Passions to innovate and incubate
culminate in local patent milestone
By Robert Stevens
Feb. 1, 2018
MANTI—Innovation is alive and well in Sanpete County.
A Manti man has successfully obtained a patent using only in-county resources.
Not only has Milt Olsen of Manti made leaps and bounds in product technology for his company, Maintenance Technology Systems, with a new invention, but Steve and Jeanette Malone of Manti have helped him navigate the complicated procedures of obtaining a patent at a fraction of the average cost and effort—a service the couple said they see as a duty they have to help people who have received “divine inspiration.”
Steve worked for the patent office in Salt Lake City for more than half a decade before he said he woke up one day and realized he needed to change his path.
Now a registered patent agent working for his own company, Malone Intellectual Property Law, he said he wants to help people who have ideas that were given to them by God.
“I think God gives inspiration out across the world,” Steve said. “You need to be on the right wavelength to get it though. Milt was tuned in, and his invention is the result of that.”
Olsen’s company, which currently consists of five employees, specializes in something he calls “predictive maintenance,” or the ability to catch problems in heavy equipment (in this case, surface mining machinery) before a catastrophic failure occurs in the field.
As senior vibration analyst, Olsen is involved in the design of vibration data collection systems for surface mining equipment. Olsen wanted to create a more robust part for the company’s data collection system, called an encoder.
Actively involved in Boy Scouts, Olsen was in the middle of helping some Scouts with their Inventing Merit Badge, and he went home for the evening with thoughts running in his head from the discussion about inventing.
Olsen said he woke up the next morning with inspiration.
Olsen got to work on a new version of the company’s encoder, one that uses fewer parts and is more robust, reliable, compact and accurate.
By the third session with Scouts earning the Inventing Merit Badge, he had a working prototype, said Olsen.
The first version of the encoder went on his company’s vibration data collection system for a surface mining electric rope shovel. Olsen said so far customer feedback has been nothing but good.
He knew he needed to patent his invention.
The potential ways to apply his encoder were practically innumerable, he said. If a piece of heavy equipment rotates, gyrates, revolves or just plain moves in any direction, his new encoder’s improved sensor could be put to good use on it to prevent failure long before it causes a problem.
So with the help of Steve and Malone Intellectual Property Law, Olsen made Sanpete County patent history.
For the first time ever, on Tuesday, Jan. 25, a Sanpete resident was successfully granted a patent through the cooperation of a Sanpete County patent law business.
Steve said plenty of other Sanpete residents have had patents granted, but this is the first time they never had to leave the county to seek help with all the paperwork and legal intricacies of getting a patent—intricacies Steve knows all too well from his time working for the patent office.
So now Steve and Jeanette are making even more efforts to help their Sanpete neighbors find affordable patent help with their ideas.
In November 2017, the pair launched http://www.inventionkickstart.com, which Jeanette will be spearheading to help individuals with ideas, while Malone Intellectual Property Law will work as a business-to-business patent facilitation company.
Jeanette said she is looking forward to helping others protect their own inspiration and innovations, and she can think of no better place to do it than right here in Sanpete.
Steve said the Inventionkickstart.com is still in its infancy, but it will have much to offer Sanpete County inventors who don’t want to be cheated or hustled out of their hard work, or leave their home county to handle the legal aspects of their patent.
If you have an invention that you want to patent, more info on the Malones’ patent facilitation businesses can be found at MaloneIP.com, for companies, and at Inventionkickstart.com, for individuals.