You have an invention idea for a new product, but are not sure how to develop it. This is a conundrum faced by thousands of inventors every day. While it is true that most people who invent new products never get past the development stage, those that do have the chance to financially benefit from their invention. In some cases, inventors can become millionaires quickly when their product is properly developed and sold.
Getting to that point requires going through a few steps so that your product can be properly developed in a way that maximizes its potential. While every product is unique, they will all go through the same first step of patenting the invention.
Getting a Patent
Obtaining a patent is vital towards protecting your invention ideas. Without a patent, your invention can be taken, used, and profited by others without your permission. So, you will need to get a patent before you make your product public. The steps required to file for patent protection include the following;
- Document: Record all steps in the creation of your product
- Qualify: Does your product qualify for a patent?
- Assess: Does your product have commercial potential?
- Search: See if there are other patents on products like yours
- File: Now you are ready to file your patent application
Filing for a patent is important not only because of the protection it provides, but it also encourages you to properly develop your product idea so that you know if it’s viable or not.
Qualification & Assessment of Your Product Idea
As part of the patent process, you will need to know if your invention idea qualifies under one of the three sections, design, plant, or utility. Most products tend to fall under design, but it also may apply to plant or utility depending on the nature and function of the product itself. The good news is that it is relatively easy to know which section your product qualifies for a patent, so this should not take long when you research all the sub-categories found under design, plant, and utility.
The assessment process is trickier since this requires you to evaluate the commercial potential of your invention idea. No matter how new, unique, or original your product idea may be, if it does not have commercial potential, then it cannot qualify for a patent. So, your assessment process will have to begin by evaluating its potential and how it can be used in the market today.
If your product directly improves the performance of a process or machine, then it is relatively easy to see its commercial potential. However, if your product’s potential is based on appealing to customers, then it might be more difficult to assess its potential. Remember, it does not have to be seen as a highly profitable and in fact many great products were not seen initially as being as big as they became, so the only requirement is that it does have potential.
Getting Your Product to the Market
Once you have obtained your patent, your invention idea is now ready for the commercial market. Companies and investors will know that having a patented product idea means that it does have potential and fulfill a specific need. So, the question becomes whether you get the product to market by obtaining financing to form your own company or sell your idea so that another company can make the most out of it.
The course of action you choose will all be based on which method works best for your needs. However, it all starts by getting a patent application for your product idea.