The bulb above your head is shining so brightly that it threatens to blind everyone around you. But what should you do with your great ideas of invention? Before you start prattling about your invention with the wrong person or running to the first company that offers to buy it, you have to do one thing: protect it. This can be an intimidating process, so we will try to break it down in five easy steps.
Step 1: Document it
It is not enough to have an idea is useless, it is necessary to have proof of when the idea of the invention occurred to you. Write down everything you can think that relates to your invention, from what it is and how it works to how you are going to make it and market it. This is the first step to patent your idea and protects it from being stolen. You have probably heard of the patent of the poor - write your idea in a letter and mail it to yourself in a sealed envelope as proof of the date of conception of your invention.
Step 2: The investigation
You will have to investigate your idea from a legal and business point of view. Before filing a patent, you must:
Complete an initial patent search. The fact that you have not seen your invention before does not mean that it does not already exist. Before hiring a patent attorney or agent, complete a rudimentary search to make sure that no one else has patented your idea. You must also complete a different one of the search patents of the prior art. If you find any type of artwork or design related to your idea, it cannot be patented regardless of whether a previous patent has been filed.
Step 3: Make a prototype
A prototype is a model of your invention that puts into practice all the things you have written in the inventor's journal. This will demonstrate the design of your invention when presented to potential lenders and licensees. Do not present a patent before having made a prototype. You will almost always discover a flaw in your original design or think of a new feature that you would like to add. If you patent your idea before training these folds, it will be too late to include them in the patent and you will risk losing the patent rights of the new design to someone else.
Step 4: application for a patent
Now that you have worked all the imperfect of your design, it is time to present a patent. There are two main patents among which you will have to choose: a utility patent (for new processes or machines) or a design patent (for the manufacture of new, non-obvious ornamental designs).
You can write the patent and fill out the application yourself, but it is not advisable to present it yourself until you have had a conversation with a professional patent expert, at least as a first step. If the invention is really valuable, someone can infringe his right. If you do not have a strong patent written by a patent attorney or agent, you will be throwing money away and dealing with a lot of problems later, when a competitor finds a loophole that allows you to copy your idea.
Step 5: Market your invention
Now is the time to find out how you are going to take your product to market. Create a business plan to earn money. Where are you going to manufacture the product? How are you going to sell it? Now is a good time to decide if you are going to manufacture and sell the product yourself, or to grant licenses for sale through another company. When you go through the process and grant a license for your product it is likely that you will only receive two percent to five percent of royalties. This often frightens inventors who feel they deserve more. But consider the positive aspect: You will not have the financial burden associated with maintaining a business. This could end up making more money in the long term.
Following these five steps will ensure you an easy way to patent your invention. Just remember that an easy path does not necessarily mean a short one. From the moment of conceiving your idea at the same time that you see your product on the shelf is a very long process. Most inventions take years to bear fruit. Be patient and follow due diligence in your steps to patent your invention and your years of hard work will finally pay off.