A Mind for Innovation

When you’ve got it, you’ve got it. A mind for innovation, that is. Just ask the attorneys at Boyle Fredrickson who know Peggy Brown,  a Milwaukee woman who has created hundreds of products — mostly toys and games — that have been mass-produced and marketed all over the world. She has also written a couple of books, appeared on TV talk shows and inspired countless students and adults to find their own creativity.

Brown worked with Boyle Fredrickson recently to patent and trademark her newest innovation: Simple Shades™, printed, roll-up lampshades that make a fashion statement. The lampshades are collapsible, changeable and inexpensive decorating accessories. They’re easy to assemble, come in lots of shapes and sizes and are great for people who like to update their home’s décor with the seasons or just because.

Though she’s worked for many of the world’s biggest toy companies in a number of capacities — as an inventor, designer, writer, creative director, consultant, or executive — the Simple Shades project was Brown’s first time through the patent application process.

“It’s not feasible to patent some of my concepts, but I believed in this one,” says Brown, who has a fine arts degree in industrial design. “This is a salable product. Plus it’s an idea with the legs to earn enough money to recover my legal investments.”

She’s right. QVC, Home Depot and a few others are interested in Simple Shades. The product even won her the Inventor Award for Most Innovative Concept at the International Home and Housewares Show last year in Chicago.

Brown came up with the idea for Simple Shades after needing to replace her own bedroom lamp. The shade was too big for the nightstand, and it sorely needed a splash of colorful design, she recalls. So in 2008, she started down the research and development path. “The toy business gave me the experience to know I really had something and when I needed a sounding board, Keith Baxter at Boyle Fredrickson was enormously helpful.”

“Keith is a genius. He’s pragmatic and understanding of the serendipity of new inventions,” Brown says. “He understands the importance of protecting ideas so you can make the most out of marketing them.”


About Boyle Fredrickson

Established in 1999, Boyle Fredrickson has grown to become Wisconsin’s largest intellectual property law firm. You’ve got ideas, we protect them.

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