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Week 18: Invention, intellectual property and income
Invention"Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door" is a phrase attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson in the late nineteenth century.The phrase has turned into a metaphor about the power of innovation. I took this sentence "A better mouse trap" as a tagline for my product/project branded as "Seeya". And yes, it is a better mouse trap that all the conventional mouse traps we see in the market.
I had been facing mice problem at my house for ages. We've tried everything to get rid of mice and every method we tried gave us a temporary relief. I am completely against killing mices or any other animal. The best way to get rid of them is to catch them one by one, take them to a far location and let them go. I dont mind walking a few kilometers whenever I catch a mouse with this cool device. It will also help me burn some calories.
The inspiration behind making a mouse trap was the idea of creating a personalised useful product which will solve once of the actual problems I face in real life. So I thought of designing a simple, cost effective functional mouse trap which can also be the first step towards creating many such simple and cost effective every-day-use personalised home appliances using the resources available at Fablab.
What is a copyrighted material?
Any original works of authoriship including desing, leterary works, code, musical works, art, photographs, new technology is protected by the law of copyright. So when something is created inlcuding a document, music, software or product, It is automatically protected by the law of copyright. We need to take the permission or refer the copyright license before re-using or sharing somebody's work even if it is posted online.
What are the laws of copyright?
Copyright enables people to say who can share and re-use their creation. It is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution.The exclusive rights are not absolute but limited by limitations and exceptions to copyright law, including fair use. So as I have created "Seeya - a better mouse trap" , the final project in Fab Academy, I can define who can re-use and share my work through the copyright license I adopt for my project, which essentialy is also a potential product for the market.
What is a creative common license?
If a creator(like me) wants everyone to use their work, but with certain conditions and following some guidelines, without the hassle of granting permission over and over again, this is where creative commons come in to play. Creative commons provides licensing tools that are free to use. I can freely apply a license to my original work, which refines my copyright and streamlines how I give permission.
The following images shows the main options you can adapt while licensing your own work using creative commons.
What is MIT license
The MIT License is a free software license originating at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It is a permissive free software license, meaning that it puts only very limited restriction on reuse and has therefore an excellent license compatibility. For reference, I am adding the actual content of MIT License.
There are also few other free licensing tools available on the web such as Mozilla Public License 2.0, Common Development and Distribution License, Eclipse Public License etc.
Licensing my project
This mouse trap was made completely at Fablab. I would like others to use my learnings,learn the same things I learned and maybe also improve the mouse trap and add their own additions to it. So this project is under MIT Open license.
The MIT License (MIT)
Copyright (c) Daniel Jeevan EJ
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this Seeya Mouse trap and associated documentation files and code, to deal in the Seeya Mouse trap without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, make, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of Seeya Mouse Trap, and to permit persons to whom the Software and device is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
THE SEEYA MOUSE TRAP IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
This project was developed to use my learnings at FabAcademy to solve and actual problem I face at my home. However looking into the possibilities further, and the cost of developing this project. I realised that this project could be easily turned into a makert-fit product.
Conventional manual mechanical mouse traps available in India costs around 600 Rs. Its cumbersome and not easy to setup. Suprisingly it has been in our market since my childhood and nothing has changed so far. I still see the same ancient design product in our hardware shops. It only costed me around Rs. 750 to develop the prototype of Seeya - electronic mouse trap at FabLab. I am sure that If I can make improvements in the design, after a few iterations, The cost of a unit(under mass production) can come down to less than 400 Indian Rupees and I will be able to sell this electronic mouse trap for a nice profit of Rs. 650 which is almost same as the traditional mechanical mouse trap.
Instead of going for mass production and finding market, I will be making a finer prototype which looks closer to the actual product, and then open a crowd funding campgaign in Indiegogo. I work with Kerala Startup Mission, a technology business incubator in Kerala, and we have already had a few succesful crowd funding campgains that came out with this ecosystem. Fin - A wearable ring on Indiegogo, Exploride - A headmount display for cars on Indiegogo and Rico - Home security device on Kickstarter. The people who were behind all these campgaings are all my good friends and I am planning on taking their advice before going for the campgain.
I will be engaging CAT entertainments, one of the media startups we have in our Kearala Startup Mission campus to make a cool under 2-min duration video to explain the working, features of my refined version of this product and I will be doing a crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo using this video. I shall plan the future of the product based on the response I get from that campaing.
Sharing my work
The details of my project will be available on my Fab Academy Project Page and it can be used a reference for any new fab academy student or anyone who is trying to innovate the traditional mouse trap.