Helping inventors since 1983

The name abettermousetrap.co.uk dates from 2007 but our story goes back much further. We’re based in West Yorkshire in the UK but work for inventors worldwide.

Who we are: we’re a small, informal network of people whose innovation experience covers a lot of ground. All are happy to contribute knowledge in confidence to help inventors.

What we do: we provide inventors with information, research, opinion and advice specific to their invention idea or project. Our services are based on a full understanding of the challenges that face private inventors and very small companies.

What we don’t do: we don’t charge inventors big chunks of money on a loophole-riddled promise to get their inventions to market. See this and other warnings about invention promoters. Inventors who succeed are nearly always those who manage their own invention projects.

The owner and co-ordinator of abettermousetrap.co.uk is Graham Barker, a writer who strayed unwittingly on to invention territory in 1983 and has never left.

He helped run Calderdale Innovation Centre (1982-88), the first UK innovation resource specifically for inventors. He then formed an independent invention support consultancy with Peter Bissell (now retired), former innovation centre manager. That evolved into abettermousetrap.co.uk and in total has been responsible for evaluating and researching upwards of six thousand invention ideas from all over the world.

Graham Barker has written several editions of A Better Mousetrap: the Business of Invention, a highly regarded manual for first-time innovators that breaks invention down into a logical, step-by-step process. Special editions were commissioned by BP and The Open University.

He has also written guides to invention for organisations including the Design Council, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), and the European Patent Academy.