Thursday, April 17, 2008

'Youngest inventor' patents broom

The BBC reports that "A five-year-old boy is thought to be the UK's youngest person to patent an idea after inventing a labour-saving broom to help his father sweep leaves.
Sam Houghton, of Buxton, Derbyshire, was just three when he came up with a double-headed broom to collect large debris and fine dust simultaneously.
After passing the rigorous patenting process, his idea is now protected from anyone who might copy it.
His father, Mark, said there were no plans to market the broom.
Sam, who was inspired by animated inventors Wallace and Gromit and Archie the Inventor from TV series Balamory, said: "I saw my Daddy brushing up and made it. There are two brushes because one gets the big bits and one gets the little bits left behind.
"I don't know if I want to be an inventor when I grow up but this was fun."
Sam had been watching his father at work in the back yard, swapping between a large broom, for leaves and twigs, and a small one, for finer particles, when he came up with his idea.
Mr Houghton, who by chance is a patents lawyer, was so impressed he decided to help Sam apply for a patent.
He said: "It was such a simple solution that only a child could have come up with it.
"I was swapping from one broom to the other and he asked why. When I said it was to pick up the different leaves and twigs it must have got him thinking.
"He got a large elastic band from the shed and put it over the two brooms, holding them just the right way to use both together. He then called me and announced that had had made up an invention."
Insisting the broom itself was all Sam's idea, he said: "Putting the application together was just a matter of extracting the underlying principle and carefully describing that and Sam's specific way of using the invention."
"I do have experience of patents so I knew what to do next but I am convinced there are other young children who come up with ideas but never have the chance to get a patent for them."
The broom works with the coarser brush at the front to pick up larger objects and the finer brush at the back..."


Ryan said...

A big well done has to go out to sam

The All Seeing Eye said...

Thanks for you comment, Ryan. Hopefully his parents will slso be smart enough to protect any money invention earns. I am sure they will.

Anonymous said...

that's very smart and thoughtful of the boy. really the world's biggest problems can be solved by little children if only we take time out to listen to them.