Have you recently stopped to taste a sample of some yummy food at Whole Foods or Costco? Did you notice the patented paper spoon you were using? It’s a little piece of cardboard paper, folded in half at one end, leaving the opposite end unfolded so you can scoop up some food.
You might not have noticed the paper spoon because the design is so simple, and yet so obvious that you would never guess it has been patented. The inspiration for this paper spoon was a mom in need. While on a road trip with her kids, a creative mom realized that she didn’t have any spoons for the yogurt she had packed for her kids. And like all good inventors, she improvised by creating a spoon out of the side of a cracker box. And then she took that simple improvisation and intellectual property to the bank! Or rather, to her patent lawyer. She was awarded patent protection and now she has contracts with Costco and Whole Foods and other national companies to supply eco-friendly tasting spoons.
So the next time you come up with a creative way to solve an immediate problem, let us know, because you might be able to take that idea to the bank.