Shark Tank Evaluates Shane Pannell and SweepEasy
In Season 2 Episode 5 of Shark Tank, Shane Pannell pitches his SweepEasy Scrape and Go Broom to the Sharks. As expected, the Sharks quickly asked about Mr. Pannell’s patents on the SweepEasy device. When he explains that he has claimed the SweepEasy invention, the Sharks become considerably more interested.
Mr. Pannell describes how prior art brooms “fall short of solving a common problem.” Namely, conventional brooms only sweep. They do not perform other functions. Inspired by his work as a stay-at-home dad, Mr. Pannell had an idea for a different and better broom: the SweepEasy. (Shane describes his moment of conception at 2m 50s in the episode). By adding a telescoping scraping mechanisms, Mr. Pannell’s SweepEasy broom cleans floors “like never before.”
Shark Tank’s Response to SweepEasy
About 2m 20s into the episode, the Sharks ask about the SweepEasy patents. See video below.
Kevin O’Leary asks “Shane, do you have a patent on that.” Shane answers that he does have a provisional patent application pending. (A provisional patent application preserves an inventor’s priority to the invention for one year before filing a non-provisional application. See Patent Prosecution.). At that point in the conversation, the Sharks begin to brainstorm about ideas for monetizing the invention.
The Sharks discuss manufacturing brooms on the large scale. They also discuss licensing the technology as well as selling the product directly to the consumer. Two of the Sharks argue over which would make more money: licensing; or selling direct to the consumer.
Notably, after Mr. Pannell discloses that he has a protected his invention by filing a provisional patent application the Sharks engage in (what the announcer calls) a “feeding frenzy.” The situation would have been completely different if Mr. Pannell and not protected his invention. In that case, the Sharks probably would have asked why they needed to deal with Mr. Pannell at all.