JAROMATIC AUTOMATIC JAR OPENER

Why the name?

Ron Popeil, 83.  Inventor and innovator of the infomercial.  (Wikipedia.org)

I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Mr. Popeil.  In 2001, I was invited to show and demonstrate my invention, the Jar-0-Matic, by the Electronic Retailers Association.  Named my invention in honor and tribute his influence had to me of a successful Inventor, from his products he pitched and sold on T V.  This was right after the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center in NYC.  It was at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas in 2001 and I was invited to show my invention in the New Products Showcase.

It was a very lavish show.  Lasted 5 days.  The members had to pay a minimum of $6,000 just for a booth, but I got my showroom space for $550.  They treated us inventors like we were very special.  At one of the dinners, they put us inventors at the front of the line and served us first.  What fond memories I have of that experience!

The last night was the awards show and dinner.  I was with Kathleen and we showed up a few minutes late.  When we showed them our pass, they took us to our seat.  I expected we would be in some obscure corner, but they took us to the center and sat us down.  It was the table where Mr. Popeil was seated, along with his family members and exec's.  He was there to accept their Lifetime Achievement Award.  Dinner was Filet Mignon.  After we were done, I went over to him and introduced myself and we talked briefly.  Told him what an influence he was to me, and he said "that means more to me than these Awards".  He is by far the richest, most influential person I have ever met.  He even confided to me "I'm not even a member of the ERA".  Was our seating just a lucky draw, or had he told them to seat us with them?  Will never know, but believe it was my name of the invention Jar-O-Matic.

It's been 18 years since I got my patent, US Patent #6,148,692 and it still hasn't made me a dime.  I got the money backing from Chase Bank and Wells Fargo Bank among a few others.  But the backing ended in 2008 from the financial collapse.  The banks reduced my credit, and raised both the interest rate and the payments due, double and triple of what they had been.  I was able to maintain them for almost a year, but went broke.  Tried to get some sort of payment and royalty, and had offers from Hamilton Beach, Black & Decker, and Cuisinart, but there was no upfront payment and no production commitment.  What companies like them do is to try to get you to sign your rights over to them, then they just shelve them and wait for the patent to expire or steal your idea.

I just wanted people to know I've tried very hard to get my product into production.  It has the potential to make $50 million or more, and I feel it's a very necessary product for older people and disabled people who have difficulty opening jars and bottles.

Thanks for reading my true story.  Jerry Russell

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