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19. Invention, intellectual property and income

This week I am outlining a dissemination plan for my final project masterpiece as well as producing a presentation video and slide for it.


As I wrote in the previous week assignment, I don’t think my chess clock “makes sense” as a product: commercial chess clocks are good and cheap (ranging from less than 10$ to about 300$, and averaging around 20$) and they exist. In this sense I don’t foresee a future for this artifact aside from donating the one piece I produced to my friends who play chess on a weekly basis.

As much as I am kind of sure this clock represents (due to its size and contol possibilities) one of the best among the DIY clocks I saw online, I don’t think it shows enough innovation or improvement for it to become a successful business. On the other hand it does not require maintenance or additional systems\expansion that would allow me to have a strong and iterative business model around this object. It also does not consume perishable parts or resources (aside from the electrical energy I would not be able to provide), I therefore believe I would not be able to base my business on selling add-ons.


I, therefore, believe that the best way to market this artifact is to present it as a one off piece of work that can be equated to a piece of artisanship. This system would allow for me to price this objet proportionally to it’s production time and the time I spent designing it, on top of the cost of components and materials.

In this sense, it would become an example (in my portfolio or website) of the kind of skills and knowledges I can offer as a professional, making future scaling of my business not related to this single object, but to the notions learned and applied during FabAcademy.


I would maintain the status of original designer of this clock, but in any case, I would not treat this as a project of mine:

  • the idea of time control system in chess is not mine, but it’s attributed to Andrew Cantab (1852)
  • chess clocks (analog or digital) have existed for decades

I just made my version of such machine. I would leave my software accessible to everyone, licensed under Creative Commons CC-BY-SA (Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International).

I would keep the possibility for myself of designing and selling custom versions of the hardware itself. As a designer my business would be adapting further iterations of the hardware (sides, faces, joints, etc…) of the clock to the requests and needs of possible future clients.

Some of the possible modifications could be:

  • different materials
  • different colours
  • different decorations
  • the possibility of having it in a much smaller size
  • internal or eternal alimentation
  • different button setup and postioning
  • OLED screen for higher resolution and smaller dimensions

Inclusion of third party products

There are present in my clock a series of third party products:

  • buttons
  • rotary encoder
  • Adafruit Neomatrix
  • wire.h Arduino library licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License



Last update: July 9, 2021