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When being innovative becomes a problem...

easymucy's Avatar

Hello dear coleagues. Let me introduce myself... and my problem/question.

I am E.Z. Mucy, inventor from a country far away (Slovenia, Europe). It USED to be a country of inventors (part of Yugoslavia, home of Nikola Tesla, if anyone has heard of him ...)

In "bad old" communist days of Yugoslavia, inventors were highly praised and I got the inventor bug from a sculptor/painter who told me once that whenever he runs out of money, he goes in his shed and invents something. People were making a nice living out of being innovators.

In "good new" capitalist days of Slovenia, inventors are being discouraged and while the rest of the world experiences growth of invenions, Slovenia actually clocks less and less inventions each year. How is it so? Let me explain. 

Every invention, before going on market, or being allowed to be used by anyone, including inventor himself, has to get a European Union's Certificate of Comformity. They test your product and if they decide it's okay, you get to put a CE sign on it, showing that it is whithin the rules of EU. But here's the catch: in Slovenia, there is NO such organisation to make such tests and grant you a certificate. They tell you to go to Germany and have it tested there, get the German TUV first, then they will give you Certificate of Comformity, without even loooking at your product.

It's like sending a US inventor to get his product certified in Venezuela. To get my act to Germany, I need all my paperwork translated to German. Then you have to move there for a while, as such tests aren't done in a day. You have to bring two prototypes, one of which will be completely destroyed in the process of evaluating the materials. While you are there you need a translator present, otherwise you get nowhere. Such a project, with some luck, costs about 10 years of my income. Just for one piece of paper.

Anyway. I created the first Slovenian full-sized electric chopper bike. Couldn't get it certified as an electric vehicle, but as a regular gas bike with a changed engine. If I registered it as an electric motorcycle, it's off to Germany with it...

Then I created two smaller versions of electric chopper-mopeds and before I could get it onto our market, it was "off-to-Germany" with it ... I needed 100.000 euros to make paperwork happen, another 100.000 to buy materials and tools and start production... So I dropped it. The last remaining prototype is rotting in my shed, soon to be an involuntary "rat-look bike".

Then I wanted to make a replica of a European 50cc champion racing motorcycle from 1970's, which required a regular motorcycle with added racing fairings, nothing else. I got an authentic racing team to provide me with an original set of fairings, used on historic races that still go on nowadays. Guess what - I wasn't allowed to use the fairing that is used on a 120 mph racing bike on a 30 mph moped as (quote) "we are not competent to test this part for its safety", and it was "off to Germany" again ... But I was also given a suggestion that if I "contributed" 3500 euros I would get necessary papers no questions asked. 3500 for 400-euro fairings on a 500-euro motorbike...

Recently I made a design for a boat. Nothing special, nothing too innovative. Just a nice 16ft sailing boat that folds into a car trunk. Guess what. In order to register it and be allowed to sail it, I need to produce a CE Certificate of Comformity, or a bill that I bought it in EU or, of course - get mein arsch back to ze Germany und hafe it reiched ...

My friend emigrated to Fuerteventura (a Moon-surface-like piece of rock near Canary Islands), told me once "I had to run away ... Whenever I tried to spread my wings in Slovenia, they hit me on the head with a plank..."

Everyone that's in innovation business tells me to move to USA. I can't do that. 

I just want my inventions to get a "home", to go out in public, be used and abused. If it comes to that, let my ideas fail and die, but only after being given a fair chance. Not destroyed by bueraucrats before anyone has even seen them ...

Recently I have been to Russia and near Moscow I saw a huge complex, a small town actually. The road sign said "Centre of Innovators". They built a whole freakin town for people to think, research and build their ideas. And here I am, in a country of Michael Pupin, Nikola Tesla and Hermann Noordung, and legally cannot go to our local pond and play with a freakin' boat.

Enough winning. I make it happen, make a model of my invention, get my documentation straight, how do I patent it in USA, and who do I turn to to give it at least a fart's chance in a hurricane?

Mary Kisko
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karenadams's Avatar

Perhaps go to the USPTO web site, search for info you need and give them a call. Wish I could help more but alas my knowledge is lacking.

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easymucy's Avatar

Will do :)

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