(Cross posted at Dragonfly with possible additional readers’ comments)
The following are my brief reviews and comments on the Dragons’ Den Season 2 episode 4 pitches/ideas.
Add-vanced Bottle System – by Dean Lane
I think I am warming up to the potential of this business (especially for licensing the patent to big water companies like Coke or Pepsi). Check out the pictures Dean has at his site here and here. Water is a big business these days (even though I am against drinking bottled water in Canadian cities for environmental reason). And the patent doesn’t limit the application to water/liquid, the bottles can be for anything.
Dean’s idea of manufacturing the bottles himself is misguided and I am sure Jim will be able to guide Dean to the right direction of seeing the benefits of licensing the patent and avoided all the related manufacturing headaches.
I will try to take a look of Dean’s US patent application 20070114200 when I find sometime. I welcome other Dragons’ Den patent geeks out there to take a look of the application and add your insight to the forum or email me.
Now, I am not a lawyer. And I don’t even play a patent lawyer on TV. But a word of advice for those that are reading patent/patent app for the first time. The Claims are the ones with true legal power. The “DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE BEST MODE AND PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION” section is a great read for the fact that patent regulations required the inventor to disclose the best mode (i.e. the best known way to make that thingy). One can learn a lot from this section. Plus if the inventor chose not to tell you the best mode, there are some nasty consequence for the inventor. The idea of a patent is the inventor disclose their “magic”, in exchange of having exclusive patent protections for X number of years.
Oct 29th update: Here is a Vancouver Sun article about Dean’s business.
I had the pleasure to watch this couple pitched live in June in Toronto. And many of their family members (including their son and daughter) were right outside the Dragons’ Den set supporting them.
Now, I am no expert in the horses or dogs/pets market, but I sure hope they take the advices from the Dragons and expand to include dog care, etc.
I don’t know much about the potential market for sports wear so I don’t have much to say. But I think it was a really bad idea for the entrepreneur to strip to show his product. If there is a real need, then hire a model for a day.
Baby Kaede Clothing Company – (note: for some reason, this website crashed my Firefox browser)
The baby clothing looks cute but it is probably a niche market, not ready for investment given the existing business.
Home Safe Environmental Testing
Laurence has it right on. We live in a world of technologies and will have to accept some level of risk to function normally. Excessive worry is not a good idea and unfortunately, this product counts on our fears (legitimate or not).
The Stair Walker
I have to agree with the dragons that there is indeed potential risk if the system fails to work properly. There is an issue of potential product liability here.
Obbi, Leisure Skates, Cold Buddy
These business pitches were ok to watch in a montage but not quite ready for business investment.
Finally, I understand the “Purolator Lesson from The Den” makes CBC some good money. But these so-called “lessons” are getting to be rather weak and not fun to watch at all. Any chance to seriously improve them? I started to flip channel the moment I saw these “lessons”. CBC, please help.