Derek PATER: Inventor of the Roofing Protractor & Stair Square

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  • Tell us about the products you invented with a brief explanation:
  1. Stair Square
  2. Adjustable roofing boat, later called the Roofing Protractor
  3. Chalkline Protractor
  4. Tilt Level
  • How/Why did you start inventing. What set you off? How did you get from idea to finished product?

It all started august 1995 at trade school for my carpentry apprenticeship at Holmes glen Tafe in Melbourne Australia, I was frustrated doing the roofing frames and making all the roofing boats (templates), I had a light bulb moment and had the idea for the adjustable roofing boat, later called the roofing protractor.

I did drawings, conceptual nothing worked, talked to my plumber friend Jamie, his girlfriends father is a scientist for CSIRO and a brilliant man, after paying him about $300 and 2-3 weeks later I was shocked by the prototypes, his design from my concepts become about 70% of the final design after 25 prototypes, I tried all different methods got in front of Stanley Tools Melbourne the basically kept me in their office for 1 hour to tell me how bad my idea was and not to move forward with it, ( it was a threat to their product line).

Then I went to Triton Workbench Systems in Melbourne who at the time had a marking promotion with Stanley, the manager at Triton told me the opposite to Stanley and to keep going with my invention. 

In 2007 I contacted 100 manufacturers online. One was very interested, Nedful Products and Qualipro Taiwan, they flew to Melbourne to do a deal with me and my Asian boss who invested 10k in development in my roofing protractor. I was also in 2008 on the Australian New Inventors TV show with my roofing protractor and also later in 2011 with my stair square invention flew to Sydney for the production. 

Also CH Hanson Tools USA were very aggressive towards me and my roofing protractor and demanded I did business with them in emails over 6 weeks. I tried to tell them I did not own the IP because I licensed to Nedful in Taiwan, but they wanted a sub license but were just so aggressive. I never experienced this before, Taiwan decided to wait. Also through a Canadian inventor Larry, he got a 50k order for the USA for both my roofing protractor and stair square but unfortunately we could not get the price point to meet between the factory and distributor.   

I started selling online by myself about 200 roofing protractors and 1,000 stair squares. The pricing was too high needing larger orders to reduce the price point for retail. Mike Burke from Jamb (Click HERE) did all the final designs for 4 of my inventions including the Tilt Level and Chalkline Protractor. 

Tilt Level
Chalkline Protractor

The YouTube video for the Stair Square has almost hit 400,000 views. I applied the same concept to stair building. My stair builder friend Russell helped me set the design criteria. Mike Burke tried and said it was impossible. Well, we put the project on ice for half a year. After that time, Mike called me and said he had a solution.   

  • Where are you now?

in 2009 I also started helping other inventors license their inventions to Asian factories; problem was inventors mostly were to greedy so I stopped that business in 2013 and switched to peercoin and bitcoin crypto trading making very good $

My friend Don Morgan did make 800k in royalties from his Conehead system he licensed to a Hong Kong company, for Cycling and Dirt bike helmet safety protection.

I have now returned to my parents flower farm and am also doing carpentry for a builder friend, basically having a family trust/company, sole trader and also a second company were myself and my wife are directors.

As for time put in, the inventions have taken about 6,500 hours researching and development, and the same hours for cryptos (bitcoin) since 2011. In my opinion, bitcoin is basically the second best invention after the internet from my experience, made our house debit free and new cars and investments

--End of Interview--
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