Jose Castillo is a formidable young man who enjoys boxing to keep himself in-shape. In his own words “Whenever I get a chance I like to land a few punches on a punching bag or hit the speed bag or jump rope.” Yet, despite his love of boxing, he is a gentle, family man.
I recently met Jose through my Facebook group Independent Inventors – Help Has Arrived! where he told me about his new sports invention called the ‘knuckle racquet’. Well, needless to say, I was intrigued and had to find out more about Jose and his invention.
Jose was born in Managua Nicaragua in 1979 and came to the United States with his family in 1980 as an infant. He has loved and played sports including weight lifting and boxing all of his life. Additionally, he is a ‘born inventor’. As Jose put it “I have always had ideas in my head and I am truly an innovator of everything.” He now has his own family including a wife and three children.
The knuckle racquet was ‘conceived’ about two years ago, when Jose wanted to try a new sport, so he started playing handball at a local racquetball court. There he came up with the idea of combining boxing with racquetball. “I like to try new things but never really tried to go forward with them because of fear [but] since the economy got bad I started trying some ideas out.” He made two knuckle racquets at that time and the rest is history.
Each knuckle racquet is basically a round frame about 18 inches in diameter across which strings are threaded in a cross-hatched pattern similarly to a tennis or racquetball racquet. A U-shaped handle is centrally attached to the frame behind the strings.
A pair of the knuckle racquets are held by each player, one in each hand in front of the respective knuckles. You basically ‘fight’ with the ball by punching it against a single wall or in a racquetball court. Alternatively, you can play against an opponent using the same rules as in racquetball. Either creates an intense workout
The game can be played using various sized balls to create different workout routines. For example a bigger, heavier ball is used for strength training. A smaller, faster ball is used to increase hand speed and coordination.
As for the future, Jose would like to license his knuckle racquet to a company involved in the fitness industry. But Jose says that it tough to get a company interested since he feels most are skeptical of inventions from new inventors.
Still, Jose is optimistic and very persistent. As he puts it “us Nicaraguans are hard workers” He wants the knuckle racquet to be used by athletes or a training method for boxers. “I know this product is going to be a big hit, possibly creating a new sport.”
Jose also has several other inventions, most having to do with sports. In fact, he has formed his own company New Skool Sports, Inc. to promote and market his inventions.
And I love his attitude towards exercising. As his website states “We aim to bring the fun in training.” I wish him luck in accomplishing that… it is just what today’s sedentary, overweight society needs. Imagine more people ‘getting healthy’ because they enjoy exercising.
While talking to Jose, I wanted to get a ‘Hispanic perspective’ on his experiences inventing in the hope of helping other inventors of Hispanic heritage with any unique problems they might encounter. Therefore, I asked Jose that question.
Jose’s reply was somewhat surprising to me, “But none of my family members believe I can make this happen. Most of them say, ‘That if you are a white American you can do things like that. But since you are not just settle for any job and take care of your family. You are dreaming.’ I know they mean well but I refuse to settle for that. I will make it and I am not afraid to dream big. This is America land of the immigrants. I being Nicaraguan might be an advantage in the end.”
I like his optimism. Let’s help him prove that ethnicity has no place in the success or failure of inventors in profiting from their inventions!
Finally, I asked Jose if he has any advice for new inventors to avoid some of the problems he encountered. He replied “Donâ€™t stop dreaming, keep believing and never give up. Have faith in your decisions so that you donâ€™t hesitate on taking the next steps. Inventors are hard headed people and that is what makes us brilliant.”
Well, I can’t argue with that… and I thank Jose for sharing his story.
Inventors are often confused about what the best course of action to take to protect and profit from your invention or new product idea. Well, you have arrived at the right place.
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Though he has already received quite a bit of media attention for his inventions, I hope that getting his story out helps him achieve greater success and helps to motivate other inventors who are struggling making money from their inventions.
The struggle to get his fire escape ladder (shown above), called the “Great Escape Ladder” on the international market have been a very testing journey to say the least.
As Tony states in his on words: “During my research in regards to building regulations for homes owned by landlords who buy properties to rent to tenants, I discovered that most of the properties were not complying to the rules in regards to houses converted into four – five apartments.
The rules state that all dwellings above 4.5 meters from the ground floor must have a secondary means of escape in case of a serious fire which might block the main exit route out of the building.
The fact is none of the many millions of homes have a second means of escape for themselves or their loved ones and the result is that peoples lives are at risk (which is a health and safety concern) and against their human rights to be housed in a decent and safe home.
Insurance companies could benefit by providing their clients with an insurance policy which encourages their clients to have the fire escapes installed in their homes. Insurance companies should refuse to insure their clients if these standards are not complied.”
The Great Escape Ladder is stored neatly and compactly under the window sill of the inside of every bedroom or building until needed in a fire. It can be used from a window, a balcony, or even a roof top of any building and is easy to use. A user simply pushes a device clamp onto a wall mount, then rolls the Great Escape Ladder onto the window sill or ledge.
With one push forward, a stowed rope ladder is ejected outwardly while a hinged rigid ladder section falls out and downwardly so that a handle/toe piece comes to rest against the exterior wall of the building. The user steps onto a platform and finds a first rung of the ladder section. While holding onto two main support rails, the user lowers the weight of his/her body down onto the ladder section then climbs down the rope ladder to safety on the ground.
Tony has sourced a manufacturer to make his Great Escape Ladders, has tooling costs, product costs, and a target selling price.
Here are his frustrations in his own words: “I often hear from businessmen I’ve met that they want me to provide concrete orders before they will invest but I am of the conclusion that I wouldn’t need them to invest if I could secure such orders by myself.
What I really need is someone or an organization who believes in me and more importantly believes in my product designs to invest at its early stage so that my products can be licensed and orders can be determined.
I sincerely believe that if I can find the right people or an organization to support my award-winning products and supply me with the backing and funds so that an international PR campaign can be constructed to supply major companies who could stock and sell the fire escape ladders to as many outlets as possible, that we will all be on a win-win for everyone involved.
Please help me to help the masses make their homes a safer place to live in.”
You can contact Tony through his Facebook email.
Brian R. Rayve
P.S. Here are some video clips of Tony’s media interviews.
Tony Waithe, The story, the Journey, The Mission
Tony Waithe and the oscar winning Wallace and Gromit on BBC News talking about inventions, the Science Museum, and how kids can start to be more inventive in the 21st Century.
Tony Waithe being interviewed by Britian’s most famous Grand Master of Invention Trevor Bayliss on Channel Four TV’s “The Big Breakfast Show” presented by Phil Jupitus.
Message to governments around the world to support inventors
But first, be sure to protect your invention by filing a provisional patent application so you have “patent pending” (i.e. a serial number and a filing date for your invention at the patent office). You can file a provisional patent application using our patent preparation service or using our Provisional Patent Application Filing Kit.
Additionally, you can use a Non-Disclosure/Non-Compete (ND/NC) Agreement (see your patent attorney or do a search online for a free one) if the particular company will sign one. This gives you immediate contractual protection if the company discloses or manufactures your invention or new product idea. Therefore, you do not need to wait until a patent would issue on your invention (a several year process and your idea might not be patentable) to stop the company from ripping off your invention or new product idea.
However, most larger companies have their own disclosure agreements and will not allow you to submit your invention or new product idea unless you sign it. These disclosure agreements usually state that your product disclosure to them is NOT confidential and that your only protection (if any) is that provided through the U.S. Patent Office (hence your previous filing of the provisional patent application).
The main reason that larger companies have such disclosure agreements is they are developing their own products in-house and do not want you to later claim that you disclosed a product to them that they were already developing on their own.
Note that while you can use a ND/NC agreement alone as contractual protection against having your invention stolen by a company, you do not have “patent pending” and thus this approach is more risky. Furthermore, if you do not have “patent pending” nor a signed ND/NC agreement before submitting your invention or new product idea, then you are setting yourself up to have it ripped off. Note that this is a general statement of advice and in no way is meant to reflect upon any partuicular company or individual.
Also be sure to do your homework first on any company you are thinking of approaching. Look at their product line(s) to be sure that your invention or new product idea is a good fit. What are their product submission requirements? Will they sign a ND/NC agreement?
P.S. Be sure to ask your patent attorney or read our other posts about the ramifications of a “public disclosure” by not using a ND/NC agreement when disclosing your invention or new product idea to companies or other persons (even if you have “patent pending”).
Several negative comments were received about the post that revolved around the idea of “Why are you helping inventors to prepare their own patent applications… it is like doing your own landscaping, haircuts, or surgery!”.
Well, go figure… landscaping can be learned easily enough when you do not have the money to pay a landscaper! The same with cutting hair. I would draw the line at do-it-yourself surgery, though!
They continue… “Inventors will end up with a provisional patent application that is non-enabling (i.e. missing critical information about their invention) or missing some other legal technicality and they will not be able to use the application as a basis for filing a utility patent application” (which can issue as a patent filed within the one year ‘patent pending’ time period affored by the provisional patent application).
My response to them and to you is this… they are absolutely right. Obviously, a professionally prepared provisional patent application is best… if the inventor can afford the cost. An experienced patent attorney (at least 2-3 years of training under a veteran patent attorney… not self-taught) knows how to describe inventions in detail and have drawings or sketches prepared that show all critical aspects of the invention including the various versions or embodiments thereof.
However, many independent inventors cannot afford the $1,500.00 to $3,500.00 fee that patent attorneys charge to prepare a provisional patent application (note that we charge considerably less – only $477.00 to professionally prepare a provisional patent application for you including sketches or drawings). Many of these inventors still file provisional patent applications themselves… oftentimes resulting in an insufficient disclosure or other legal technicality not being complied with.
Well, the Provisional Patent Application Filing Kit 2010 is designed to give such inventors a reasonable shot at filing a good patent application themselves… at a reasonable cost. I feel that giving independent inventors the right information in an easy-to-read-and-follow format with all of the forms is better than them “winging it” as many independent inventors do.
I have talked to many independent inventors who want to get “patent pending” for their inventions at a reasonable cost but have no idea where to go or how to do so.
While preparing and filing your own provisional patent application is not “rocket science” and is within the skills that most people possess, there are a number of things that you need to know to do it right. Why not do it right by getting the information you need… at a rather nominal cost?
Well, the new Provisional Patent Application Filing Kit 2010 provides you with complete instructions and forms to lock in “patent pending” for your invention at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office! Includes instructions for filing electronically and by mail.
These are excellent companions to the Provisional Patent Application Filing Kit that respectively show you how to determine whether or not to try to patent your new product idea and how to get your products into the big retailers like Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and more.
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I have talked to many independent inventors and other entrepreneurs who want to get their new products into the “Big Box Retailers” such as Wal-Mart, Costco, Home Depot, K-Mart, PETCO, Sears, J.C. Penney, and others but have no idea how to do so.
Well, I decided to do some research to see what is required to qualify and submit products to the big box retailers.
I was surprised by all that I learned and I decided to write an audio CD with corresponding fill-in workbook that explains how you can get your products into the big box retailers.
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I have wanted to set up a regular forum (rather than a blog) where independent inventors from all over the world can share their experiences patenting and marketing their inventions or new product ideas. Well, it is finally here.
The forum is multilingual on both the front end (viewing posts) and on the back end (your account to make posts) so you can talk with inventors from all over the world in their native languages!
To view posts on the front end in any of 42 languages, simply click on the drop-down menu at the top left corner of each web page of the forum. You can set the language on the back end when you register as a new user.
Inventors are pioneers… so be among the first to sign up and post to our Independent Inventors Forum.
P.S. Be sure to let me know what discussion topics and categories you would like at: Forum@InventionPatenting.com.
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