The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued Fred and Natasha Ruckel, inventors of the Ripple Rug, a ‘multi-functional reconfigurable pet enrichment system,’ a US Patent.
The Ruckels initially submitted a provisional patent with the USPTO in April 2015. By filing for a provisional patent soon after the idea for the Ripple Rug was born, the Ruckels were able to establish a starting point for the protection of their invention. It also allowed them to use the term ‘patent pending’ as a warning to potential infringers in their marketing and on their packaging. After extensive product evaluation and development of the Ripple Rug, the Ruckels filed a utility patent with the USPTO in March 2016. It took just over 29 months to obtain their Utility Patent.
“As small inventors, we have to fight copycats, knock-offs and infringers every day in order to protect our intellectual property,” explained Natasha Ruckel. “Having a patent is an important tool in helping protect your invention, as well as opening up the potential for licensing opportunities. However, we can’t emphasize enough, the importance of registering copyright for all of your content used in web, packaging and all other marketing materials. You should also file your trademarks with the USPTO.”
“We’ve been fighting infringers for a while now.” adds Fred Ruckel. “It happens all the time. You invent a great product and shady characters decide to monetize on your invention, often using your wording, pictures, trademarks and in some instances even your product to sell their own knock-off!”