How to make money with an invention? That’s what many people think when they have a great idea. Well, to make a profit with some type of invention, there is a bureaucratic process to be followed, the patent registration, which guarantees the exclusivity of the creation so that it can be commercialized.
However, not everyone knows this. Believe it or not, but great idealists of things that everyone knows, they didn’t follow this bureaucratic part and ended up not gaining anything with their inventions.
We list some of them, see:
Harvey Ross Ball – created the Smiley Face in the United States in 1963. Internationally known, the Smiley Face is an emoticon that features a smiling yellow face, created for a company’s internal campaign. Between 1963 and 1971, around 50 million smiley faces were sent to the most diverse corners of the planet. The emoticon took about 10 minutes to create and earned just $45 for Ball, who could have made a lot more money if he had registered this icon as his own creation.
Alexey Pajitnov – Less than a month was the time it took Alexey Pajitnov to develop, in 1984, one of the most famous games of recent times, Tetris. Employed at the Russian Academy of Science during the Cold War, Pajitnov was responsible for research development in the field of artificial intelligence, which allowed him to create puzzles and games at work. Pajitnov made a deal with his superiors: they helped the scientist to publish the game and the money went to the company. After 20 years he got the right to the game, which already had 70 million copies and several million dollars after creation.
Daisuke Inoue – In the 70s, in Japan, the band in which Daisuke Inoue played allowed other people to take the microphone and sing in performances in bars around the city. All to relieve some stress after a day at work. One day, the group members were unable to attend a concert, so Inoue had the idea of taking pre-recorded songs and playing them for people to follow. Karaoke came up.
However, the success of the idea was so great that Inoue and his band forgot to patent the genius invention. Large companies then began to manufacture karaoke machines and sell them to bars and entertainment establishments. As he had not registered his invention before, Inoue cannot claim copyright.
Douglas Carl Engelbart – In the 60s in the United States, Engelbart always worked with the interaction between man and computer, developing interfaces and devices that facilitate the use of machines. Carl and his co-worker Bill English created the mouse, one of the most widely used peripherals in computers today. Engelbart never received any royalties for the invention of the mouse, as his patent application for the invention expired before the peripheral began to be used in personal computers.
US Government – Created for military use, the GPS (Global Positioning System) was only released for civilian use in 1995. Since then, the number of applications and devices that make use of GPS has grown exponentially, as it is not necessary to pay anything to use the signal transmitted by satellites.
Even knowing who originated the project, the GPS system does not have any registered patent. In this way, the government does not collect anything from the release of the signal to civilians.
These examples make the importance of patent registration increasingly clear. Just having a revolutionary idea or inventing something that will be useful to many people is not enough. It is extremely important that the registration takes place so that, possibly, you will profit from it and obtain exclusivity for your invention.