Those who have an invention should want to protect it before it gets stolen by others. And while patenting is a valuable too, you need to ensure it is a smart investment. Before deciding to move forward with a patent, you need to assess your idea first as a dependable business opportunity. Focus on understanding your market, your product and your competitors. Your assessment has to be based on extensive market research and product development. If you haven’t decided whether or not to patent your product, here are some helpful pointers.
Do the Basics Before Applying for a Patent
- Conduct patent research. This research is to ensure your idea has not already been patent. You can carry out research yourself or hire an expert to help you with this.
- Make a basic prototype. This determines the functionality of your product. Creating a prototype makes sure that you have a close-to-final design when it is time to file a patent.
- Define the market. Knowing as much information as possible about your market is important. Know how big it is to be sure your product will be commercially viable.
- Know how much you will spend to manufacture the product. In case manufacturing tends to cost more than what the market will pay, you can’t depend on your invention for profit.
- Know if you really need a patent. Just as a lot of inventors choose to patent their ideas and keep them to themselves, many products in the market these days are not patented. Additionally, your lawyer is likely to recommend filing for a trademark or copyright instead.
Understand the Benefits of Patenting
While patenting your invention can seem like an overwhelming process, it comes with many benefits including the following.
- Justify your investment. Protecting your invention by patenting it ensures that you have the comfort of lead time over people who are likely to imitate your product. Also, you enjoy the peace of mind that the law protects your product.
- Use it during negotiations. This is when you decide to license your product to another company. With the patent, the company will be confident that they will not infringe on another patent should they license your idea.
Work with an Expert
Although anybody can write a patent, the person should be able to understand the format requirements as well as the implications of using a certain language and terms when presenting a invention. A patent agent or attorney is the best person to hire in this matter. With a patent agent, you would pay less than you would with an attorney. However, the latter has formal training and can defend or enforce a patent in court if necessary. Make sure you assess your choices individually and based upon your comfort level and budget. Click here for some good help.
Although the majority of patent lawyers will recommend that you file a patent, avoid making business decisions based on what one advisor says. You need to understand that although a patent is valuable, it does not guarantee the success of your business.