Jim Harris
President, Princeton Products,
A Div. of White Oak Publishing, Inc,
and Former Ass't Sysop in the
Compuserve Forum, Ideas to Market

This post is Jim Harris' reply in the open forum that echoed Robert Martin's sentiments about the worth and value of the Invention Convention®. Jim Harris, President of Princeton Products, has 18 years of retail management and 24 years of marketing and merchandising experience. He worked with WalMart for many years and has written and published 15 papers dedicated to the small and independent inventor. He was formerly Assistant Sysop to the Ideas to Invention Forum for Compuserve. He lectures around the country on the topic of bringing ideas to market, and was a featured speaker at the Invention Convention¨ Masters of the Invention Process[tm] seminar series.

Hi Bob, it was a distinct pleasure meeting with you again at the Invention Convention '97. I thank you for your time. Obviously I made it in OK, but my butt is still dragging just a tad.

You failed to mention the Awards Ceremony, this was of particular importance to me because of the people selected this year for the prestigious "Bulbie" award. Joanne Hayes-Rines won a super award at the Round Table Dinner held at the Bistro 45 for her efforts in fighting all these years for inventors rights. And she deserved it. Good job, Joanne, we're proud of you!

Also, at the Sunday night Award Ceremony, Lifetime Achievement Awards were given to Hedy Lamarr for her U.S. Patent that she gave to the government to help the war effort in WWII, the broadband spectrum, this technology is just today really being exploited in cellular technology. Also, Dr. Bob Rines, for his dedication and establishment of the Franklin Pierce Law Center, and his many inventions which have furthered mankind's quest for knowledge.

Another well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Bob Lougher, a personal friend of mine, who founded the Inventors Awareness Group, after he himself had both served in a scam company and had been scammed as an inventor. The FTC estimates that Bob's efforts have saved unknowing inventors over $100 million dollars in the past few years alone! Bob was responsible for the closing down through an FBI and FTC investigation 6 scam companies last month. All of these are very deserving people, and were well recognized. The Hines could not attend, but George Margolin accepted their awards, and Bob Lougher assured me he would get them back intact as they live but a few miles apart.

Personally, I felt the "Dishwasher-in-a-Sink" was an excellent invention, although the noise decibel level was not explained to my satisfaction. I agree wholeheartedly with you Bob about the "Truss", it's destined to be a winner. Dr. Ruben Fabunin's antidote for toxic venon may have serious implications for both HIV and Ecola, as it saved over 23,000 lives in Malaysia last year by curbing a Denge Fever outbreak; he has spent 13 years in the Philippines doing clinical research on this amazing new drug.Most products wanted licensees. (Yet) most royalty rates, especially from the foreign delegations (of which there were many) were unrealistic. I made an honest attempt to speak to every inventor there; as I take judging responsibilities very seriously, many were through interpreters, but there were many, many new technologies.

Hats off to Stephen Gnass for a great job all around. I have never attended a trade show or invention exposition where the synergy was just right, but now I have. Thanks Stephen for inviting me, I hope to see you in April on the Queen Mary!

In a newsgroup posting on Sep.12, 1997 Jim Harris responds to the following question:

Do you have any opinions and/or success stories regarding inventors being successful in licensing or selling their inventions through such conventions?

As a frequent lecturer and judge at inventor-related expos and conventions, I can tell you that there is a tremendous amount of interaction and education that takes place. I know of deals that have been consummated even before the exhibit booths had been set up. Certain shows do draw more media and manufacturing interest than others, some simply do not have the budget to make it a "huge" event. And I suppose one could argue that there are those shows where a deal rarely develops, but you cannot discount the reasoning behind the educational value and the interaction with other inventors through the expo process.

I spoke at the Invention Convention in Pasadena, CA earlier this month. I was also fortunate enough to be a judge for the Invention Convention, and thus got to talk with roughly 200 inventors. All were exceedingly impressed and delighted with what they had learned from speakers such as Bob Lougher, Bob Merrick, Ron Grasso, Pal Asija, George Margolin, myself, and about 20 others. For a full list of speakers, go to the IC website at www.inventionconvention.com. Quite an impressive range of talents there to teach.

I know of four deals that are in the works as I write this from this Convention, and I'm not privy to any extra feedback from Stephen Gnass. One man named Jack Armstrong received a commitment from Target Stores to buy his product, a half-Christmas tree for trailers, offices, small apartments, etc. Gives the benefit of a full sized Christmas tree in 1/2 the space, and is re-usable year after year. He has manufacturing problems, but he will get there, now that he has a commitment.

Jim Harris

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