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5 steps to turn your invention idea into a product. Have a great idea for an invention but don’t know what to do with it? Follow these steps to turn your idea into a marketable product.
How To Sell An Invention
The light bulb above your head is so bright it threatens to blind everyone. But what to do with your great invention ideas? Before you sell your invention to the wrong person or go to the first company that offers to buy it, you need to do one thing: protect it.
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Whether you want to manufacture and market your invention yourself or license it to another company, the only way to make money from your invention and ensure that no one steals your idea is to obtain a US patent and trademark it. takes place at the patent application office. . It can be an intimidating process, so we spoke to Andy Gibbs, author of Patent Essentials, to help you break it down in five easy steps.
Just an “idea” is useless – you have to prove that you came up with an ingenious idea. Write down everything you can think of about your invention, from what it is and how it works to how you will build and market it. This is the first step to patenting your idea and protecting it from theft. You’ve probably heard of the “poor man’s patent” – write down your idea and send it to yourself in a sealed envelope so you have historical proof of your invention’s concept. It is not valid and is unlikely to hold up in court.
Write down your idea in a research journal and have a witness sign it. This journal will be your bible during the patent process. Any bound notebook whose pages are numbered and cannot be removed or altered can create a research journal. You can find specially designed notebooks at bookstores like Nolo Presser’s Book Factory, or you can save money and buy a regular notebook. Just make sure you meet the above requirements.
You need to consider the idea from both a legal and a business point of view. There are two main steps you must take before filing a patent.
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Just because you haven’t seen your invention doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist yet. Before you hire a patent attorney or agent, do a free preliminary search at www.uspto.gov to make sure no one else has patented your idea. You must also conduct a non-patent “prior art” search. If you find an artwork or design related to your idea, you cannot patent it – unless a previous patent has been filed.
Sure, your brother thinks the idea of a new sprinkler is a great idea, but that doesn’t mean your neighbor will buy one. More than 95 percent of all patents never pay the inventor. Before you invest a lot of time and money in patenting your invention, do some preliminary research on your target market. Is it really something people can buy? Once you know there is a market, make sure your product can be produced and distributed at a low cost so that the retail price is reasonable. You can determine these costs by comparing similar products on the market. It also helps you gauge your competition—which you’ll have, no matter how unique you think your invention is.
The prototype is the model of your invention, which in practice implements everything you wrote about in your inventor’s journal. This shows the structure of your invention when you present it to potential lenders and licensees. Do not file a patent before creating a prototype. You’ll almost always find a flaw in the original design or think of a new feature you’d like to add. If you patent your idea before using these limitations, it will be too late to patent it and you risk losing the patent rights to your new design to someone else.
1. Start with an image. Before starting the prototyping phase, sketch out your idea in your inventor’s journal.
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2. Make a concept mockup of any material that allows you to create a 3D model of the design.
3. Once you’re happy with the mockup, create a fully functional model of your idea. There are many books and kits that can help you build prototypes. If your invention costs a lot of money or is impractical to prototype, such as an oil refining process or a new pharmaceutical drug, consider computer-animated virtual prototyping.
Now that you’ve worked out all the kinks in your design, it’s finally time to file for a patent. You have to choose between two main patents: utility patents (for new processes or machines) or design patents (for creating new, non-obvious decorative designs). You can write the patent and file the application yourself, but don’t file it yourself unless you first have it reviewed by a patent professional. If the invention is really valuable, who would violate it? If you don’t have a strong patent written by a patent attorney or agent, you’ll be pulling your hair out later when a competitor discovers a flaw that allows them to copy your idea. It is better to seek legal help now to avoid legal problems in the future.
1. Do your homework. Keep your research journal, prototype and notes with you. This will save them time and money. This will help them to work with you.
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3. Ask them what their technical background is. If your invention is electrical, find a patent specialist who is also an electrical engineer.
4. Discuss fees. The focus is on small patent companies. They are cheaper and work more closely with you. Before hiring a patent specialist, agree on an estimated total cost.
Start with a business plan. How will you make money? Where will you manufacture the product? How will you sell it? Now is the time to decide whether you will develop and sell the product yourself or license the sale through another company. When you license your product, you’ll probably only get a 2-5 percent royalty. This often intimidates researchers who feel entitled to more. But consider the reverse: the financial burden of maintaining the business is not transferred. This will save you a lot of money in the long run.
It’s also important to remember that it can be a long process from the birth of an idea until you see the product on the shelf. Many inventions take years to come to fruition. Be patient and follow the steps to patent your invention and your years of hard work will finally pay off.
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With these tips, you can save time and skip the hurdles you often encounter in the ideation phase.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Cashing In On Your Inventions, 2nd Edition: Levy, Richard C.: 9781615640072: Amazon.com: Books
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You’re right. Maybe you’re walking around the neighborhood, building something in the yard, or raising your kids, and you suddenly come up with a new idea that makes your job easier. Sometimes you laugh because you think you can’t implement these innovative ideas and choose to ignore them.
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What you may not know is that some companies are always looking for ideas. And the money you can earn from them will surprise you.
As you can see on many feedback sites, some companies have vague details about how they handle submissions, while others provide very little information unless you contact them personally.
Make sure your innovative idea hasn’t been presented yet. So check your local market and research international markets to make sure your idea hasn’t been realized yet.
Many companies do not accept idea presentations until the inventions have been patented. The US Patent and Trademark Office can help you determine if someone else already owns the idea.
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If a company is interested in an idea and wants it
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