentioned that!"
      2) Are you familiar with any US government regulations that may affect the import
of your product into the USA? Such agencies would be the Consumer Product Safety
Commission (, the Federal Trade Commission
( ), US Customs and Border Protection (, and
the Food & Drug Administration ( There are many different
standards and regulations involving imported products that might not apply for products
made in the USA. You will also need to know if your product will be properly (legally)
labeled, and if the cartons (if applicable) are properly marked.
     3) Is the prospective manufacturer willing to work with an independent
safety/testing lab to make sure your product complies with all of the government
regulations / safety issues required, as indicated above in #2?
     4)Are you in a position to determine if the prospective manufacturer follows a Code
of Conduct regarding child labor standards, ethical business practices, and health and
safety conditions for their factory workers?
      5) Do you know, in advance of shipment, approximately how much in import duties
(percentage of unit cost - where applicable) you will be paying for your product?
      6) Do you know what international shipping documentation will be required for
your order to clear through US Customs?
      7) Have you received proper counter-samples of your product? How is the
communication with the prospect supplier? Do they have a good command of the
English language and do they reply promptly to your e-mails?
      8) Have you checked their references from other importers who have bought from
them? Have they told you of any name brands of other products they make that are sold
in the USA?
      9) What type of financial arrangements will you be making with the supplier? Wire
transfer or Letter of Credit? (Never pay cash in advance).
If you can answer all, or at least most of these questions, then you can handle the project
on your own. If not, I would strongly advise working with a reputable import consultant
to help you through your first navigation of the "international trade maze."

 (Continued on Page 12)
                                                                                    Page 11
(Continued from Page 11)

Ed Tutle: It is o.k. to open discussions but be careful regarding enabling information
which may compromise your patent(s).
Also I suggest you work with a bank that has worked with export/import matters in the
country you may be dealing. Also work with a local university which may have a
Business Development Office, and connections to the Commerce Dept (US) re: export of
information. If you have a possibly patentable utility invention I suggest you contact a
patent attorney/agent who does overseas patents.

Pamela Riddle Bird: In working with inventors, as well as manufacturing companies on
an international basis, I would visit the manufacturing company in person that you are
considering signing a contract with. The costs for international airfare, if booked in
advance, are not as expensive as you may think. I would also hire an agent to work with the
company and check the products/inventions before shipping the product to make sure
they are the quality and standards that you ordered. This is standard in the industry. In
most situations, you pay the manufacturing company before the merchandise leaves the
respective country--before it arrives in the US.

To review the Non UIAMembers' Question of the Week go to our website at:

Reprinted with permission from the Newsletter of the United Inventors Association.

. . . CES Show        (Continued from Page 2)
The second location was at the Sands Convention Center and it housed some of the newest
emerging technology from smaller start-up companies. A lot of our fellow inventors were
here looking for that one big break to become a success. The smallest booth, about six feet
square, cost about $5,000 and had to be purchased well in advance of the show. Many of
them will go home disappointed, although richer for the experience. Rather than sitting in
a booth, I brought my innovations with me to walk the halls and showed them to everyone
that I felt might be interested (and some who were clearly not). I received plenty of
positive feedback and perhaps some good leads; enough to propel my efforts for yet
another year.

In addition to all of the displays and booths, there was room after room providing
educational lectures about all kinds of technology. I attended one on disruptive
technology, how the little guy can enter the marketplace and knock the bigger players on
their ear. I felt that I was definitely in the right place!

I never made it to the third location at Alexis Park where all of the really high end audio
was on display. There were only four days to try to do it all, so one has to pick and choose
what to see. It was like trying to hit all of the Disney theme parks in one extended
weekend. You might get to see all the rides, but you could never get to try half of them! If
you haven’t been to a trade show, you are missing the biggest opportunity you could ask
for. Find one in your field of innovation and make plans to be there!

Wayne Rasanen

Page 12
   GET THE LATEST                                     Have you Expired ???
                                                Just joking, but it may be a more
                                                appropriate question than you think!
                                                There might be a good chance that your
You can now get the latest TBIC news            TBIC membership has expired without
and updates from a new website that has         you realizing it.
been started:
                                                Never fear! We have made things rather             simple for you to know, however. If you
                                                received your newsletter by mail, look at
The website will keep members advised           your mailing label on the back of this
of any schedule changes,            meeting     newsletter and you will see an expiration
information, speakers           scheduled,      date printed clearly above your name.
classes, trade shows, etc. It is easy to find   This date reflects the end of your six-
and will also allow you to click on a link      month or annual enrollment, whichever
to go to the TBIC website and other             the case may be. This makes it pretty
important links.                                simple to keep up with your next renewal

It will be easy to access it as often as you           Expires:   01/15/2006
like. Reminders of the URL (web                        John Q. Public
                                                       123 Main Street
address) will be given in several ways:                Apt. 100
• When broadcast emails are sent out, the              Anytown FL 12345
   link to this update site will be included.
• You can include it in your “Favorites”        Pay close attention and if, for some reason,
   folder in your internet browser to make      the expiration date shown is incorrect,
   it easy to go back to again and again.       please notify us at and we
• The newsletter will contain many              will look back in the treasurer’s records to
    banners that will remind you.               verify it.

                                                Thank you.
The site has been set up to not only inform
you of the latest news, but will also have
an archive of older news articles. If you
missed something when it was first
published you can read it from the                          Stop the Presses!
                                                ... or the presses have stopped and from them come
                                                the brand new TBIC brochures. We have printed
                                                2000 new brochures and would like to ask each of
Any suggestions for this news service           you to take a few with you and post them at your
would be greatly appreciated. Send them         local library, community center, apartment
by email to .                     billboard or simply hand one to someone you know
                                                with an inventive streak (or a TV broadcast) who
                                                should know about TBIC. For too long we have
                                                operated below the radar and it is time to make sure
                                                that everyone knows the Tampa Bay Inventor's
    GET LATE-BREAKING TBIC NEWS                 Council is right here in Tampa Bay! Please do your
                                                part to help grow our community and expand the                    networking opportunities for all of us.

      Stay Informed – See what’s new
                                                                                          Page 13
                                             WEBSITES (Links) & PHONE NUMBERS
                                                Brief descriptions in parentheses

  U.S. Government
  U.S. Gov’t. General Information Site                   
  U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (800) 786-9199          
  U.S.P.T.O. Kids’ Page                                  
  FL Patent Depository Library; Tampa (813) 974-2726     
  SATOP-Space Alliance Tech (NASA helps inventors; free) 
  SBIR/STTR (gov’t. wants inventions)                    
  Small Business Administration (800) 827-5722           

  State Government
  Florida Department of Revenue                          
  New Business Start Up                                  
  USF Technology Incubator (free help to inventors; Tampa)

  For Inventors
  Edison Inventors Ass’n. (inventor’s club, Ft. Myers)   
  Edison Inventors Youth Programs                        
  World Intellectual Property Organization               
  National Inventor Fraud Center                         
  United Inventors Ass’n. (large nat’l. org.)            
  Inventors Digest (magazine)                            
  Patent Café (inventor’s issues)                        
  From Patent to Profit (Bob DeMatteis; books, lessons, advice)
  The Basics of Patenting & Innovating                   
  Ask The Inventors                                      
  That's An Idea (inventor’s directory)                   (inventor’s directory)                  
  Invention University                                   
  InventNet - Inventor’s Network                         
  MIT-Lemelson Inventors Site                            
  Invention Development                                  
  Innovation TRIZ (problem solving method)               
  ASIT (inventor's problem solving method)               
  KeyWord Patent Search (workbook)                       
  Intergraph (“SmartSketch Invent” CAD software)         
  CAD Std (very cheap CAD software)                      
  Att’y. Referral Service                                          www,
  Contingency Lawyer Listing                             
  Ed Dutkiewicz (reg. patent att’y.; Dunedin)            
  David Ellis (patent att’y.; Largo)                     
  Dave Kiewit (reg. patent agent; St. Pete)              
  Smith & Hopen (reg. patent att'y.; Clearwater)         
  FL Inventors Network - John Blue (Tampa)               

  Product Design, Prototyping, Manufacturing
  ICTT (Paul Simmons; Largo)                             
  Manufacturers Information Network                      
  Machine Design (rapid design & prototyping info.)      
  Inventioneering (product design, prototyping; Clearwater)
  eMachineShop (product design, prototyping, free CAD)   
  Mydea Technologies (product design, prototyping; Orlando)

  Trade Show Hosts
  Invention Connection                                   
  Trade Show Nat’l. Network                              
  Invent Now America (USPTO contests; nonprofit org.)    
  ERA Invention Showcase (Electronic Retailers Ass’n.)   

  Business Data & Information
  SCORE (Service Core of Retired Executives)             
  Small Business Development Center (USA)                
  Entrepreneurial Education                              
  Information Tabulations                                
  World's Market Research                                
  Thomas Registry                                        
  Industry Analysis                                      

  Marketing Services
  Innovative Product Technologies (Pam Riddle-Bird; Gainesville)
  Package Management Group, Inc. (pkg. & mktg; Tampa)    
  Big Idea Group                                         
  Market Launchers                                       
  Inventor’s Mall 123                                    
  Idea Village                                                                               
  Ideas Happen (contests; age 18 - 29)                   

  Parts, Supplies, Materials
  Don’s Salvage Yard (used stuff; Clearwater)            
  Skycraft Electronic Parts (new parts, Orlando)         
  American Science & Surplus (mech. & elec.)             
  W. M. Berg, Inc. (small parts supplier)                
  American Plastics Supply (supplier & mfr.; Clearwater) 
Page 14
A Student Member at the $25.00 rate must be
an active student. They may attend meetings              OFFICERS AND
and receive the Newsletter.                           BOARD OF DIRECTORS
A Sustaining Member ($65.00/6 mos.
$125.00/yr.) enjoys the benefit of attending
meetings, seminars, socializing and                Elizabeth Selm (President)
networking with the other members, receiving
the Newsletter and participating as a reviewer
in our Focus Groups. They are allowed to
present their protected product to all of the      Wayne Rasanen (Vice-President)
various companies that come to TBIC to find
new products for the market such as
infomercial and catalog companies.
Sustaining members are allowed to utilize our      Kirk Collins (Treasurer)
woodworking and machine shops for        
prototyping here at the TBIC headquarters.
Members usually find other members with the
prototyping knowledge that they need, and          John Blue
pay that member for their time and for   
prototyping materials used.         Sustaining
members also may ask to have a free Focus
Group done on their product, be allowed to         John Korkos
display their product in our designated display
areas and Annual members receive a free
Science Notebook, (valued at $15.00) to log
progress on their invention.                       Bruce Elliott
Corporate Membership of $250.00 will
allow your corporation to elect up to 3
Corporate members to sit in on meetings as         Frank Pugni
well as all of the above. Also this membership
will allow said corporation to have access to
new products before they are introduced to the
open market.                                       Bob Richardson

  Please Respect the Other Members
At a recent Board meeting, several members
said they have received complaints about
talking in the back of the meeting room while      Founder: Ron E. Smith
the meeting is going on. Some are hard of
hearing, some are distracted. While we
acknowledge that networking is vital for all of
                                                   Members are invited to write letters for
us, we ask in the future that you try and do       inclusion in the newsletter.
before or after the meetings. Paul Simmons
has also offered the use of the employee snack     Email to, fax to
                                                   727-547-5490 or mail to TBIC at our office
room in the garage area if you need to talk        address.
during the meeting. Availability is on a first
                                                   Letters should be brief, to the point, and be
come, first serve basis. Similar courtesy would
                                                   accompanied by member name, email address .
be appreciated by turning off your cell phone or   and phone number. Letters can be edited for
putting it on silent answer during the meeting.    clarity, taste and length. Letters will be printed
                                        !-- gm     as room permits.
                                                                                            Page 15

      Monthly Meetings
    Jan. 11, 2005 ....7:00 pm
    Jan. 25, 2005 ....7:00 pm

   Next Monthly Meetings
   Feb. 8, 2005 .... 7:00 pm
   Feb. 22, 2005 .... 7:00 pm

       Web Site Info:
Visit our web site for information
about current and past
happenings.       You can also
download current and past
newsletters in *.pdf format. You
will need to have Adobe Acrobat
                                                       TAMPA BAY INVENTORS COUNCIL

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          Just A Note
                                                                                                               endorsed by the T.B.I.C. and may not
                                                                                                               this newsletter are not necessarily
                                                                                                               Information and articles printed in

We would like to remind our
members that our Board
                                                                                                               be applicable to everyone.

meetings are open to you if you
would like to sit in on them. We
usually meet at 6:00 on the first

meeting date each month .

 Need to Reach TBIC ?                           Newsletter Staff
                                     Executive Editor . . . . George Mouzakis                                                                         The Tampa Bay Inventors' Council
 Office:                             Contributing Editor. . . . . . Robert Aiken                                                                      (TBIC) is a corporation as defined in
 Phone: 727-548-5083                 Publisher . . . . . . . . Gary M. Simmons                                                                        Chapter 617, Florida Statutes, as not-
                                                                                                                                                      for-profit.     The corporation is
 Toll-Free: 866-787-8242                 To submit articles, send emails to:                                                                          organized exclusively for charitable,
                                                                                                                                                      educational and scientific purposes.
                                                                                                                                                      The TBIC is a 501(C)(3) charitable
   Call 727-251-4056                                                                                                                                  corporation, which allows the receiving
                                          Articles and other items must be
    George Mouzakis                     received by the first Tuesday of the                                                                          of tax deductible contributions of goods                            odd months.                                                                                       and services. There are over 150 active
                                                                                                                                                      members willing to share their expertise
                                                                                                                                                      and experiences with fellow inventors.

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