|If you’re an Inventor, Entrepreneur or a Patent-Geek then you’ll enjoy reading Inventing the 21st Century by Stephen van Dulken.
Dulken a Patent Librarian, tells the patent stories of fifty of the most well known and well used inventions of the 21st Century including: e-books, The ‘bladeless’ fan, The iPod MP3 player, Apple’s iPhone, The Nintendo Wii, ‘Wave and Pay,’ Self-cleaning Glass, Self-Service Checkouts, Robot Helpers as well as others.
Dulken starts with an introduction that describes the patent world as one where technology, law and business meet to create and protect innovation. He writes that inventors need to be good at business as well – being able to do their market research, be honest with themselves and write good business plans in order to get financial backing.
Then Dulken goes onto some of the most popular and successful inventions (so far) of the 21st century. Each of the inventions has a page that describes the patent, the concept and product design/development; followed by a page that has illustrations from the patent.
Dulken concludes by giving advice on how the patent system works and recommends that anyone who wants to write a patent to hire a Patent Attorney.
The Inventing the 21st Century book blurb boasts that it includes ‘personal insights’ from some of the Inventors. So I expected that it would have a few interesting stories about where the inventors got their ideas. I’m fascinated about where creativity comes from and how it develops.
But unfortunately these personal insights were extremely limited, usually down to a sentence or two at most. Instead Dulken focused purely on the patent aspect of each invention. It’s clear that Dulken is passionate about patents, which is great for him, but not so great me. I didn’t want to read a book of facts: dates, specifications, costs, etc. which is what I felt like I was reading. However I’m sure people with a very logical mind will like Dulken’s formal style.
In summary, Inventing the 21st Century by Stephen van Dulken is a well thought-out book that aspiring Inventors, business people and some academics will find a pleasant read.