Many people feel like they have an idea for an invention, but they don’t know quite how to go about making that idea a reality. There are some concrete first steps that all first-time inventors should follow as they develop their idea. It’s all about understanding the process, and knowing what to do, and what not to do, when you’re a first-time inventor. Take a look at a few of the tips that all first-time inventors should know about before they start trying to get a patent.
- You don’t have to immediately go get a patent. This is important, because patents are not cheap, and only 2-3% of them ever make it to production. That means that there are vast amounts of patents that are paid for, with no real benefit to the person who applied for it. There are much more important steps you can take before getting a patent, and they won’t cost you nearly as much.
- Do your research. This is what we mean when we say there are steps before getting a patent. Research the market that you’re hoping to sell your invention in. Is your invention actually a viable product for that market? Find out as much as you can about the industry, and actually talk to the people that you envision as customers. Have a market study done by a marketing expert, and really take the time to decide whether this invention will actually be worth it.
- Document everything. Keep a journal or inventor’s notebook and write down everything you do. Date all your entries and keep them frequent and neat. It’s also a good idea to have your journal witnessed by one or two other people during this time.
- Be realistic. Your invention probably won’t make you millions, but that doesn’t mean it can’t turn a profit for you if everything goes well. There are going to be highs and lows during the process. Learn to take constructive criticism from family members or anyone else you consult as you continue to develop your ideas. Remember that most inventions never make it past the patent office.
- Make a prototype before you file for a patent. A prototype will help you straighten out all the details in your invention, and you may discover patentable features that you missed when the design was on paper. Plus, if you license, you’re going to need a prototype anyway, so you may as well have one built.
- Stay positive. Yes, the percentage of inventions that make it to production is low, but don’t get discouraged and forget about your invention altogether. If you’ve come this far, you shouldn’t throw it all away because you hit a roadblock. You may just need some help.
At Pivot, we specialize in helping inventors make turn their designs into products. Check out our testimonials and contact us today if you’ve got an idea that you want to see become a reality.