About Stephen Key

Stephen Key Headshot

Stephen Key is an award-winning inventor, renowned intellectual property strategist, lifelong entrepreneur, author, speaker, and columnist.

The dozens of concepts he has brought to market have retailed in Walmart, 7-Eleven, and Disney stores and parks worldwide and been endorsed by Michael Jordan, Alex Trebek, and Taylor Swift. 

In 1999, he cofounded inventRight to teach others his unique process for harnessing the power of open innovation and the licensing business model. 

His bestselling book about how to license an idea, One Simple Idea by McGraw-Hill, has been translated into six languages. 

He has written more than 1,000 articles about intellectual property strategy, product licensing, and entrepreneurship for publications online including Forbes, Inc., and Entrepreneur.

Universities and governmental organizations around the world regularly invite him to teach them inventRight’s unique processes for commercializing new product ideas. 

In 2018, he was recognized as a AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassador. In 2020, he became a founding member of the United States Intellectual Property Alliance. 

In 2022, Stephen contributed to “Cases in IP Strategy: Industry Lessons Learned” from the non-profit Michelson Institute for IP.

Stephen’s Patents

Stephen is the named inventor on nearly two dozen patents.

Stephen Key with Patents

Patents Issued

9,342,999 – Machine Readable Information Interface for a Container

9,085,402 – Medical Information Rotating Label System for a Container

8,973,755 – Compliance Aid Labeling

8,814,217 – Progress Tracking Aid Labeling For Medication Containers

8,727,220 – Machine readable information interface for a container

D706,625 – Container Having A Recessed Panel

D706,624 – Container With A Recessed Panel

8,709,198 – High-speed expanded content labels

D588,628 – Stringed instrument plectrum

7,172,668 – Rotatable label system and method

7,087,298 – Rotating label system

6,649,007 – Rotatable label for pharmaceutical container and method for constructing same

6,631,578 – Roll-fed method for constructing a rotatable label system

6,402,872 – Rotating label system and method

6,385,878 – Rotatable label system including tamper-evident feature and method for constructing same

6,237,269 – Roll-fed method for constructing a rotatable label system

6,212,803 – Rotatable label system on a drinking vessel and method for constructing same

6,129,802 – Rotatable label system and method of constructing same

6,086,697 – Rotating label system and method

5,884,421 – Apparatus and method for constructing a rotatable label device

5,809,674 – Apparatus and method for increasing an effective information carrying surface area on a container

Stephen’s Products

Below find some of the successful products that Stephen has been involved with commercializing over the years.

Lazer Tag is one of stephen key's products

Lazer Tag

Stephen was on the product team for the worldwide hit product Lazer Tag.

Spinformation Licensed to Accudial


Stephen’s idea of a rotating label that added 75% more space appeared on many products worldwide.

Hot Picks Stephen Key and Taylor Swift

Hot Picks

Hot Picks, a company that Stephen founded, produced guitar picks featuring a wide range of designs, including iconic characters licensed from Disney and famous musician Taylor Swift!

Brita Water and Fishbone Packaging


Stephen is part of the team responsible for developing and commercializing a new packaging innovation that replaces plastic rings handles. Fishbone — which is licensed by Atlantic Packaging, the largest privately-held packaging company in North America — uses compressed and branded paperboard to hold items in place. The best part? They’re 100% curbside recyclable!

Stephen’s Books

Stephen has authored and co-authored numerous books on licensing and invention:

Stephen Key's Books

From left to right:
One Simple Idea | Sell Your Ideas With or Without a Patent | Become a Professional Inventor | Licensing Ideas using LinkedIn

Vist Stephen's Website

Learn more about Stephen Key by visiting his website stephenkey.com.

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