Perseverance has paid off for a Pickerington man who continued to believe in an invention that was twice rejected by the U.S. Patent Office.

Perseverance has paid off for a Pickerington man who continued to believe in an invention that was twice rejected by the U.S. Patent Office.

Last month, Stan Hibler of Pickerington and his parnter, Gary Hoerner of Castlerock, Colo., launched Sticky Bibs Ltd. on the web-based retail giant Amazon.com.

The pressure-sensitive adhesive bibs are also disposable. Hibler, a longtime inventor, designed the bibs to adhere to babies’ clothing so they stay in place, thus eliminating the need for neck straps or snaps.

“The problem with most bibs is they shift to the left or right or roll up or flip when a child is eating,” Hibler said. “The other problem is, most of them have a tie around the neck and a lot of children want to pull them off.

“Kids overall seem to like stickers,” he said. “We have basically created an absorbent sticker. I thought if kids didn’t feel like they were wearing a bib, they might be more inclined to leave it on.”

Although the bibs cling to clothing, they don’t leave a sticky residue, he said. The adhesive serves as a barrier, which keeps food and liquids from seeping through the bibs, Hibler said.

In addition to being disposable, the bibs can be reused several times before being discarded.

Hibler said he and Hoerner are seeking other retail accounts and hope to sell the bibs not only to parents but to restaurants and dental and medical offices.

“We’ve been working on this for many years,” he said. “I have a child and realized there was a real need out there.

Hibler is a 49-year-old graduate of Granville High School. After high school, he worked painting and wallpapering homes, a job which he said provided enough scheduling flexibility for him to foster his inventing hobby.

“It really allowed me to live a Jimmy Buffett lifestyle,” he said. “When I needed to work, I worked, and when I needed to spend time on inventing — which was my passion — I took that time.

“(Inventing) really is what I like to do. It’s kind of like going fishing: It’s not always easy and there are risks, but there can be a large payout.”

Hibler moved his family to Pickerington in 1997, he said, because he wanted to raise his daughter, Olivia, in a community with quality schools.

When he devised the concept for Sticky Bibs, Olivia was an infant. However, he’s been working to get the product into the marketplace for so long that his daughter, now a junior at Ohio State University, has traded in her bibs for college books.

Still, Hibler said he stayed committed to Sticky Bibs because he believed in the product, even after the U.S. Patent Office twice rejected his patent application.

With the help of attorney Jerry Mueller of the Columbus law firm Mueller Smith & Okuley LLC, Hibler and Hoerner successfully appealed the patent office’s decisions and were able to move forward with the Sticky Bibs concept.

After securing a patent, Sticky Bibs dealt with licensing and production issues before recently teaming with the Canal Winchester-based graphic design firm, Touchet Creative.

“We said we’ll do it ourselves, we’ll do it in the USA and we’ll do it the right way,” Hibler said. “I stuck with this product because over the years when I would show people, they just went nuts over it.

“People get so excited about it — as excited as I was about it. It’s kind of neat to see that.”

His advice to fellow inventors is simple: “Hang in there.”

“There are people with ideas out there and sometimes you have to just keep after it,” Hibler said.

nellis@thisweeknews.com

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