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13,700 Entries, Ten Staples(R) Invention Quest(TM) Finalists; Which One Will Be The Next Great Office Product?

Vote Online To Help Make Your Work Life Easier and Someone $25,000 Richer

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Aug. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- If you think it's a challenge to build a better mousetrap, how about improving something as simple and ubiquitous as a Number 2 pencil? A Staples(R) Invention Quest(TM) finalist thinks she has the answer, along with nine other office product innovators who have ideas to make work life easier. Today, Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) announced its 10 Invention Quest finalists competing for $25,000 and a chance to have their idea created and sold by Staples. Now it is up to America to help vote online at http://www.staples.com/iq for the best product to make their life and workday easier.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/staples/22500

"Staples Invention Quest gives our customers the opportunity to bring their own office product innovations to life," said Mike Miles, chief operating officer for Staples, Inc. "We've identified 10 finalists from more than 13,000 submissions and now we're inviting America to help us pick the next breakthrough product that will make work life easier."

The public can cast an online vote for their favorite Invention Quest finalist from August 10-24. To vote, simply log on to http://www.staples.com/iq to review the top contenders and select the office product idea that best fulfills an unmet need. The product receiving the most online votes will receive one extra vote during the final judging on September 7.

    The ten finalists and their ideas include:
  • Scott Clark (Hamilton, NJ) -- Scott Clark is an entrepreneur who began inventing when he was 15. He came up with the "Notebook Binder Clip" to make it easy to hold presentations and other documents in a binder, while eliminating the need for punching holes or stapling.


  • David Garland, Jr. (Farmington, NY) -- A singer and songwriter in his spare time, David Garland came up with "Slip-Its" as an easy and damage-proof way to attach business cards and papers to any surface.


  • Eric Gibbons (Bordentown, NJ) -- Gibbons, a teacher and professional artist, does his best thinking on his daily commute. His invention is The "CD-Dott," a new way to store and attach CDs and DVDS anywhere from sales materials to a dorm wall.


  • Julie Hansmann (Bend, OR) -- Overloaded with paperwork at her job as an office manager at a busy construction company, Hansmann came up with "The Stacker" as a way to keep important papers and "things to do" organized in a plastic retractable organizer so that they're not forgotten or lost.


  • Mark Johnson (Lynchburg, VA) -- A Web developer who enjoys oil painting, writing and music, Johnson found it difficult to organize CDs. His invention is the "Easy Disc Folder" which adapts a common document storage system to CDs and DVDs.


  • Beverly Lane (Great Falls, VA) -- The first pencil was invented in the sixteenth century, yet it took over 400 years to solve the dilemma of how to lengthen its life span! Lane was inspired when she realized that her children would no longer use a pencil once its eraser is used up. The "No. 2 Twistil" is a traditional woodcase pencil that erases as effectively as it writes.


  • Sarah Pantaleo (Harleysville, PA) -- Pantaleo is a college student and intern at a product design firm. Her "SpindleRack" saves space and organizes a CD collection, allowing users to organize and categorize.


  • Rene Santiago (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) -- Santiago does his best thinking at 30,000 feet while working as a steward for a major airline company. Business cards are an important marketing tool, yet he realized there could be a better way to display them on bulletin boards or on a countertop. "CardCues" are a freestanding and bulletin board friendly way to distribute business cards that can be easily customized using an inkjet or laser printer.


  • Julie Savage (Katy, TX) -- A former kindergarten teacher, Savage found that glue bottles get clogged and are messy to use, especially for school children. She invented "Glue Swabs" to provide a clean, single- use applicator for effective and efficient adhesion.


  • Tim Whitney (South Elgin, IL) -- Whitney had his first invention inspiration at 15. Currently faced with a busy work environment, he came up with a way to change the way people communicate in the office. His idea, the "uNote," is the voice recorder of sticky notes -- it helps keep the communication flowing by allowing users to record short voice messages.

This year's Invention Quest generated more than 13,700 entries for new office product ideas designed to make work-life easier. Each of the ten finalists' inventions were selected as the most innovative ideas for a new office product solving everyday challenges. Finalists will attend an awards ceremony in New York City on September 7, 2005, where Staples will choose one winner who will receive $25,000 and royalties if Staples manufactures and sells the product. Nine runners up will receive $5,000 each.

Staples Invention Quest was created to make it easy for everyday inventors to share their new product ideas. The world's leading retailer of office products, Staples is continuously searching for innovative office products to add to its growing line of Staples brand products and aims to become the leading office products brand. Staples Invention Quest is one way the company finds new innovations to bring to life as Staples brand exclusives.

About Staples Brand

Staples brand products are an easy choice of quality products at guaranteed low prices. Staples offers its customers more than 1,000 Staples brand office products in stores, Staples.com and through catalogs. Products range from ink and toner to paper, filing systems and technology accessories. All Staples products undergo an intense independent laboratory quality-testing program and are 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed.

About Staples

Staples, Inc. invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the world's largest office products company. With 65,000 talented associates, the company is committed to making it easy to buy a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2004 sales of $14.4 billion, Staples serves consumers and businesses ranging from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in 21 countries throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates approximately 1,695 office superstores and also serves its customers through mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at http://www.staples.com.

SOURCE Staples, Inc.

CONTACT: Deborah Hohler, +1-508-253-8509, Deborah.Hohler@staples.com, or Ross Jacobs, +1-404-879-9155, Ross.Jacobs@ketchum.com, both of Staples, Inc./