Messenger - Vol. 1, No. 3, Page 12
Spring 1992
Delaware inventors learn how to market ideas

     One inventor had created a retractable phone cord, another had
developed a new spelling game for children and a third had produced a
pouch to keep clothes wrinkle-free in a suitcase. The three were among
87 inventors who came to the University this spring to learn how to
develop and market their ideas.
     "About 1,000 patents are awarded each year in Delaware. If each
patent represents one person, it looks as if we have reached about 10
percent of all Delaware inventors," says Linda Fayerweather, director
of the University's Small Business Development Center.
     The center, along with the Delaware Development Office and the
Governor's International Trade Council, sponsored the "Inventors Mean
Business" forum.
     About half of the independent inventors who came to the first
meeting had devised consumer-oriented products; the others were
industrial innovations. Many had already patented their ideas and
wanted help with marketing. Others only had an idea and needed
information on the whole process.
     Fayerweather says the inventors will meet monthly to hear a
speaker and then break up into subgroups relating to where they are in
the patent process. "We hope to get manufacturers and marketers to
work with them," she says. "Eventually, we would like to help many
more Delaware poducts become available."