Have an Invention in Mind? Turn It Into a Product That Sells.
30 Sep 2020
The past months have been hard on everyone. States and cities implementing stay-at-home orders had people staying in their homes for everyone’s safety. On a more positive note, it also gave everyone more time to focus on their hobbies and other interests.
If you are the type who likes to invent, design and build your creation, why not look for a market for it? But, before you get excited and look for a high-quality large part injection molder to bring life to your designs and creation, there are certain things that you must do. The first thing you may want to do is name your creation to yourself by filing a patent for it.
File a Patent for Your Creation
Before you try to sell your design and invention, you must ensure that no one will make a copy of it and claim it as theirs. Filing for a patent gives you an exclusive right to your creation. It will enable you to do the following:
• Earn money from your creation
• Give you a competitive advantage
• Allows you to legally enter licensing agreements with other parties
• Use it as evidence that you own the rights to your design and creation
• Allows you to have a greater and more profitable market share
Here are the steps that you can take before filing for a patent.
1. Document everything.
You must document every step of the way, from the moment that the idea came into your mind, to your design process to the actual development of your product. This will keep your idea from being stolen.
However, instead of adapting the “poor man’s patent”, you can write everything in your invertor’s journal and let someone sign as a witness. You can use any notebook, just ensure to number the pages consecutively. You cannot remove or insert a page if you are to use it as your official inventor’s journal.
2. Research about your design and creation.
Make sure that your invention does not exist anywhere in the world. Make sure that no one has patented the same idea before you. You can search for it on the US Patent and Trademark Office website. Aside from patent search, you must also search for non-patent prior arts, to make sure that there is no similar design related to what you have in mind.
3. Do market research.
You may think that your idea and invention is the best there is, but your siblings may not even pay to have it. Make sure that your invention and creation addresses a specific need that people will willingly pay for. Once you have confirmed this, the next thing that you must explore is its production. You must be able to mass-produce it at a low cost, such as through the use of a large part injection molder. If you can produce it at a low cost, you can also sell it at a reasonable price, making it more attractive to your target customers.
4. Create a working prototype.
You can test your designs and ideas with a prototype. You can use your prototype in the future when you need to demonstrate it to potential business partners. Make sure that you have a working prototype before you file for a patent. This way, you can rectify any problems and add some changes which you can include in your patent. If you submit a patent that has problems, someone might beat you to filing a patent for the correct and working version.
Start with your drawing and make a detailed sketch. Create a mock-up that will let you see the actual dimensions at its full-scale. You can then start creating your full-working model. You can use a 3-D printer to create your prototype. If it is impossible to create a prototype, you can create a virtual one.
5. File for a patent.
Depending on the function of your design, you can choose between three types of patents: utility, design, and plant patents.
• Utility Patent. This is the most common type of patent that most people apply for. Utility patents cover new processes or improvements to existing processes.
• Design Patent. Design can include the shape or configuration of an object. This will only protect the design of the object. You have to apply for a utility patent to protect the function of the object.
• Plant Patent. This patent is created to protect new plants.
When filing for a patent, you can seek the services of a skilled and experienced patent attorney who can write you a strong patent. Loopholes can put your hard work into waste, so consulting a legal expert can help protect your invention.
Now that you have everything taken care of, it is time to think of ways to market your invention. Begin with a business plan. How will you sell it? Will you manufacture it yourself or will you engage with a third party? The process may be long and tedious, but with the right strategy, your hard work will pay off.