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Original Win

Learn how to respond to knockoffs so you can put your product back on top.

This story appears in the June 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The Entrepreneurs: Steve Vetorino, 45, founder of Applied Innovative Technologies Inc. in Fort Lupton, Colorado, and inventor of the NightStar; electrical engineer Jim Platt, 39, who helped Vetorino create the design and prototypes; and Todd Brown, 46, president of AIT, who provided business expertise for the product

Product Description: The NightStar flashlight uses magnetic-force charging instead of batteries to power the light. Users gently shake the flashlight for a charge that lasts up to 30 minutes. Today, the $39.95 product (as well as a compact version that's $29.95) is sold via QVC, catalogs, hardware stores, marine stores and more. Customers also include the U.S. military and distributors serving industrial markets such as mining and petroleum companies.

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