Are you inventing a great idea that you want to market, but you don’t know where to start? Well, before you begin to babble about your invention to the wrong people or run to the first company that offers to buy it, you first need to protect it.
This is regardless if you want to market and produce your invention on your own or even license it to a separate company. The only way you will make money from your invention idea is to make sure that nobody will steal your idea. This is an intimidating process. Let’s break it down for you into five simple steps.
Step 1: Inventing and Documenting your idea
You need to have evidence of when you came up with your invention ideas. Record all you can remember that relates to your invention idea like what it is, how it works and how you will create and market it. This is the first step to patent your idea and prevents it from getting stolen.
No doubt you have heard of the ‘poor man’s patent’ where you write your plan and mail it to yourself in a sealed envelope to have proof of your invention’s conception. You need to write your idea down and then have it signed by a witness.
An inventor’s journal could be any bond notebook whose pages are numbered and can not be reinserted or removed. This journal will become your own Bible all through the patent procedure.No doubt you have heard of the ‘poor man’s patent’ where you #write your plan and #mail it to… Click To Tweet
Step 2: Do some research on your invention
You must research your idea from a legal and a business standpoint. Before filing a patent, you must do the following;
- Finish a first patent search: even though you haven’t viewed your invention does not mean it doesn’t still exist. You must complete an initial search at www.uspto.gov for free before hiring an agent or attorney. This is to make sure nobody else has already patented your idea. You must also finish a ‘prior art’ non-patent search. If you discover any artwork or designs related to your idea, then you can’t patent it.
- Research your market: More than 95% of the patents never make money for inventors. So, before you spend too much of your time and money into patenting your invention, conduct some preliminary research of your aim market. You need to ask yourself if people will buy your invention. Once you know there is a market, check that your product could get manufactured at a low-cost to make your retail price reasonable.
Step 3: Create a prototype
À prototype is a good model of your invention because it puts everything you have written in your inventor’s journal into practice. This will show your invention’s designs when you represent it to potential managers and licenses.
For this reason, don’t file a patent before inventing and creating a prototype. You will often find a flaw in your complete original design or think of a new characteristic you would like to sum up.
When you patent your idea before working on these kinks, it will be very late to include them in your patent. This means that you will lose your patent rights of your original design to another person.
Step 4: File for a patent
Now it’s time to file a patent after having worked out all the kinks of your design. There are two types of patents you have to decide on from including; a design patent or a utility patent.
You can write the patent and fill in the application on your own but be sure to let a patent professional go through it first before filing it. If your invention is valuable, someone else will infringe on it. To prevent this, you must have a strong patent written by an agent or patent attorney.
And one more thing, when it comes to searching for a patent agent or attorney, you should stay away from those advertised on TV.
Step 5: Inventing and Bringing your product to market
Now you have to puzzle out how you are going to bring your invention to market. First, make a business plan to know how you will get money. Discover where you will manufacture your product and how you are going to sell it.
After this, you need to choose if you will sell and manufacture the product on your own or license it to get sold through another company. If you decide to license your product, you will possibly receive only 2 to 5 percent in royalty fees.
You need to consider the upside like you will not have the financial burden connected with maintaining a business. This can make you earn more money in the long run.
In conclusion, following these five simple steps can result in an easier road when patenting an invention. But remember that an easy road is not the shortest one. The time you conceive your idea till the time you view your product on the shelf is a long process.
Many times, the process of inventing can years before they become fruitful. You need to have patience and follow due application in your steps to patenting your invention, and your hard work will pay off.