Adam Zucker ‘13 typed a password and some of his basic information into his laptop, attempting to connect to the Wi-Fi network at the hotel where he and his family were staying over Spring Break.
“Whenever we travel, we get a hotel, and I have a set duty: program the safe, and put our belongings in it, and set up everyone’s personal devices to the Wi-Fi network,” Zucker said.
With his family of four, who each own two devices, Zucker had to tediously connect every device with the internet.
“I think to myself, there has got to be a better way,” said Zucker. “You should be able to log into the Internet once and have it initiate on all the other devices.”
After researching other ways around this issue, Zucker began to realize that his idea to simplify the Wi-Fi connection process had the potential to develop into an innovative service, allowing for a single login to connect all your mobile devices to a network. Zucker went to his father to discuss what he could do to advance his idea.
With the advice of his father, Zucker took his idea to a patent lawyer. According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, using a registered attorney or agent to file an invention is suggested over attempting the process individually.
“I told him about my idea and he told me ‘wow, you might be onto something’ so I sent him a draft and they wrote it in more technical terms,” Zucker said.
Zucker has full intellectual ownership over his patent, but was assisted by a lawyer and a team of engineers to refine his proposal.
“What I came with was the idea. I have an understanding of what the mechanics are supposed to do when I contacted the patent lawyer, he helped me with the technicalities and he worked with a team,” Zucker said.
Zucker’s patent, Facilitating Network Login, is now pending with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Most patents pend from one to two years. Although his original idea was based on connecting mobile devices to a Wi-Fi network through Bluetooth, Zucker now realizes he could patent the general process for wireless network connection.
“I figure this could be used for other things too like any sort of virtual private network connection,” he said. “I wanted to keep it open-ended. We could use it for Bluetooth and other forms too.”
Zucker still has to expand on his design.
“For right now it’s not really a software or a service yet. Ideally, I want to keep my feet on the ground, but I could see it as something that’s being incorporated into phones and mobile devices,” Zucker said.
Motivated by the process, Zucker is now inspired to further pursue business and technology.
“I guess the very notion that I have a thorough, original, and coherent idea pending with USPTO has whetted my appetite for future business ventures,” Zucker said.