Some of Our Great Inventors Residents Seek Patents for Cat Litter, Skate Speedometers

By Zeman, Kat | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 9, 2001 | Go to article overview

Some of Our Great Inventors Residents Seek Patents for Cat Litter, Skate Speedometers


Zeman, Kat, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Kat Zeman Daily Herald Staff Writer

Lots of people talk about thinking "outside the box."

In business. In sports. In science.

But how many of us really do it?

In Naperville, 364 residents thought so far outside of the box during the past year that they ended up in a government database.

They thought, they researched, they invented and, finally, they turned to the federal government to get patents for their creations.

Oh, and what creations Naperville residents developed: from a speedometer for roller skates to a "pooper-scooper" cleaner for cat litter.

Someone even invented a new reason for people to wear undergarments.

True, their inventions have yet to hit the market and take their places on store shelves next to singing plastic fish and Chia pets.

But if they do - when they do - the inventors will have 20 years to profit from them - the expiration time for a patent.

According to records from the U.S. Patent Office in Washington, D.C., 771 patents were issued during the past year to people living or working in Naperville. By comparison, 830 were issued to people living or working in Chicago.

Many of those inventions came from residents working at area firms known for, well, inventing things. Lucent Technologies employees, for example, filed for several dozen patents, ranging from cyber-world improvements to electronic gadgets.

That's all very nice, of course, but it's the independent entrepreneurs who really stand out.

"It's usually those people who invent stuff on their own that have the wackiest inventions," a patent office spokesperson said. "Some of them take off and others are quickly forgotten."

As offbeat as some of the inventions may seem, most of the people behind them take their creations very seriously.

Case in point is Naperville homemaker and cat-lover Karen Kowalczyk.

Kowalczyk said she spent roughly $10,000 in attorney's fees and about 10 years of her time on research before claiming her patent, which became official in November.

Her brainchild: The "pooper-scooper" cleaner for cat litter boxes.

"I talked to hundreds of people, did a lot of surveys and testing," she said. "It took a very long time."

Her invention is a specially made container that stores a fecal litter scoop in a disinfecting liquid - keeping the litter box clean, odor-free and sanitary. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Some of Our Great Inventors Residents Seek Patents for Cat Litter, Skate Speedometers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.