Have any of you gone through the patent process? Is there any easy
and quick way to go about this?
Usually patenting IS the quick and easy part of the whole
process—cheap too! Even though it takes 2-5 years and costs
$3,000-15,000. Anybody can get a patent as the 98% of inventors who
never made a nickel from their patents can attest. The real question
is can you sell it. With that in mind here is a sound process
Step 0=96Go Shopping. Look for any existing solutions to the problem
your invention solves=96they just may be “yours” or better. STOP if
proceeding is NOT a sound business decision after any step!
Step 1=96Ask People. File a Disclosure Document with the US PTO first
and start using Non-Disclosure Agreements to get opinions,
particularly from prospective buyers or experts in the field of your
Step 2=96Get Evaluated. Do a patent search then, if your invention or
nearly equal ones are not already patented, pay for a marketability
evaluation by a professional that cannot gain by being positive.
Step 3=96Manufacturing Costs. Determine approximate manufacturing
costs and consumer sale price and do some basic business plan
calculations to see if your invention will be reasonably profitable.
Step 4=96Design & Prototype. Now the fun part! Design and build one
and test it. Refine and redesign as necessary to get it working well
and so that it can be easily made and used and looks acceptably
Step 5=96Sell a Few. File a Provisional Application for Patent (PAP).
Get a quality prototype or low volume production run done, create
sample packaging, instructions, etc., and get your invention on the
Step 6=96Go. If everything to this point indicates a good chance at
success, create the marketing materials and go. File your full patent
application before one year from the priority date established by
Step 7=96Watch Competitors. If you have any success at all you can
count on competitors. Be sure they don=92t infringe any patents you ge=
and keep developing improvements ahead of them. Good Luck!
Apparently you’ve already got a prototype but realize the same thing
can be accomplished many ways. Ouch, you cannot patent an idea, only
something that qualifies as an embodiment–i.e., is a bit more
specifically spelled out such that someone following your
instructions would get about the same result as you. For more on your
rights with various types of intellectual property see my
www.idearights.com web site and for more spelled out instructions on
the whole process see my www.willitsell.com web site. For some
cautions on avoiding scams etc. see my www.inventorhome.com web
Have any of you ever licensed or sold an idea to a
manufacturer? Would that be an easier way to go? Get the money
without the headache?!!!
When it works it’s great. Yet probably better than 90% of successful
inventors actually succeed by venturing–i.e., getting the product
into production and on the market themselves–rather than licensing.
To license usually requires that you really do have protectable
intellectual property AND that it be among the top 10% of all
invention ideas—and it’s entirely up to you to generally prove both
though there are rare exceptions where “it’s obvious” now that they
see your invention (warning, scammers will tell you this regardless
of what your invention is).
James E. White
Inventor, Marketer, and Author of “Will It Sell? How to Determine If
Your Invention Is Profitably Marketable (Before Wasting Money on a
Patent)” Info Sites: www.willitsell.com www.inventorhome.com,
www.idearights.com www.taletyano.com www.booksforinventors.com