Over half a million patents get field every year in the USA. If you have an idea for an invention, your idea should be among those filings. Not so fast though!
4 Steps to Take If You Have an Idea for an Invention
Having an idea and filing a patent on it is a multi-step process that’s filled with pitfalls that could derail your idea altogether. To prepare for those pitfalls and to give yourself the best chance of someday bringing your product to market, we’ve put together this post which outlines simple steps to take to support your idea to fruition.
Curious to learn more? If so, we implore you to keep reading!
1. Do Your Homework
There are a lot of people out there. The odds of you have come up with an idea that in some way, hasn’t already been patented, is low.
Low doesn’t mean impossible though, so put on your thinking cap and start doing your homework. The best place to start when it comes to doing pre-patent-filing research is running a basic patent search. You can start that process here.
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If you’re overwhelmed by searching for ideas similar to yours, skip this step and move onto the next one.
2. Talk to a Patent Attorney
When you have an idea for an invention you want to protect and sell, at some point, you’re going to talk to a patent attorney. Our mantra around this inevitable step is to limit your attorney’s involvement for the simple reason that attorney fees are expensive.
That’s why we suggested running a basic patent search on your own in step 1. If you feel you’re having trouble with that, you can contact your attorney to not only help you file your patent but to conduct all pre-filing research on your behalf.
If your attorney thinks it’s a good idea to proceed with filing your patent based on their findings, follow their directions to move your application forward.
3. Get Your Application Sorted
A good product patent attorney should be able to do most of the heavy lifting for you when it comes to filing a patent. There may be aspects of your application, however, they’ll need you to source or will point you to other people to complete.
For example, your attorney isn’t a 3D CAD printing service that can help you create and photograph product mock-ups for your application. You’ll have to outsource that product development work.
All of that to say that there may be additional lifting to be done on your part that’ll involve engaging more professionals before you can get your filing done. Take your attorney’s advice and manage each task step by step.
4. File and Work on a Go to Market Plan
With your product well-documented for your patent and your attorney submitting your paperwork, your next step will be to wait to hear back from the USPTO. If you get a green light and have your patent issued, it’s time to put on yet another thinking cap.
Your next big question, which goes outside the scope of this post, will be how you can develop a go-to-market plan to start making money!
When You Have an Idea for an Invention, It’s Worth Investing In
Do you know a single adult that has never enjoyed that, “I have an idea for an invention”, moment? We don’t.
Still, few people ever invest the time in getting their inventions protected and to market. Don’t be among them!
Use our tips to help your invention take flight and feel free to browse more content on our blog if you’d like additional guidance on managing that process!
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