If I ask you what is your favorite feature on any cloth diaper, I guarantee that a vast majority of you will say Rumparooz inner gussets. My answer always includes them. They’re that good.
On April 23, 2013, Kanga Care was granted a patent for the invention of Dual Inner Gusset Technology by the United States Patent and Trademark Office!
This is a HUGE accomplishment. I could not stop smiling when I saw the announcement last week. I know how hard Julie has worked (fought) for this. Julie kindly agreed to share with us a bit of the long journey to achieving a patent.
How did you come up with the Dual Inner Gusset design?
Early customers of the Rumparooz will recall various versions of the inner gussets and the materials the diaper was made out of. The way that the inner gussets function today evolved from a single thought that came to me one night when I was drifting off to sleep. The idea of making my own diaper for Autumn (my 2nd daughter) was new to me. I had just began the process of making my diaper pattern and figuring out the design. I was experimenting with the rise and tab shape and how to better keep the blow outs in the diaper. I was frustrated with the number of leaks and amount of laundry I was running. It was embarrassing when we were in public.
It was in this moment, just before sleep, that I had an idea for the inside of the diaper. I immediately got out of bed and went to my sewing room. I grabbed a scrap piece of flannel and roughly sewed together my idea. In the morning, I was up and about for a few hours before I remembered what I had done. It was almost like a dream so I went to investigate what I may have left on my sewing machine. Before I could reach my sewing room I had a rush of ideas, thoughts, and patterns to try. Within a couple hours Autumn was wearing the first dual inner gusset diaper. The blow outs were history.
When did you begin the patent process?
I knew from the beginning that I had something unique and original no one had seen before. I also knew that a patent was a big undertaking, not to mention expensive. As the popularity of the Rumparooz grew, I re-invested everything I could back into making the diapers. This included setting a portion aside on every sale so that we could eventually look into filing a patent application. I had exactly one year to decide if we were going to patent my invention. It didn’t take long before stores began contacting me to set up accounts after hearing rave reviews about my leak-proof technology, the dual inner gusset design. Once I started receiving interest from retail stores to carry the Rumparooz, we knew it was time to begin the patent process.
What were some challenges you faced in this long journey?
It wouldn’t be a road worth traveling if you didn’t have to stop and repair a flat tire a few times, right? We have had our ups and downs. I started this business out of the kitchen in my apartment, just a few short years ago. I was excited to have created something that was helping other families and it gave me the opportunity to stay home with my own while still contributing to our financial needs. Working for myself has taken dedication and discipline. On one hand, owning your own business means never getting a day off, or even an hour. I have never had the luxury of clocking out and going home. On the other hand, I have been able to create, design and develop these products that have made a difference to my family, my friends, my customers and our planet. One challenge in this process was when the creation of the diapers was passed from me, making each one, to a local manufacturer. At this time I had made over 2,000 myself and giving this responsibility to someone else was stressful and took a lot of troubleshooting. In the end that manufacturer did not work out and it took us 4 more manufacturers before we found a quality company that could make the diaper as well as I could. In the end it all came down to family. Our current manufacturer is a small, Danish, mom owned company who just so happens to be one of my best friends.
Do you recommend a patent to other WAHMs that create a unique design?
Absolutely. It was only a couple years ago that I was a WAHM in the cloth diaper forums and was over the moon with excitement when someone would place an order. If you know you have something unique and original you won’t have to question yourself if it is the right choice – your customers will confirm that for you. My first piece of advice is to be patient. It takes a long time (6 years for me!) but the reward is well worth the wait.
Any other Kanga Care news you’d like to share with the cloth diaper world?
Since you asked so nicely I suppose I could let you in on a little secret. Although, these kinds of secrets aren’t likely to be kept long… we are expecting a baby! Little baby Ekstrom #5, this November. In celebration of, I think it is time for some new prints as well. What do you think?
I think that’s a fantastic idea!! Just send them my way first ;)
Autumn is a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, friend and most important a follower of Christ.
Regan Mae says
Wow! I just stumbled across this wicked old article! I find it hilarious that these average, every day cloth diaper parents think they are patent experts – HA! I know this is a really old thread, but I wish I would have read it back in 2013. I’ll say the same thing today I would have said then, KUDOS to Kanga Care and Julie! What an amazing accomplishment for a her, as woman and a mother, building this company out of her apartment – out of a need for her child – with her BARE HANDS. Why are we not lifting her up? You know why…because women are hateful, and it is a sickness in America. Shame on the 99% of you in this thread. You are what is wrong with women these days and it MUST change. You should all be very ashamed of yourself. Julie got the patent because she created something new, and unique, that had never been done before. YOU can google it and look into it (for real) just like I did. It took the patent office 6 years of research and doing prior art searches and investigating into her invention to make sure that she was the original inventor – which she was. THAT is why she got the patent. No amount of whatever anyone in this thread thinks they can just “google on over” is going to change that… what a joke some of these comments were, so disgusting. For everyone saying “Pampers had the inner gussets 20 years prior” – pampers has nothing to do with inner gussets in CLOTH DIAPERS. Kanga Care has a patent for inner gussets in CLOTH, and the method and design, construction, and function is completely different. I don’t think any of you actually even checked out the patents or any of what you were all complaining about. By the way – Julie’s invention was so unique, the USPTO actually gave her 3 MORE patents since this article.
I am a wahm making cloth diapers and purchased a pattern that has these inner gussets as well as signed and paid for rights to sell my product. I just found out about this. Is this going to change all of those patterns already out there? How do we get permission to make these diapers?
Jennifer Reinhardt says
Hi Jennifer, I would be lying if I told you I knew much about the answer to your question. I think it is a very good one to ask though. Perhaps contact Kanga care or maybe there is a group on facebook that can provide more information about this. There is for sure more than one company that currently has double gussets. I’m just not sure how it works.
Be careful she has been sueing other wahms everywhere. This is why double gussets are hard to find. This pattern in cloth diapers is at least 20 years old. She had no right to it. And she literally monopolies the market about it. I am trying to get people organised to start a go fund me page for her sueing victims.
I am a hippie and come from a long line of hippies. My family has been cloth diapering since the 60s she stole this pattern that was once freely taught to others to make their way in life.
Well it’s good to know that all my hard work to design a double gusset cloth diaper of my own is out the window. I saw the inner gusset on the pampers diapers I had been using and figured that it would translate well into cloth. So I spent the last few days drafting a pattern in order to make an aio cloth diaper with pul inner gussets without fold over elastic. (looks like a big sucess by the way. I might adjust a few things though)
This is bs. A pattent should not be granted for a functional item like this. Maybe for a logo or an artistic feature. But not for the utilitarian feature. Even copyright law states such. It’s like patenting pants that have a drawstring at the ankles. It’s dumb.
Yes, please answer…what does that actually mean for all the other brands that have inner gussets…like Go Green? Also doesn’t FuzziBunz hold the patent for Pocket diapers…yet there are tons of those around. Confused???
Autumn Beck says
Kanga Care and their attorneys, I’m sure, have all their ducks in a row. I’m not sure what steps a company takes when they receive a patent for something that is often copied.
China does not have to abide by US patent laws. They will continue to make and sell diapers as they have been. It will be illegal for US citizens to buy them and should you in the off chance have your package pulled in customs your items will be confiscated and a possible fine. But Glowbug has changed their design. I doubt Alva etc care enough to change since the US isn’t their only buyers.
Pretty sad she got approved for this patent when the tutorial was published for free online in 2003…. this is in no way an original design either since pampers had the patent in 1976…. it just ran out after 20 years. I will personally provide info to any biz or wahm that she attempts to go after about the prior publcation of this design and the fact that they can counterclaim that this design was around long before her biz. Pretty despicable if you ask me. Kind of like the taggies bs patent.
I agree, completely disheartening that the patent was granted. She certainly was not the first to come up with the idea and I’m really sad that she would lay claim to something that was not her own. To my knowledge, the idea was published years ago in online forums by a momma who used the double gusset idea to create swim diapers for her son. That’s where I first saw it. I actually contacted that mama and asked her permission to use her idea and adapt it to make it my own. Who knows, she may not have even been the first either. Its absurd that Julie actually was granted a patent. :(
D. Hawbaker says
I was disturbed that you would go after other companies that make similar cloth diapers. Profit seem to be your bottom line, unfortunately with your decision because your cost is too high for most low income families, you would like to remove their option to diaper their babies in cloth. Double gussets have been in existence before you dreamed or realized your idea. Many of people have thought up similar ideas that were already in existence, you can track double gussets back to before you created your company. To patent something that existed before you thought of it is crazy, but I guess that’s what the bottom line is about. Low income families do not deserve to cloth diaper their babies if they can afford your pricey diapers. Shakes my head astonished. Are you going to offer a generic diaper at a price low enough for a low income family to allow them to cloth diaper? I think if a lot of people banded together there is plenty of evidence this is not your original idea it already existed, search engines lone can provide enough evidence double gussets existed before you applied for the patent. Be honorable and leave low priced providers alone, their customers will never be your customers, you are out of the earnings bracket. I know their are a lot of groupies or fans of your “design as you have it” that will attack my thoughts, but lets think about some one other than ourselves and how your actions effect so many already struggling to keep food on their tables and you want to remove their ability to save money for their families. Why because they choose a low cost alternative to something they could never afford and will never buy because they can’t afford it.
I agree, D. Hawbaker. Double gussets have been around since before Kanga Care existed. This action by Kanga Care is about as ethical as Levi Strauss patenting pants zippers and saying no other jean companies can put zippers in their pants. Ridiculous!
You do know that many other wahms that didn’t go to overseas to mass produce were making double gusset diapers LONG before Rumparooz was, right? Case in point, Blissful Booty. I was shocked they got the patent. Patent workers must not do any research before stamping something as approved.
Congrats to Julie! It is so amazing to build a business from the ground up. Hopefully this will keep the china cheapies at bay (even though RaR are made in china for $25 lol)!
Glad to see even the cloth diapering community can’t escape from nonsense patents.
How do you invent something that has been in use in disposables for decades? Any cloth diaper with double gussets is just copying Pampers.
There is a pic, ecopipo left, rumparooz right
Glad she is doing well and got the patent, just not sure how you use it. With all the WAHMS out there and personal stitchers like myself It’s had to patrol.
I have some Rumparooz one size snap diapers up for sale in the FSOT part of the forum! Love the double gusset design, but my chunky monkey doesn’t fit super well into them :(
abigail morris says
I think it is wonderful for her to have accomplished so much with her business. Just starting your own business is very hard. For her to go so far with hers is fantastic.I am just curious, I have never used any store bought cloth diaper, I have always made my own. Is the inner gusset similar to the ones in a disposable diaper?
I started CDing with my 5th daughter. I bought a preowned RaRz and loved it. But it was too small in the rise. I found Alva double gussets and those became my favorite diapers. So I am wondering, as well, what the patent means for other cloth diapers with double gussets. I assume that they will no longer be able to make those type diapers.
Thanks for your wonderful, informative blog. I have been following you since before you became so widely known!
What this usually means is that they can make everyone pull their products off the shelves OR they can grant use (free or for charge) to others who wish to use the design. It all depends on the company.
Autumn, your blog rocks! I have never even heard of Kanga Care until right now- and I think they sound amazing! Off I go to buy some Kanga diapers…
Geri Fink says
Oh so sorry Auto correct “Kanga” it’s trying to do it again blah!
Geri Fink says
I was wondering the same thing! Invention of the dual internal gussets means Kangaroo is credited with the invention itself right?
Congratulations to Kanga care! I love my rarz! What does this mean for other “knock offs” with inner gussets? (Alva, glowbug) ?
Judith Martinez says
And baby babu which is my favorite! I love the gusset in Rumparooz but I don’t love some of the other design features of the diaper so I was thrilled to find Baby Babu which has a similar gusset and also has other features I love like dual pocket openings.
I too love Baby Babu! I wouldn’t place them in the “knock-off’s”/rebrands category…because the fit is amazing. It would be a shame if they couldn’t sell their diapers anymore :-(
I saw a mexican brand that it’s identical to RaRz !!
I was wondering the same thing!!
What does that mean for other brands with similar inner gusset designs?