A special device to change light bulbs, a glow-in-the-dark croquet set, inline skates that convert to ice skates, a wristwatch that helps you to stop smoking, and an effortless way to remove graffiti will be among the inventions highlighted during the 23rd Annual National Inventor's Expo and Conference at Walt Disney World Epcot September 15-17, sponsored by the Commerce Department's Patent and Trademark Office, the Intellectual Property Owners (IPO) and Epcot. The expo honors the role individual inventors play in improving the quality of our daily lives and in the growth and dynamism of our economy.
The 125 exhibitors at this year's expo come from all parts of the United States and have invented a vast array of products for recreation, safety, the home, automobile and the environment. Stations will be set up September 16-17 around Epcot Future World featuring recently patented inventions and staffed by the inventors, giving Walt Disney World guests an opportunity to interact with product creators. The expo runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.
On Sept. 15, a special conference for inventors will feature sessions on the patent process, marketing, raising venture capital, selling and licensing products, and speeches by Commissioner Lehman and Acting Assistant Commissioner for Patents Edward Kazenske. The conference will be conducted by the Intellectual Property Owners (IPO), a non-profit association whose members are individuals and companies that own patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. The conference is not open to the public.
"The expo will salute those who have taken the initiative to invent new and useful products on their own," said Bruce A. Lehman, assistant secretary of commerce and commissioner of patents and trademarks. "These are the 'mom and pop' inventors who have seen a need and have had the ingenuity to create a solution and who, as a result, have contributed greatly to the economic growth and prosperity of the U.S."