Inventor seeks patent for 'Puzzle Power'

Gables, Florida, the company promoting his product. "We are a new product firm," said a representative of Invent-Tech. "We deal mainly in marketing - we find a manufacturer, provide legal representation,, and help them obtain a patent." Mr. S. paid the firm $15,000 to get started. But it wasn't before he researched both Invent-Tech and several other companies. "I get exposure at 12 trade shows a year," Mr. S. said. "They put together a seven-minute DVD that explains the idea, shows a picture, and includes a bio about me."

Mr. S, who runs a concrete pump for Northeast Concrete Pumping Corp., said he has been developing Puzzle Power for a number of years. In fact, he started tinkering with some of its pieces in high school. When he left home, the box containing those pieces and other childhood odds and ends stayed behind. But ten years ago, Mr. S's mother gave him the box to get out of her house. It started him fiddling all over again. "I've always been a prankster and I've had the access to machines," Mr. S. said. "I was making weird things and I stumbled upon it and it worked.

There is a trick to the way you hold it." Mr. S. made a prototype, which has helped him explain the puzzle to manufacturers.And although he has seen a similar product on the market, he said "the competition only makes it better." His wife was skeptical at first but now that she "sees what could come out of it, she's getting more excited," he said. Mr. S. believes the Puzzle Power, suitable for teens to adults, would be a good fit in several markets. He sees its potential for mass merchants like Wal-Mart, brainteaser stores, and the Discovery Channel store, as well as for entertainment at bars and some restaurants. And after seeing his first invention, a pipe rack washer for a concrete pump, in a trade magazine, Mr. S. isn't waiting for someone else to develop and patent Puzzle Power. The process from idea to marketable product may be expensive, but "if you don't take the chance, you'll never know."