Although there are many black female inventors, the one that most sticks out the most to many is Madame C. J. Walker. She assigned the usage rights from Marjorie Joyner who actually invented the heated Styling Comb. Yvette Kendall is a name you want to pay very close attention too, this Chicago Native has been making serious noise since 1998 when she attempted to secure the patent for the Bookman now known to most as E-book reader. Due to lack of funds to bring her Bookman to life as usual a large corporation took the idea and ran with it. Yvette has patents pending in the double digits; She the ability to create innovative products to bring to market. This extraordinary inventor is making moves while many sleep. Yvette was just nominated for an MIT Award. Check out her interview with Ear Hustle 411.
EH411- How will your inventions benefit mankind?
Yvette Kendall- That’s a great question…..since I don’t technically sit down and try to conjure innovations, there is no pre-set goal. My innovations are given to me by God and in that sense; the benefits for mankind would be apparent. Some that I develop are for fun but most things are scientific in nature and deal with the betterment of health or ease of technology or feeding the masses.
EH411- Did you derive any of your inventions from someone else or were these all your ideas?
Yvette Kendall- All of my innovations are unique to me except for one….I found out about a similar invention after I filed my patent-pending and began to market it. Once I was made aware I made the conscious decision to release it and I did not pursue it further.
EH411- Did you ever abandon, suppress or conceal your inventions so that no one would find out about it?
Yvette Kendall- In the innovations and Intellectual Property world secrets are your greatest alia. Providing too much information and too soon will cause your work to be stolen or even worse, you offer it away.
EH411- Are there any standing disagreements about who contributed to your invention?
Yvette Kendall- No….absolutely not! I am clear and very vocal about my innovations and my bodies of work. I also assure this by filing the proper paperwork and patent applications with the USPTO. I have had partnerships before in the past but they have long sense expired but they were only for funding reasons, no one that I have ever worked with developed any patents with me or for me.
EH411- Do you have both domestic and international Patents and how many outstanding patents do you have?
Yvette Kendall- I have only filed for Domestic Patents previously but Internationals will come soon. I am currently updating multiple patents so I am not at liberty to state how many I have filed right now. I will say with my innovations and many that I have done for others, the numbers are in the moderate double-digits. I really want to state here that filing patents do not make you an inventor, inventing and conceiving the idea makes you the inventor. Not all innovations are patented; 8there are products that are kept Trade Secrets for the life of the product, like Coca-Cola. I too have products that are Trade Secret Innovations.
EH411- How do you prevent someone from condensing your patent and stealing your idea?
Yvette Kendall- This is an age old question and its gets more and more difficult everyday but filing broad patents would be my main defense. The broader the patent, the harder it is to get around. Even with that, it still happens to inventors all over the world annually. One of the biggest issues is when an inventor works for a huge financially able corporation and due to their position in research and development their ideas are paid with a small bonus compared to the billions the corporation may make. Besides that, the second rapid theft comes from sharing your intellectual property with corporations or people; with the intent to sell or license your product and those second parties absconds with your innovations to put on the market themselves. If the product or intellectual property in valuable enough, they will risk being sued in court with the hopes that you can financially endure.
EH411- After you conceived your invention, did you ever stop work on it for any length of time? If so when, how long and for what reasons?
Yvette Kendall- I’m usually “Full Steam Ahead” with them all. The only reason that I may pause or stop is because of insufficient funding.
EH411- What type of training or education did you have prior to becoming a patent owner?
Yvette Kendall- None….I have a High School Diploma. As a matter of fact, on my business card (you know the little section behind your name) where the abbreviations for your education goes. Mine says Yvette Kendall, H.S.D, for High School Diploma….lol (a little inside joke).
EH411- Do you have inventors’ notebooks, photographs, videos, proposals, reports, letters, e-mails, timecards or legal documents to prove your work; did you get any of these materials witnessed?
Yvette Kendall- Oh Yes. Over the years when you are innovating, you collect all of those aforementioned things (with the exception of a timecard). Much of your proof still comes from your filings with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office). Your patent applications should state your full name or the name of your company and then your name should be listed.
EH411- Have you assigned or licensed, or are you bound by contract to assign or license, the invention to another party?
Yvette Kendall- Yes, I have done that before for business associations and recently I just signed a 12-year Joint-Venture deal for my antibacterial disposable drinking cups…Cleen cups.
EH411- Was there ever a case of someone skeptical that your invention or an invention like yours could ever be possible or practical? Tell us about this.
Yvette Kendall- Yes…especially early on. People get comfortable viewing you in a certain light and that is the only view that they will accept even with conflicting new information. I am an African-American young woman from the south side of Chicago (Hyde Park), with a High School Diploma and no other formal training. They felt that it was no way that I conceived and filed for the 1st ever E-Book Reader Developed. I thought of the first E-Reader device in June of 1998 and filed it with a 1-800-Inventors Center Place in July of 1998. Unfortunately, I had no knowledge of what to do next after I conceived the idea but attempt to file a patent, which is what I requested the Inventors Place to do but something less substantial was filed and the concept was exposed and subsequently put on the market by a big corporation.
EH411- There are not many African American female inventors with patents pending, let alone multiple patents, how does that make you feel?
Yvette Kendall- I am just honored that God thought enough of me! I want to re-pioneer this scenario, for all of my 42 years, all I have known and heard about as an example was Madame C.J. Walker; and she deserves all of our respect but there are a small percentage of African-American Women that are slowly but surely changing our world that we need to know about. More importantly, it is germane that we provide information on innovations and intellectual property to not on black women as a field of work but to young black girls that this is a genre that they can excel in. They need current and physical examples to follow and gravitate too. If they don’t see people that look like them elevating in this work then their desire level will not manifest. This is the very reason that I founded F.B.I Rocks (Female Black Inventors Rocks, we want to provide education, counseling, mentors, assist in facilitating their patent filings, we want to have in-house attorneys available, network them with people for prototyping needs, CAD Drawings and exposure. We have even been in talks with several groups about a possible F.B.I Rocks Reality TV Show. People are interested in this unique concept and we want to share this with the world to make our people providers and not consumers. I have also been invited to work with an Asteroid Initiative Group in California to change the trajectory of an asteroid that may be coming towards earth because of my work with innovations and F.B.I Rocks.
EH411- If you were told that you could never invent another thing, and were given the opportunity to create one last thing for mankind, without telling what it is, what would it be used for?
Yvette Kendall- I would like to develop a product and/or process to halt the onset of deadly bacteria and viruses in their tracks. Identify them, quarantine them and kill them no matter what the disease.
EH411- What was that pivotal moment like when that idea became a reality?
Yvette Kendall- It was literally like giving birth and then watching it smile for the first time. There are no words that you could speak that anyone would understand.
EH411- When do you see your patent becoming an actual product for market and retail sale?
Yvette Kendall- Because there are several, some will be in a few months and some in a year or so. It’s like real estate in a way, their slogan is “Location…Location…Location” and inventor’s slogan is “Funding…Funding…Funding”!
For more information on Yvette Kendall:
Page Holder Site: www.FBIRocks.com
Main Site: http://i74142.wix.com/fbirocks
My Site: www.yvettekendall.com
www.facebook.com/ Yvette Kendall