October 7, 2015 | Posted in:Patents

The patent truth, did you know…

that the 3M product Scotchgard was discovered by accident?

patent on accidental discoveryApparently, an assistant in the lab where Patsy Sherman – a chemist with 3M in the 1950s – was conducting experiments into materials for aircraft fuel lines dropped a beaker of liquid rubber on the floor.

Some of the mixture splashed on Sherman’s canvas shoes. Sherman noticed that although the mixture did not change the look or feel of the canvas, she was unable to wash it off. Water and other solvents used to try and clean the sneakers beaded up and ran off “like water off a duck’s back.” After three years of work and refinements, Sherman’s mixture was patented and released as Scotchgard Protector.

SOURCE: Lemelson Center for the study of Invention and Innovation.

Facts from the Patent Guys – Patents on Accidental Discoveries contact us for more information about patents for your business.

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The Patent Guys are attorneys in the Intellectual Property Practice Group of the law firm of Gertner Mandel LLC providing legal support for legal, technical & business issues.