Sotenberg Fund – The J. Sotenberg Grant Program was established in 2002 with the generosity of the late J. Sotenberg. Mr. Sotenberg recognized the financial challenges to first time patentees. He established this Fund to financially assist EIA members with their intellectual property costs. To date there have been three $2,000 Grant recipients. Note: You must be a member in good standing to apply. To see if you qualify and to apply, click here .
2003 Michael Shuman is the first J. Sotenberg Grant Recipient for his business pursuit of the Parkinson’s Glove.
2005 Ken Waibel – Best Shave line of products.
2007 Jodi Carr – Red E Bag business for discreet management of away from home nausea or vomiting concerns caused by pregnancy or illness.
2009 Merrill Lund - The Therapists BEST FRIEND – a stress relieving massage tool.
The J. Sotenberg Competition
Sotenberg Funds will be held in both an endowment and an interest bearing bank account or short term financial instrument (eg. Certificate of Deposit ). The endowment fund will serve to perpetuate availability of funds through long range goals. Grants will be issued when funds become available and the Board of Directors deems it appropriate.
Basic requirements for eligibility for a Sotenberg Grant:
1. A grant of $2000 may only be awarded to a first time patentee or patent applicant to subsidize expenses incurred to obtain his or her very first patent.
2. The grant will be provided in part or in full, on presentation of statements or receipts, and at the
discretion of the EIA, to pay for drawings, prototypes, patent attorney fees, U.S.P.T.O. fees , and other
related expenses incurred in the process of acquiring a U.S. patent.
3. There is no age restriction.
4. A Sotenberg Grant may be awarded to two groups: to an EIA member and to a Thomas A. Edison
Regional Inventors Fair Participant.
Rules and Regulations Pertaining to EIA Members Applying for a Sotenberg Grant :
1. Qualifications: Any U.S. Citizen who is an EIA member-in-good-standing, regardless of need, may apply for a Sotenberg Grant. A business entity may not apply.
A) ‘Member-in-good-standing’ status begins on the first day of paid membership.
B) An applicant must be in the process of applying for his or her first patent or his or her first patent has issued within the previous twelve month period from the date of submission of the Sotenberg Grant Application. Applications may be submitted for review at any time. The date upon which the application is postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service or received in person by the Edison Inventors Association will be recognized as the qualifying date as it pertains to the date of issuance of the patent.
2. The Selection Committee:
A)The Board of Directors shall verify current membership and EIA status.
B) Board members shall not have a conflict of interest or show favoritism based solely on prior
knowledge of an applicant. Board members forfeit the right to apply for a grant while they serve on
3. Grant recipients will be responsible for any personal tax liabilities that may arise as a result of the funds awarded.
4. Phase One: All applications will be subject to a review to verify all basic requirements are met.Basic requirements pertain to ‘first patent’ status and qualifying dates only. The invention, its development and market planning have no bearing on this initial review.
December 31st deadline.
Phase Two: All applicants that qualify will have an opportunity to make a presentation to the general membership. The length of the presentation shall have a maximum time limit set by the Board of Directors for each and every competition. This will be governed by the number of applicants presentating.
Phase Three: The Sotenberg Grant Recipient will be chosen by a hand or ballot vote of the general membership following presentations by each of the finalists. Any one person may receive only one grant.
5) One or more grants may be offered at the time the Board of Directors deems funds are available. This may not be annually. Applications for the grant program will be accepted any time during the year. All applications submitted after the prior grant selection process shall become eligible for the next grant as long as the applicant remains a member-in-good-standing and are within the 12 month period defined in Section 1. B.
6. Grant Selection Criteria
A) Originality of invention
B) Perceived benefit of the invention
C) Demonstration of the applicant’s entrepreneurial intentions with his or her invention. This may be in
form of a business plan or a written paper describing the applicant’s “Road Map to Success”.
Areas of consideration may include:
a) Demographics and the population or industry the invention will serve.
b) Prototyping and manufacturing issues.
c) Funding business development, the cost of doing business and sales projections.
d) Licensing of intellectual property.