Alan Amron

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Alan Amron
Inventor of the Sticky Note Lecture 2016
BornNovember 20, 1948
Alma materUniversity of Memphis
Known forInvention of the Photo Wallet, Battery Operated Squirt Gun

Alan Amron (born November 20, 1948) is an American inventor who holds 40[1][2] United States patents. He is also involved in a popular dispute of $400 million with 3M for the invention of the Post-it note.


Noteworthy Amron inventions include:

  • Amron invented the first battery-operated water gun.[6][7] In the first year, this invention had earned him $250,000 in royalties.[8]
  • Amron has invented and designed a First Down Laser Line system, which would extend the concept of the computer-generated first down yellow line seen on-screen during televised football games by projecting such a line on the physical field at the stadium. Amron met with the NFL in 2003 and again in 2009, and in 2013 a league spokesman said "We have not been convinced that it would work for us, but we are open to further discussion after the season."[9] A similar Leading Mark Laser invented by Amron was used in the 2013 and 2014 NCAA National track and field championships at the University of Oregon.[10] Amron's laser line projection system was also used to replace the costly painted yellow cautionary lines in warehouses.[11]

Campaign to reunite the Beatles[edit]

In 1976 Amron created the International Committee to Reunite the Beatles.[12] Amron placed radio and newspaper advertisements asking everyone to donate a dollar, which would then be given to the Beatles to reunite for a concert. Also known as "Let It Be", Amron's committee was one of several attempts to reunite the band in the mid and late 1970s, but it had the distinction of being a people-based campaign.[13] Author Nicholas Schaffner wrote in 1978 that things did not "augur well" for Let It Be, since Amron engaged the same PR company as Paul McCartneySolters and Roskin in New York – and McCartney immediately dropped the firm as a result.[13]

Sports legend Muhammad Ali took up the initiative, hoping that the four former Beatles would agree to donate the money to children in need around the world. His attorney, Spiros Anthony, said that Amron and New York businessman Joel Sacher had been the "catalysts" for Ali's involvement.[14][15] In January 1977, the Daily Herald newspaper reported George Harrison as saying: "Will it happen? I suppose so."[16][17]

Post-It Note[edit]

Amron has made claims to be the inventor in 1973 of the technology used on the Post-It note and disclosed his invention to 3M in 1974.[18] His 1997 suit against 3M was settled, and 3M gave Amron a check.[1] As part of the settlement, Amron undertook not to make future claims against the company as part of an agreement that said that 3M would not claim to be the inventor of the Post-It note.[1]

However, in 2016, he launched a further suit against 3M,[1][18] suing them in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, asserting that 3M were wrongly claiming to be the inventors,[19] and seeking $400 million in damages.[20][21] Amron said, "l just want them to admit that l am the inventor and that they will stop saying that they are the inventor", "Every single day that they keep claiming they invented it damages my reputation and defames me."[22][23]

When Amron was asked about how he invented the sticky note, he replied,[24] "In 1973 I had to leave a note for my wife and didn't have any scotch tape to post it so I invented a way to post it without magnets pins or tape."

"I had just gotten married in 1973 and my wife wasn’t home and I had to leave a message for her that I was running out to a meeting. I took a piece of - we called it memo paper in those days - and I wrote on the memo that I was going to a meeting that I’d be back later. I wanted to post it on the refrigerator. But I looked around the house for Scotch tape and I couldn’t find it. So I saw some gum on the counter. And while my mind was working I was looking at the gum and not being able to find the Scotch tape, I took the gum, put a piece in my mouth and started chewing. While I was chewing I was thinking about the tackiness of the gum. And I took a little piece of the gum out of my mouth and I kneaded it. I mushed it around. I got a little dust off the counter. I put it in the little piece of gum and I mushed it around and squashed it right on the refrigerator. Then I put the note on it and I pulled it a little bit to see if it held and it held and I left. When I got home my wife was very impressed with the fact that I left her a note and the fact that the note was still on the refrigerator and then came right off without it leaving a residue mess when she took the note off."

"She suggested and I agreed that it was a great product and I started to develop the adhesive for it. The adhesive had to be tacky enough to stick, repositionable enough to position it on a surface or a paper or a refrigerator. We didn’t have magnets in those days and I couldn’t use duct tape because it would have left a residue on the refrigerator. So I was working on an adhesive that would be tacky enough to be put on the back of a memo pad or piece of paper, that you could put it onto another piece of paper or to a refrigerator or a window or a door or something like that and reposition it."

Whereas, 3M claims that two of their representatives, Arthur Fry and Spencer Silver invented the bookmark in 1974, originally called the Press 'n' Peel bookmark.[23][25][26]

However, the case was dismissed, to which Alan Amron said with disappointment, “it’s not surprising that big money beat little money.”[27]

In July 2016 a former 3M marketing department employee, Daniel Dassow, voluntarily came forward as an eyewitness that in 1974 Alan Amron had in fact disclosed his Press-on memo sticky notes invention to 3M.[28]


  1. ^ a b c d "Sticky lawsuit: $400M dispute lingers over Post-it inventor". Los Angeles Times. 12 March 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  2. ^ services, Tribune news. "Sticky lawsuit: $400M dispute lingers over Post-it inventor". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  3. ^ Rosenthal, Marshall M. "Digital Imaging Wallet Style Wish We Had This in the Old Days!", Rangefinder, United States, December 2000. Retrieved on 21 October 2012.
  4. ^ American Airlines Magazine "Digital Photo Wallet - American Way!", American Airlines Magazine, United States, August 2000. Retrieved on 21 October 2012.
  5. ^ CNN Consumer Electronics Show "Digital Photo Wallet", CNN, United States, December 2000. Retrieved on 10 August 2014.
  6. ^ Porges, Seth. "The Best Battery Powered Gun". The Top 6 Water Guns of All Time. Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  7. ^ Green, Amanda. "History Of The Water Gun". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Alan Amron battery operated water guns Records". People Magazine. 1986-09-08. Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  9. ^ USA TODAY SPORTS section - full back page. "SHOULD THE NFL LOOK TO LASERS TO MARK FOR FIRST DOWNS?", USA TODAY, United States, 3 December 2013. Retrieved on July 26, 2014.
  10. ^ Rosenthal, Isaac. "LASERS MAKE DEBUT AT NCAA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS", Eugene Daily News, United States, 6 June 2013. Retrieved on 5 August 2014.
  11. ^ Shop Floor Laser Magazine.[1] Retrieved on 13 April 2015.
  12. ^ COLUMBIA DAILY SPECTATOR International Committee To Reunite The Beatles, [2] June 17, 1976. Retrieved on 1 April 2018
  13. ^ a b Schaffner, Nicholas (1978). The Beatles Forever. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. p. 172. ISBN 0-07-055087-5.
  14. ^ BEATLES AGAIN Stan Mieses[3] Desert Sun Newspaper January 26, 1977. Retrieved on 1 April 2018
  15. ^ CAN 200 MILLION FANS REUNITE THE BEATLES [4] The Daily Herald January 28, 1977. Retrieved on 1 April 2018
  16. ^ Bruce Meyer UPI[5]January 28, 1977 The Daily Herald. Retrieved on 6 April 2018
  17. ^ Bruce Meyer UPI[6]January 16,1977 Valley News. Retrieved on 6 April 2018
  18. ^ a b Frean, Alexandra (21 March 2016). "Sticky situation as inventor sues 3M for $400m over Post-it Notes". The Times. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  19. ^ Smith, Allan (28 January 2016). "Post-It Notes at the heart of a 40 year battle". Business Insider. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  20. ^ Alan Amron v. 3M Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. et al., case number 9:16-cv-80125, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
  21. ^ DelMonico, Kimberly (5 November 2016). "Judge Dismisses and upheld the previous 1998 settlement agreement - Post-it Note Inventor Lawsuit". Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  22. ^ services, Tribune news. "Sticky lawsuit: $400M dispute lingers over Post-it inventor". Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  23. ^ a b Anderson, Curt. "An inventor with dozens of patents for a range of products is suing 3M Company, saying he created what became the ubiquitous Post-it Note".
  24. ^ Sarhan, Adam. "Investing Advice From The Man Who Says He Invented The Sticky Note". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  25. ^ "Man Sues 3M Over Post-It Notes, Seeks $400M". 2016-03-11. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  26. ^ "Who's lying about inventing Post-It Notes?". NewsComAu. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  27. ^ "Judge: 1st Settlement Still Sticks in Lawsuit Over Post-it Notes - Jewish News | Israel News | Israel Politics". Hamodia. 2016-09-11. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  28. ^

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