Inventor & Mechanical Engineer
New Gloucester, Maine
Radio Waves and Dynamite Spark Young Inventor’s Curiosity
Matthew Whitten was born and raised in southern Maine and still lives there today. His early interest in science experiments and the invention process centered around youthful pursuits – exploring ham radios, discovering the explosiveness of black powder and learning to throw a knuckle ball. “My invention philosophy is: If you don’t know how to do it, just figure it out,” says Whitten.
In college he contemplated a few different paths, including pre-med and computational fluid dynamics, eventually landing on mechanical engineering and specializing in boiling heat transfer. Throughout his education, he kept his personal philosophy in mind and dedicated himself to discovering new ways to solve problems through technology. After college, he worked for a Washington, D.C. consulting firm, established a few start-ups and also worked as a commercialization agent for the tech transfer departments of universities. His passion remained experimenting and inventing, and eventually he began to focus on monetizing his own inventions.
Invention Solves Smartphone Printing Challenge
Whitten’s invention is officially titled “Wireless Printing Using a Mobile Computing Device” or, in plain English, wirelessly printing documents or images from your smartphone on any printer without a printer driver. The inspiration came when he saw that smartphones were quickly becoming consumers’ favorite daily device, but they lacked a basic function that’s taken for granted in desktop computers and laptops.
Whitten wanted to figure out how to easily print directly from his phone without sending a document or image to his desktop computer or over the internet, so he followed his philosophy and tried to figure it out. After a year of research and development, he filed for a patent on his invention and received it four years later. He had invested five years in developing this invention and waiting for the patent to grant, so his next goal was monetization. He searched online for patent purchasers and stumbled upon Intellectual Ventures.
Patent Sale Creates Financial Freedom
“I didn’t know what to expect when I contacted Intellectual Ventures, but everyone was professional, straightforward and honest,” says Whitten. “I have explored other ways to profit from my inventions in the past, and working with Intellectual Ventures was delightful.” After evaluating Whitten’s patent, Intellectual Ventures’ acquisitions executives decided it would be a good addition to the company’s growing portfolio of IP assets, and extended an offer to purchase the patent.
The relationship with Intellectual Ventures has been a boon for Whitten. The monetization of his patent allowed for his company, Whitten Enterprises, Inc., to substantially mitigate operating risks and rework its business model. The company is now poised to introduce products and diversify its offerings.
"My invention philosophy is: If you don’t know how to do it, just figure it out."
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