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Patent Lather When you create a product with broad commercial potential, be sure to protect your interests by patenting the products in a way that keeps the competition at bay.

By Don Debelak

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

While a student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology inCambridge, 22-year-old Ronald Demon created the technology behindthe ThinkShoe, high-tech footwear that adjusts its cushioning tothe wearer's activity. If you're playing basketball, forinstance, air pressure will push fluid into the cushion to provideextra comfort. "Everybody started calling me when the news ofmy invention first came out in the media," says Demon. "Iwas approached by Nike, Adidas and Reebok, among others, to see ifI was interested in licensing my technology."

Demon, however, has different ideas-he's decided tointroduce the product himself. At press time, the product, namedRaven, was scheduled for a 13-city test run this summer. Demonbelieves the initial success will expedite the final licensingagreements and help him negotiate a better royalty rate.

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