Shark Tank – Behind The Curtains

Robert E. Montgomery Shark Tank Leave a Comment

I have presented articles before about the favorite television show of inventors and entrepreneurs – Shark Tank. The articles have been about particular products, how deals are done and undone with the Sharks, and the preparations to take before pitching a Shark whether it be on TV or in a downtown office somewhere. This article pulls back the curtains a bit to give you a peek into the show’s production.

A new episode of Shark Tank is not taped on a weekly basis. The entire season is taped in two segments, each a little over a week long on consecutive days with no weekends off. The first taping segment is during the summer with the other one in the fall. That’s it. Twice a year for a total of 17 days or so.

Taping starts at 8:00am and lasts for eleven or twelve hours with few breaks. Dressing and make-up is done a half-hour or more before taping begins. The goal is to tape eight to twelve invention pitches a day. That’s a lot of sitting in leather chairs and looking fresh for the Sharks.

Because Shark Tank is first and foremost an entertainment television show, show producers try to select interesting products by interesting inventors with a story to tell. The goal is to put together a show that viewers will watch so that advertising can be sold. Entertainment factor is always present.

Each “pitch session” to the Sharks lasts an hour on average. There are no breaks during the pitches, even when the back and forth with the Sharks lasts up to two hours. Prior to going into the shark tank, crew members of the show set the lighting, position a dozen cameras, check physical appearances and coach the inventors how to be most effective.

Because people react to stressful situations differently, television viewers will be surprised to learn that Shark Tank employs the services of a licensed psychiatrist. The psychiatrist talks with the inventors before and immediately after their session with the Sharks, win or lose. Expectations are always high, sometimes unrealistically so. The producers want everyone to go home feeling as good as possible with their experience with the Sharks. It’s a good thing that the show cares enough to have a trained professional on set to help with the flood of post tank feelings.

Now that you have had a peek behind the curtains and know a little of what’s going on, hopefully you’ll enjoy this Friday’s Shark Tank a little bit more.

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Robert E. MontgomeryShark Tank – Behind The Curtains

Spotlight Inventor–Regina Miller

Heather Bateman Spotlight Inventor Leave a Comment

Meet Regina Miller

Inventor of the Toe Protective Padding

Regina Miller


Describe your invention in five words or less:

Best thing since sliced bread!

Why did you create your invention?

Got tired of stubbing my toe!

What would you do if you became successful? 

Help the less fortunate.

How do you spend your free time?

With my family, my family is my whole life!!

Who do you admire most in life?

My husband, he is absolutely amazing, wonderful, and loving!!

What is your strongest personal quality?

I am very confident in myself in everything I do!!

Click here for FULL product information

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Heather BatemanSpotlight Inventor–Regina Miller

Spotlight Inventor–Angela Fischer!

Heather Bateman Spotlight Inventor Leave a Comment

Meet Angela Fischer

Inventor of the Articulated Tea Party Doll!

Angela Fischer

Describe your invention in five words or less:

Beautifully Interactive For Childrens Imagination

Why did you create your invention?

I ran an ad on my webpage for Doll Restoration and Reroot. A Gentleman answered and requested a rerooted 3′ doll for his wife. As it progresses I was asked if I could replace painted on eyes with a pair of my hand painted Sleepy eyes.
He explained how his wife has Alzheimer’s disease. He wanted to keep Her home for as long as possible and wants a life like  Grown Lady Doll to keep her company.
I told him that I had never done that before. But I would try. .. I did it!!
“Can you make the Face look more realistic to being  grown – up ?”
“I can try” … Well I did that too.
“Can you give her posable joints so she can sit with my wife for a Tea Party, Watch Football.. Etc.?”
Again “I will try.
“You are really pushing my Artistic ability beyond anything I have ever done”.. I said
“I have faith in you” .. Was His response.
So I added some features to make her look more like a Woman. Artistically recreated the face and eyes. Added Long  rerooted Hair.
Last added Knee,Elbow and wrist joints. I would have done more.. But  limited  access to the tools required for more.. Well I could only do so much.
The final result:
“Oh my Gosh, Angelina Jolie!! My favorite Actress!! ” Tears of joy and a life long companion for a  Sweet Lady and Her Imagination.

What would you do if you became successful? 

First : I would have the first Doll sent to my customer that helped inspire this Doll.
There are some charities I will help.
Help the less fortunate.
Set up College funds for my Grandchildren.
Continue my Doll work. For fun and give them away.
Live comfortably.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

Think outside the box and Follow your Artistic Instincts.

Who do you admire the most in life?

They taught me to Be myself. Have faith in God. Stand still and Hear my inner voice. ( and listen to it) And that Love can last a lifetime.
Thanks to them I met my Fiance’ that  supports my decision to be a Doll Doctor which in turn led me to my invention.

How would your friends describe you?

Funny, Bubbly, laughs a lot. Creative.

Those that Really know me .. Would say that I am Honest, loving, Empathetic, a great listener and give great insight to their concerns. I don’t stress over silly stuff. And I don’t gossip. A dependable person to talk to. I love my family, my friends.
I keep my faith in God and the powers that be. That’s what keeps me grounded.

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Heather BatemanSpotlight Inventor–Angela Fischer!

Regina Miller, creator of the Toe Protective Padding, receives her issued patent!

Heather Bateman Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Regina Miller, of Moundsville, West Virginia, originally contacted For Sale by Inventor in January 2014 with her invention. The product, Toe Protective Padding, is memory foam with adhesive on one side that can be easily affixed to table-legs, chair-legs, et cetera to remedy to problem of stubbing your toe on those hard, awkward surfaces. This adhesive will not damage furniture and can be easily removed and attached to another location.

After looking at her product, our patent attorneys recommended a Design patent for the best possible protection of her unique invention. The design patent was filed in May 2014, and we started her marketing services shortly thereafter. The mass appeal of her product, as well as the inexpensive manufacturing costs, are features that give her product the best possible chance of success in the market.

Toe Protective Padding by Regina Miller

Toe Protective Padding by Regina Miller

In March of 2016, after two years of excitement and anticipation, Regina’s Design patent issued & arrived in our office. We noted it for our records, and then mailed it off to Mrs. Miller on the same day.  The story of her patent spread quickly in her small community, and the local news soon caught wind of it. Channel Seven news in West Virginia featured Regina and her product in a write-up, as well as video interview.

View Regina’s interview on Channel 7 news here.

For FULL product information, please click here.

Please join us in wishing Mrs. Miller CONGRATULATIONS!

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Heather BatemanRegina Miller, creator of the Toe Protective Padding, receives her issued patent!

How to Draft a Quality ROI

Aaron Cramer Patent Attorney 3 Comments



As a general rule, the inventor’s submission of his or her Record of Invention (“ROI”), is our first and most important step in the process of obtaining a patent.  As we always state, “nobody knows your invention better than you,” and how we first learn about your invention is from your ROI.  It therefore is of critical importance that when you fill out your ROI that you provide us with as much detail possible.

This includes a detailed written description which should cover such issues as what your invention does, how does it operate and what makes your invention different/better/special from other similar products currently available in the marketplace.  Additionally, we recommend including detailed drawings – regardless of your artistic skill level and photographs of all relevant views of your invention if you have made a prototype (remember the old maxim that a picture is worth a 1,000 words).

When an inventor presents this information in his or her ROI, a chain of events is set in motion which results in an efficient and accurate patent opinion…and ultimately a quality application should the patent opinion come back positive.  Therefore, we urge our prospective clients to spend as much time as possible when drafting an ROI by providing the information detailed above, for in our experience, it is time very well spent.

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Aaron CramerHow to Draft a Quality ROI

Inventors that Said “No Thanks” to Shark Tank

Neil E. Montgomery Shark Tank 2 Comments

Shark Tank

Setting the Stage

January 2013, ABC-TV hit show Shark Tank where inventors pitch their ideas to five multi-millionaire Sharks for funding. In this episode the inventors are husband and wife, Steven Sashen and Lena Phoenix. The invention is a new type of running sandals to tap into the new fad of barefoot running.

The Negotiation

First came the presentation which went reasonably well. The only major push back was the retail price was deemed too high by the Sharks. The ask was $400,000.00 in return for 8% equity position in the fledgling business, a $5-million valuation. Four of the five sharks passed until finally the center Shark, Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary, proposed $400,000.00 for a 50% stake lowering the valuation from $5,000,000.00 down to $800,000.00.

The inventors countered back with 10% for the $400,000.00. O’Leary refused to change his offer and responded with “You people are probably delusional entrepreneurs.” Push has now come to shove. The ball was back in the inventor’s court and the answer was, “That’s an offer we’re not willing to take at this time.” The episode ended with Sashen and Phoenix walking out of the Shark Tank empty handed.

The Takeaway

Forbes magazine estimates ”the odds of scoring a deal on the ABC hit business show Shark Tank is even less likely than becoming a professional athlete.” So Sashen, Phoenix and their company Xero Shoes really rolled the dice.

The Present and Future of Xero Shoes

Xero Shoes

Xero Shoes started business in 2009. Product manufacturing is done in China with retailers primarily in Japan and Australia. Internet sales is a big source of income. From the get-go to January 2013, sales of their $20-$80 shoes had been about $670,000. The month after Shark Tank, sales jumped to $250,000, and there’s been no looking back.

Since Shark Tank, Sashen and Phoenix have decided to go it on their own – no investors. Cash flow has been strong enough to finance the business and its growth. Sales projections for 2016 is set at $3.2-million with $7-million expected in 2017. The product line has been extended to include sandals and closed toe footwear.

Sashen and Phoneix are realistic about how far Xero Shoes can go on their own. In a couple of years, if everything goes well, our intrepid inventors (aka: delusional entrepreneurs) hope to max out their abilities at $10-million in sales per year. At that time, a Shark may be needed to make the next big jump. Negotiations will probably go much better the second time around for the inventors.

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Neil E. MontgomeryInventors that Said “No Thanks” to Shark Tank

@ Ray Tomlinson

Robert E. Montgomery Invention News Leave a Comment

ray tomlinson

Ray Tomlinson, the father of internet email, died on March 5 at the age of 74.  It was Tomlinson who put everything together in 1971 so that over two-billion emails can be sent every day.  His creation has brought the world closer together equally for good and for evil.

As an integral part of Tomlinson’s email creation was the development of an address convention to properly direct electronic mail from sender to recipient.  As so the <shift 2> “at” sign was selected.  It makes perfect logical sense.  Emails fly through the internet until it finds the correct domain such as “” and then to the correct mailbox such as “JohnDoe” thus making the email address

Prior to becoming the centerpiece for every email address, the “@” sign’s meaning was “at the rate of” as in “a dozen roses @ $29.99.”  Although we simply refer to the symbol as the “at” sign, the French and Italians call it a snail, the Israelis refer to it as the strudel, but the best nickname is “the meow sign” as used by the Finns.  Regardless of whatever we call it, starting in 1994, @ was responsible for moving more mail, more quickly and more accurately than the postal system.

Ray Tomlinson is the sole and only force behind electronic mail sent and received by different computers.  Before email over the internet, only hard-wired linked terminals of a time-share computer could send messages using a program called “Sndmsg.”  Tomlinson removed the shackles by adapting a file-sharing program of his own known as “Cpynet”, added the “@” sign and messages started being sent between computer systems over “Arpanet,” a forerunner of the internet.

In 2012, at Tomlinson’s induction into the Internet Hall of Fame, he said: “I’m often asked, did I know what I was doing? And the answer is, yes, I knew exactly what I was doing. I just had no notion whatsoever of what the ultimate impact would be. What I was doing was providing a way for people to communicate with other people.”

People have asked what was the first network email message?  Was it something akin to Alexander Graham Bell’s “Mr. Watson. Come here. I want to see you.”  Or could it have been more profound similar to Neil Armstrong’s “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” The truth is that Tomlinson can’t remember his first email other than to say: “The test messages were entirely forgettable and I have, therefore, forgotten them.”

Rest in peace Ray Tomlinson @ Lincoln, Massachusetts.  Your place in history is secure.

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Robert E. Montgomery@ Ray Tomlinson

Spotlight Inventor: Luke O’Connor

Heather Bateman Spotlight Inventor Leave a Comment

Meet Luke O’Connor

Inventor of the Fan-Brella!

Luke O'Connor

Describe your invention in five words or less

A fan on a pole

Why did you create your invention?

I was hot and sticky.

What would you do if you became successful?

Provide a better life for my family, contribute to society.

Favorite famous inventor?

Nikola Tesla

Best advice you ever received?

You’ll be more sorry for the things you didn’t do than the things you did do.

Any pets? Tell us about them

An old dog, Schnauzer, named Precious that we rescued from a shelter. We wanted to rescue a dog that otherwise wouldn’t be. She’s great.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

Anywhere there’s scenery or history. National parks, anywhere early American history took place–“learning vacations” for my children.

How do you spend your free time?

What’s free time? I like to ride my Harley, but it takes from my family time.

Who do you admire most in life?

Arnold Schwarzenegger–he’s accomplished everything he set out to do. I refer to him whenever I’m giving my kids a lecture about their futures.

What are your top three favorite books and why?

“Shane” and “Call of the Wild” for their subjects, and they are well-written. I also like anything on ancient history and technology.

What is your strongest personal quality?

Integrity. My word is my bond.

What is a skill you’d learn to learn and why?

Memory, I’ve got to work on my memory.

13. How would your friends describe you?: They all probably see something different in me. People tend to recognize only a quality they are familiar with from personal experience. They would have to agree on ‘integrity’. If I have nothing else–I have that.

14. What would you pick for your ‘last meal’?

An “ALL YOU CAN EAT” Buffet!

15. Favorite guilty pleasure?

What’s that?

16. Who would play you in a movie about your life?

I don’t know. It would be a pretty boring movie, so he would have to be a very amazing actor.

17. Favorite “fad invention”?

The Rubics Cube. Pure genius.

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Heather BatemanSpotlight Inventor: Luke O’Connor


Heather Bateman Spotlight Inventor 1 Comment

Ian Butler

Ian Butler

Meet Ian Butler, inventor of the Digital Propane Tank Scale!

Digital Propane Tank Scale by Ian Butler

Digital Propane Tank Scale by Ian Butler


Why did you create your invention?: I created this invention because I was tired of guessing how much propane was left in my BBQ tank. I hate running out of gas right in the middle of having a BBQ!


What would you do if you became successful?: I’m an Avionics Engineer, but have Multiple Sclerosis. If my invention becomes successful, I want to build an MS Clinic. Not just a clinic, I want it restricted to people under 40 tears old. Young people have no such place to go. All of the clinics, and homes, are for older people. MS strikes young people all the time, particularly women 20 to 25. This would give them their own place, with people their own age!


Who is your favorite famous inventor?: My favorite inventor is Nikoli Tesla (he was HUGE in inventing things to do with electricity. He created AC current and worked a lot with Thomas Edison) His list of inventions is too big to mention here!


Any pets?: I’m single, so my two cats (Boop and Smedley), are like my family. They’re affectionate and funny. I love them to bits!


How do you spend your free time?: I’m a Military Historian, so I spend my free time studying military events. I specialize in the Civil War, and World Wars l and ll. I’ve been studying these for over 40 years.


Ian Butler, creator of the Digital Propane Tank Scale

Ian Butler, creator of the Digital Propane Tank Scale

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Heather BatemanSPOTLIGHT INVENTOR: Ian Butler

Spotlight Inventor: Moshe Bensimon

Heather Bateman Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Meet Moshe Bensimon, inventor of the Mess-Less Toilet Seat.

Moshe Bensimon, creator of the Mess-less Toilet Seat

Moshe Bensimon, creator of the Mess-less Toilet Seat

1. Describe your invention in five words or less: Seat with urine splash guard

2. Why did you create your invention?: To prevent males from making a mess in the bathroom

3. What would you do if you became successful?: Invent other products to make our lives easier.

4. Best advice you’ve ever received?: You will never have everything figured out, just start!

5. Any pets? Tell us about them!: Rocky the turtle, had her for a year.

6. How do you spend your free time?: Playing or learning with my kids.

Click here for FULL product information!

Mess Less Toilet Seat

Mess Less Toilet Seat

Mess Less Toilet Seat

Mess Less Toilet Seat

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Heather BatemanSpotlight Inventor: Moshe Bensimon