After a six-year development process, Jeff Latham of Sumas has made his invention, the Icy Light, available for purchase online and in a number of Whatcom County stores.
Latham’s Icy Light is an ice scraper with a detachable flashlight, allowing users to see in the dark when clearing ice and snow from vehicle windshields and windows. The Sumas inventor hired intellectual-property specialists at the Hughes Law Office in Ferndale to conduct a patent search for his design and a patent application is currently pending.
Latham also received guidance from Western Washington University’s Small Business Development Center while developing his product.
“The ability to illuminate the area around you in times of darkness as you prepare for travel is a great safety benefit on many levels,” Latham said, in a press release. “Removing ice and snow from vehicle windshields while being able to see around you is an easier and safer task with Icy Light.”
Icy Light is currently available for $9.95 at NAPA Auto Parts in Everson, Lynden and Ferndale. The product can also be found in various Whatcom County hardware stores and farm and garden stores, as well as online at www.icylight.com.
Latham conceived the idea in winter 2005 while working in Bethel, Alaska. He has since developed and improved the design of Icy Light, modifying it numerous times to make it more functional for users while still being viable for large-scale production
Now having found an American manufacturer to produce an initial run of Icy Light, Latham is ready to enter the marketing stage.
“It’s been a long journey just to get this far,” Latham said. “Fullner Christmas Tree Farm in Everson was the first to carry Icy Light this winter. Now, [it] is in 17 retail locations in Whatcom County.”
While his initial focus this winter is on Whatcom County stores, Latham hopes the product will catch the attention of nationwide chains. He is developing relationships with manufacturer representatives to assist in introducing Icy Light to a larger consumer base.
This article was revised on Jan. 15, 2013. A previous version incorrectly stated that Jeff Latham hired Hughes Law Office in Ferndale to secure a patent for his invention. Hughes Law Office conducted an initial patent search for Icy Light, but the office did not handle the actual patent filing.