|Patent for Harley 8-Yr-Old|
When Bryce Gunderman thought up a new invention to help reduce cord clutter and save space on his counter, he knew it was more than just a good idea; it was an invention worth patenting—and the US Patent Office agreed.
At dinner one evening, the young Gunderman, a Lower School student at The Harley School, heard his parents talking about a cell phone cord on the counter. His mother wished she had a more convenient place to recharge her phone. Although he was only six at the time, Gunderman decided he wanted to help solve the problem. His idea led to his first patent, which was awarded last month.
“Once we described the problem, Bryce was unstoppable,” says his father, Robert Gunderman. “He was determined to find a solution.”
The now third-grader’s idea involves the creation of a shelf that lifts charging electronics off the counter space, without causing permanent holes or damage to a wall. To get his idea started, he drew initial concept drawings himself and learned about different kinds of outlets. Then he worked with his father to develop a prototype—which everyone, including his mother, agreed was a great answer to the problem.
Mr. Gunderman explains that at The Harley School, Bryce had the opportunity to use his imagination and creativity in Mrs. Fenster’s primary class, where they learned about and came up with inventions. “I’m convinced,” says Mr. Gunderman, “that without her class this would not have happened.”
Mr. Gunderman, founder of the patent law firm Patent Technologies, LLC, helped Bryce through the legal process. He is proud of how his son seized the moment on what would have otherwise been a passing conversation. And he has greatly enjoyed the father-son experience, “It gives us something exciting to work on together long after the patent has issued. With my regular clients, I prepare and prosecute the patent application, but don't stay involved beyond that point,” he says.
Mr. Gunderman himself holds six patents in the areas of energy storage, software, medical diagnostics and treatment, and non-pesticide-based insect control.
What’s next for the Gundermans? Mr. Gunderman says they will now try to market their idea and profit from the invention.
“I’m thinking money for college education,” says Mr. Gunderman, “and he’s thinking hockey sticks, tickets to Sabres games, and go-karts.”
> Read the D&C story Bryce Gunderman, 8, Gets Patent for Invention to Tame Cord Clutter