Aim: What goes into designing a product?
Do Now: If you could create a product to sell, what would you create and why?
Step 1: It’s About Design
Inventors spend many hours designing and creating new items or making innovative improvements to the design of items. In order to protect their ideas or “intellectual property” they may apply for a patent. The U.S. Patent Office has been granting inventors of ideas, devices, designs and processes an award called a patent. A patent will protect the inventor from anyone being able to make, sell or take their original ideas for 20 years. The protection guaranteed by the patent is included in the Constitution of the United States (Article 1, Section 8) and has been in place over 200 years. Help your students learn more about some inventors and their inventions, as they participate in some activities to help them understand the patent process.
Scavenger Hunt #1: Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights
Type all of your answers and save them into a word file titled “Your Name Patent Scavenger Hunt”. Refer to the web sites listed for each question to find the information you need to complete this scavenger hunt. Good Luck!
*Use the following websites to find the information for your “Scavenger Hunt”
1. Receiving a patent for your invention allows you to have the right to make, sell, and import an invention for up to ____ years.
2. What are the 3 types of patents awarded by the U.S. Patent Office?
a. ______________ b. ______________ c. ______________
3. What is the difference between a utility patent and a design patent? Explain in complete sentences.
Give an example (name and type of product) of something that received an utility patent and a design patent.
4. A copyright is different from a patent because it registers things that have been authored such as works of art, music and things which have been written. An example of something that has a copyright is the 1990 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie. Where would you find copyrights registered? ________________
How long does a copyright last? ___________________
5. What do we call the type of protection used by businesses and organizations which protects words, names, symbols, sounds, or colors that distinguish goods and services? Some examples of things which received this type of protection are Campbell’s soup, Listerine, New York Rangers and VELCRO.______________
6. About how long has the patent process operated in the United States to protect inventors? _____________
7. Where is the U.S. Patent Office located? ______________________
Now – See if you can answer these about the Frick Clock.
8. What type of patent did Fred Frick receive for his Electric Program Clock? _________________
(Utility, Design or Patent)
9. Are Frick’s patents still protecting his invention today? ____________
Read the brief introduction to patents for basic facts and information. After completing the reading answer the following questions:
– Why is it important for an inventor to apply for a patent?
– How does a patent protect the inventor?
– Should a patent last forever rather than just 20 years?
– What types of items can receive a patent? Are there different types of patents?
Now that you’ve completed Step 1 of your final project you can begin to work on Step 2. Step 2 requires you to form a group of 2 – 4 people. After forming your group you will begin to work on the following components:
- With your group you are going to design a product. You can create a brand new product or you can choose a product that exists and make a significant improvement on it (the improvement must be an original idea).
- You should outline the features of your product:
- What is its purpose?
- What does it do? How does it do this?
- Is there a need for your product?
- Does anything like this already exist on the market? Where? How much does it cost? What makes your product different from your competitors? What do they currently charge for the product?
- What would you charge for your product? Why?
- Who would your target audience (the people you want to purchase it) be?