Leveraging Innovation: From Patents to the Tank

Posted on Categories Edison Awards News

Everything begins with an idea, but as Thomas Edison is attributed with saying “innovation is only 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” For success, one must work their idea, and consider every possible objection in their path. Competition and opportunity increase as technology travel across the globe, and ideas can become mute in a matter of milliseconds. With this, it’s important to leverage your innovation to keep your idea safe from those who are looking to make a quick dollar with your idea.

Robbie Cabral is a dreamer and the founder of Benjilock,  which produces products such as the world’s first traditional rechargeable padlock with fingerprint technology. An idea that came to him late one night as he was in his garage struggling to understand some personal hardships that had just come his way. He knew at that point he needed to make the idea he had been tinkering with work. Cabral’s idea lit up the sky. However, Cabral understood before he could take on the world, he would first need to protect his idea with a patent.

However, like many innovators, Cabral understanding of a patent was hazy, and while Cabral was fortunate to find help with his patent questions, many innovators lose out once another company swoops in and begins releasing a similar product. Intellectual Property Attorney James Behmke says “ […]patent is a cheap insurance policy compared to losing out on a million dollar business. it also helps investors believe they aren’t throwing their money away.”

Behmke also explains how a patent can affect an innovator’s journey “[…] You can hold onto it to shut down copycats.  You can sell it outright or with the exit of a startup, or you can license it to people who could do it better, or you can license to competitors in your space or only in different spaces. You can also use it to impress investors or validate yourself in the market.”

Cabral was able to just that when he appeared ABC’s Shark Tank, where he landed a $200,000 investment from Kevin O’Leary in exchange for 15% equity stake in the company. After his deal on Shark Tank, Cabral struck a deal with Hampton Products International, a company that specialized in hardware and security.

“The intellectual property, the patents that you’ve got on this product, is really extensive,” Kim Kelley, CEO, Hampton Product states. “We’re looking forward to helping Benjilock leverage that.”

With a patent, Cabral was able to protect his idea and secure funding to grow. His innovation will change one’s personal security experience – all because of his inspiration and perspiration.


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