So you’ve invented the next big thing (or at least something that may solve a problem for a select group of people)? Now what?
Well, sorry to say, but there’s quite a bit you need to tackle. To give you just a taste, there’s patenting, licensing, marketing, and manufacturing. So goodness, where do you start?
First of all, you need to figure out if you are going to be able to make a profit from your invention. Patenting and marketing your invention are not inexpensive, easy tasks. They are very costly and take time!
Chances are you’d like to make some money out of all this, so you first need to do a little research. Find out if you can make enough money from your invention for it to be a worthwhile endeavor.
So first things first, do a little digging around on the marketability of your invention.
The reality is, a patent in and of itself is worthless. It is a piece of paper. Sure, your friends and family might be impressed with your patent, but there is no additional value to it. Only when the invention has the potential to make money is the patent worth anything. But how can you tell if an invention has money making potential?
For starters, if people find it beneficial and are willing to buy it, you stand to make some money. The beauty of a patent is that it guarantees you with a virtual monopoly on your invention. Therefore, if you gain a patent, you are legally allowed to exclude anyone else from making or selling your invention. Imagine the potential a marketable invention holds!
So, that’s the key. Before you really get started with the patent process, you need to make sure your invention will really generate some money for you. But again, how can you ever know this?
Unfortunately, you can’t ever know it for sure; there is always some risk involved in inventing, marketing and patenting. But fortunately, you can do a little research to help determine your invention’s potential appeal in the marketplace. This research will allow you to judge whether or not you should continue along with your invention by refining it, reducing it to practice, and then patenting it, or if you should just drop it now and move forward in a different direction.
You may start by looking at existing inventions that are similar. Surely you’re invention isn’t so novel and unique that nothing else precedes it? Be realistic. Research of this type can include going to stores where similar products are sold or to industry shows, and looking through trade journals and catalogs. Make a list of all the similar products and record all the information you can find about them including price, manufacturer, features, where it sells, how it is marketed, and even how well it works.
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