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May 21, 2019
Colorado’s ‘Tempus Hood’ Inventor Granted Historic Patent for Her Umbrella Alternative
Denver-Based Sirena Rolfe Among Few African American Women to Ever Receive a Patent
DENVER – They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and that is certainly the case for Colorado native and inventor of the newly patented Tempus Hood, Sirena Rolfe. A digital marketing executive by day, Sirena formulated the design for the patented Tempus Hood in 2012. The idea for an umbrella alternative came to her when an unexpected rain shower moved in and Rolfe found herself with a hoodless jacket and no umbrella. What emerged was the Tempus Hood – a handy, portable, lightweight, water-resistant nylon hood with features unlike anything on the market.
The name Tempus Hood originates from the Latin word for time and is loosely translated to mean ‘anytime hood’. The Tempus Hood is a Colorado original – designed and manufactured in the Centennial state.
Under U.S. law, a patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides a new way of doing something or offers a new technical solution to a problem. To get a patent, technical information about the invention is disclosed to the public in a patent application.
After more than five years navigating the patent application process with the help of a patent attorney, Rolfe’s Tempus Hood was granted U.S. Patent #10,251,439 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 2019 for its unique and innovative design features. The two design features that set the Tempus Hood apart from other products in the outdoor gear market are the snap that attaches to the locker hook and the adjustable crown pull. The snap at the base of the hood allows it to be easily attached and secured to the locker loop in the collar of any jacket. The adjustable pull allows for a sized fit around the crown of the head to secure the hood in place during inclement weather. [WATCH DEMO VIDEO]
“I don’t take my place in history lightly,” said Rolfe, reflecting on the gravity of her historic achievement. “This has been a remarkable journey that has required me to trust my gut and trust the process over and over again. I hope my story inspires other women, especially women of color to pursue their dreams even when the odds are stacked against them.”
When Rolfe began researching the possibility of a patenting her invention, she discovered that only a handful of patents have ever been granted to Black women. Patented products from Black women are exceedingly rare and include an early version of the ironing board (1892), an innovative line of African American hair care products (1905), a central heating furnace design (1919), an early iteration of the home security system (1969), and a laser cataract treatment device (1988).
Rolfe is currently pursuing a variety of options to expand the profile of the patented Tempus Hood including licensing with major outdoor brands. Her unlikely invention story will be included in a new book called “InventHer”, published in Fall 2019.
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