Inventors Network of the Capital Area 


The Inventors Network of the Capital Area is a non-profit educational organization founded in 1993. Our members are interested in patents, the innovation process, product design, marketing, licensing, prototyping and other product development issues. Visit the Contact Us page if you have questions.

See the Meetings page for a schedule of upcoming meetings, directions, and more information. For announcements about additional upcoming events join the Inventors Network of the Capital Area Meetup Group or join/visit the INCA Google Group.

Meetings are free and open to the public. We invite you to attend our next meeting to participate in networking over pizza, snacks, and drinks.  If you are interested in speaking at an upcoming meeting, or would like to recommend a speaker, visit our Speakers page.

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Current Meeting Schedule:

April 2014′s INCA meeting will be Monday the 21st. The meeting is at the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library in Falls Church, Virginia. The meeting will begin at 5:30 pm with networking. Networking includes pizza, snacks and drinks.  Announcements and introductions start at 6:30 pm and the speaker is introduced shortly thereafter. Raymond Van Dyke, patent attorney and licensing agent, will be speaking on the “Current Status of Patenting”. Ray recently testified at the US Patent & Trademark Office’s Meetings on the Notice of Public Rulemaking (NPRM) “Changes to Require Identification of Attributable Owner.” From the USPTO website: ”The Attributable Owner NPRM proposes changes to the rules of practice to require that the attributable owner, including the ultimate parent entity, be identified during the pendency of a patent application and at specified times during the life of a patent.” Mr. Van Dyke will also entertain your questions at the end of his presentation.

May 2014’s INCA meeting will be Monday May 19, 2014. The meeting is at the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library in Falls Church, Virginia. The meeting will begin at 5:30 pm with networking. Networking includes pizza, snacks and drinks.  Announcements and introductions start at 6:30 pm and the speaker is introduced shortly thereafter. New York patent attorney, author and lecturer Ron Slusky will be speaking via Skype at this month’s meeting. Here is a description of the presentation as provided by the speaker:  “Mr. Slusky strongly maintains that it’s a big mistake for inventors to prepare their own patent applications without significant involvement from an experienced patent lawyer. It takes years of mentoring and practice before one has the skills required to properly identify the inventive concept underlying the inventor’s embodiment and to draft patent claims that others cannot readily design around while still “ripping off” the invention. That being said, Ron believes that in patent work – as in so many contexts – an educated consumer is the best customer. Mr. Slusky’s presentation will focus on familiarizing inventors with the analytical processes that goes into properly analyzing and claiming an inventionThe idea is that by understanding what underpins the invention analysis process, an inventor is in a better position to work with a patent attorney or agent to ensure that the inventive ideas are properly captured in the patent application. Through this understanding the inventor may better assure him or herself that the patent practitioner is, as Ron puts it, “doing right by your invention.” The program is an inventor-oriented version of the material that Mr. Slusky presents to patent practitioners in his “Invention Analysis and Claiming” seminar, www.sluskyseminars.com, based on his acclaimed book Invention Analysis and Claiming: A Patent Lawyer’s Guide, 2nd Edition (American Bar Association, 2d ed. 2012). Topics will include: identifying the broad invention using the problem/solution paradigm; techniques for discovering the full breadth of the invention in view of the prior art; and the importance of preparing the patent application and its claims with the Anticipated Enforcement Scenario in mind.”

The Wednesday June 25, 2014 Inventors Network of the Capital Area meeting will feature Sally Kimmel, inventor of the Sure Klutch. The Sure Klutch is a device that attaches to the strap of a hand bag or purse in order to allow it to be hung from an edge or wall. This keeps hang bags or purses from being placed on the floor of a restroom when there is no hook available. Sally will speak on how she prototyped her idea and the journey it took to start selling this as a finished product. See more information and a video on this product at www.sureklutch.com and www.facebook.com/sureklutch.

More About Our Monthly Meetings:

Every month we host a meeting with a speaker and time for experienced and beginning inventors to network. Private sector speakers at past meetings have included successful inventors, and experts in: marketing, branding, patenting, licensing, prototyping, venture capital, and entrepreneurship. Speakers at previous meetings have also included officials from the US Patent & Trademark Office of Independent Inventor Programs and representatives of government small business assistance programs. For more details on past speakers and meeting topics see the Past Meetings page.

Other Current Events:

An important inventors’ rights case, PICTURE PATENTS, LLC v. AEROPOSTALE, INC, is before the US Supreme Court. See the following links for more information.


In The News

Community College of Baltimore County Catonsville Opens MIT Fab Lab

The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) Catonsville in Catonsville, Maryland opened an MIT Fab Lab (fabrication lab) in January 2011. The first open house was Thursday January 13, 2011. An MIT Fab Lab is a workshop open to the public where inventors and product developers can get help making prototypes of their inventions. After taking safety and other training classes users will have access to a ShopBot CNC milling/routing machine, UPrint 3D printer, Roland vinyl cutter, laser scanners, and CAD (computer aided design) software. Check back here or watch the INCA Google group and the CCBC MIT Fab Lab Meetup group page for announcements on Fab Lab classes and the times the lab will be opened to the public.

The CCBC MIT Fab Lab will have its first training classes on February 7, 201. Right now three classes are planned for this date. One class will be in the morning at 8am, another in the afternoon at 12pm, and the last in the afternoon at 4pm. All three classes are 3 hours and 15 minutes long. The class will cost $99. Contact Bill Werneke at wwerneke @ ccbcmd.edu or 443-840-4401 and let him know if you are interested in taking a class and which class time you are interested in. You must register for this class before attending.


The community college is located off of interstate 95 at exit 47B, which is about fifteen minutes (no traffic) south of Baltimore and one hour (no traffic) north of Washington DC.
After taking exit 47B you will be on 195 West and will be heading northwest. 195 West continues as the left part of a fork/”Y” you will come to. At this fork follow the sign that says 166 on it (this is a left at the fork). Do NOT take the right part of the fork/”Y” that says “UMBC Only” as the “UMBC Only” exit will take you to the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), not the Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville (CCBC and UMBC are two different colleges and are located at two different campuses).

195 West ends at/runs into 166/South Rolling Road. You will still be traveling northwest while on 166/South Rolling Road. Once on 166/South Rolling Road look for Campus Drive (Campus Drive will be on your left and is opposite of Valley Road). Turn left onto Campus Drive when you see the sign for the Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville (this blue sign also includes an electronic messaging display). You will be now heading southwest on a long curvy driveway and up a fairly large hill. When you come to another fork/”Y” in the road take a right. You will then be going counter clockwise on the “ring road” that encircles the CCBC Catonsville campus. Drive until you see the sign for parking lot number 5. Parking lot number 5 is the closest parking lot to building H.

The general physical address of the community college is 800 S Rolling Rd, Baltimore, MD 21228-5317.  The Fab Lab is located in room H145 of building H on the Catonsville campus. A vertical sign in front of the building with an “H” also designates this building. This building also has a blue awning that says “Applied Technology Center” on it. Go in the door with the blue awning. There will be a short jog to the right once you go in this door. After the jog to the right the Fab Lab is at the end of the long hall and on the right side. The Fab Lab is across from a room that has air traffic control and flight simulators.

Buildings on this campus are well marked, but see the campus map for the exact location:http://www.ccbcmd.edu/directory/cat/camp_map.html. You can also find the lab on Google Maps by clicking http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&q=%22CCBC+MIT+Fab+Lab%22


Park only in the spaces with white lines (parking in spaces with red, blue, or green paint stripes may result in your vehicle being ticketed). If you have to park in a parking lot that is a bit far from Building H, and you don’t want to walk, you can ride a shuttle bus that runs during normal business hours.

For more Information:

For more on the CCBC MIT Fab Lab events see http://www.meetup.com/CCBC-MIT-Fabrication-Lab/. For general information on MIT Fab Labs see  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fab_lab and http://fab.cba.mit.edu/.

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