WelcomeInventors 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:
The Monday September 22, 2014 Inventors Network of the Capital Area meeting is at the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library in Falls Church, Virginia. The meeting will begin at 5:30 pm with networking, pizza, snacks and drinks. Announcements and the speaker introduction start at 6:30 pm. John Calvert, the new executive director of the United Inventors Association (UIA) will be this month’s speaker. John is seeking to find out what is important to inventors through an interactive discussion. Mr. Calvert desires to make the UIA an organization that will serve inventors well through helpful information and practical opportunities. He also wishes the UIA be an inventors organization that accurately represents current independent inventor perspectives in issues of patent law, practice, and policy. He will be visiting other inventor groups around the country to get feedback from them as well. Before the UIA Mr. Calvert has worked at the United States Patent & Trademark Office for many years in the Independent Inventors Program and Office of Innovation. Mr. Calvert’s bio can be found here.
The Monday October 27, 2014 Inventors Network of the Capital Area meeting is at the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library in Falls Church, Virginia. The meeting will begin at 5:30 pm with networking, pizza, snacks and drinks. Announcements and the speaker introduction start at 6:30 pm. Richard J. Apley of Becker & Poliakoff will be speaking at this meeting. Mr. Apley worked for the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s Independent Inventor Office before working at Litman Law and now Becker & Poliakoff. The speaking topic will be announced in the near future.
The Monday November 17, 2014 Inventors Network of the Capital Area meeting is at the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library in Falls Church, Virginia. The meeting will begin at 5:30 pm with networking, pizza, snacks and drinks. Announcements and the speaker introduction start at 6:30 pm. Dr. Charles B. McGough, author of the book Great Invention! Now What? which explains step by step how to convert an idea into a successful product will be this month’s speaker via Skype. It offers step by step instruction on how to evaluate, patent, trademark and license an invention.
The December 2014 Inventors Network of the Capital Area holiday party will most likely be at the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library in Falls Church, Virginia. The date and time of the party will be announced in the future.
The January 2015 Inventors Network of the Capital Area meeting is at the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library in Falls Church, Virginia. The meeting will begin at 5:30 pm with networking, pizza, snacks and drinks. The date and time of the meeting will be announced in the future. This month’s speaker will be by Amir, a high school student from Fairfax County, Virginia. Amir wanted to create a way to cost effectively control the use of electricity around the home. His invention, the Ottomate, is a home-based automation system that learns a user’s habits within two weeks and then automatically turns devices on and off for the user. Watch Amir’s invention in action in this video.
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:
The US Patent & Trademark Office is hosting its 16th Annual Independent Inventors Conference this August 15 & 16, 2014 at their headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. To register and see the conference agenda see the following link.
INCA member and patent attorney Raymond Van Dyke gave testimony March 13, 2014 at the United States Patent & Trademark Office Public Meeting on Notice of Public Rulemaking “Changes to Require Identification of Attributable Owner.” You can view his testimony one hour and twenty seven minutes into the video provided at the link below.
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
TechShop Opens Location in Arlington, Virginia
TechShop opened a new location June 17, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia. TechShop is a workspace users can rent by the day or longer that gives them access to a huge host of prototyping hardware and software. See www.techshop.ws/arlington.html for more information.
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/.
USPTO Announces New Electronic Publication “Inventors Eye” for Independent Inventors
Learn more about how to subscribe to this free bi-monthly electronic publication by clicking here. The first edition has articles featuring inventor stories, how to avoid invention promotion company scams, patent reform and more.