Inventor, 5, patents new broom

By | April 22, 2008

A five-year-old boy is thought to be the youngest to patent an idea in Britain after inventing a labour-saving broom.

Sam Houghton, of Buxton, Derbyshire, was just three when he came up with his double-headed broom, reports the BBC.

He had been watching his father sweeping up, swapping between a large broom, for leaves and twigs, and a small one, for finer particles, when he came up with his idea.

Sam, who was inspired by Wallace and Gromit, and Archie the Inventor from TV series Balamory, said: “I saw my Daddy brushing up and made it. There are two brushes because one gets the big bits and one gets the little bits left behind.

“I don’t know if I want to be an inventor when I grow up but this was fun.”

Mr Houghton, by chance a patents lawyer, was so impressed he decided to help Sam apply for a patent.

He said: “It was such a simple solution that only a child could have come up with it.

“He got a large elastic band from the shed and put it over the two brooms, holding them just the right way to use both together. He then called me and announced that had had made up an invention.”

Mr Houghton, who spent about £200 getting the patent approved, said it was more about letting Sam have some fun than about marketing the broom.

He said: “Perhaps Sam will take it on when he is a bit older, after all a patent can last up to 20 years.”

A five-year-old boy is thought to be the youngest to patent an idea in Britain after inventing a labour-saving broom.

Sam Houghton, of Buxton, Derbyshire, was just three when he came up with his double-headed broom, reports the BBC.

He had been watching his father sweeping up, swapping between a large broom, for leaves and twigs, and a small one, for finer particles, when he came up with his idea.

Sam, who was inspired by Wallace and Gromit, and Archie the Inventor from TV series Balamory, said: “I saw my Daddy brushing up and made it. There are two brushes because one gets the big bits and one gets the little bits left behind.

“I don’t know if I want to be an inventor when I grow up but this was fun.”

Mr Houghton, by chance a patents lawyer, was so impressed he decided to help Sam apply for a patent.

He said: “It was such a simple solution that only a child could have come up with it.

“He got a large elastic band from the shed and put it over the two brooms, holding them just the right way to use both together. He then called me and announced that had had made up an invention.”

Mr Houghton, who spent about £200 getting the patent approved, said it was more about letting Sam have some fun than about marketing the broom.

He said: “Perhaps Sam will take it on when he is a bit older, after all a patent can last up to 20 years.” – anan

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