A prototype and an ability
to effectively describe an
invention on paper,
are in many instances
the two most effective
FAQ Marketing Your Invention
...the benefit of producing prototypes
How long should I wait to get my invention on the market?
In simple terms, get your product on the market as soon as possible. In fact, as your invention is progressing through the prosecution, that is the Patent Office application approval process, you should be planning and preparing the availability of your patent for license or sale. There are many websites and publications, such as The Wall Street Journal or Patent Official Gazette, that could be very helpful in this endeavor.
Should I make a prototype of my invention?
Yes. The best case scenario would be to get the product on the market, however, this approach requires a substantial capital that very few inventors possess. If the funds are short but your motivation is high, create a prototype and start contacting various manufactures and investors. If a chance to pitch you invention presents itself, your prototype will certainly improve your chances of closing a deal.
What are the main invention marketing pitfalls?
There is always a danger that after seeing your prototype someone will try to copy your invention, and by applying small changes, attempt to patent around it. Bottom line, don't worry about it, move forward. However, be wary of patent marketing companies, patent certificate companies, patent protection companies, patent publishing companies and many other forms of patent "protection" companies. In fact, most of those companies are not operated by USPTO certified attorneys or agents, they scam inventors or provide services of marginal value, if any at all.
Would a right to practice opinion help in marketing my invention?
Yes. Although, it is important to be informed that clearance opinions, or right to practice opinions, are not required and will add to an overall cost associated with marketing your invention. Be that as it may, a right to practice opinion will let you know if your product or process might infringe on any existing patent. In my opinion, it would be better to spend a little more in the initial stage of the marketing process, as opposed to later having to lose it all when you find that your invention actually infringes on another patent.
In what different ways can I profit from my invention?
The most expensive path, and perhaps the most difficult, is to simply begin your own manufacturing and distribution process. The other option is to find an intermediary, which is an organization that specializes in marketing and developing of inventions. This will remove many burdens that will be pushing upon you, including worrying about the money and learning trades of no interest to you. This intermediary may help you with the licensing of your patent, or if you have the capabilities, resolve your manufacturing problems allowing you to focus on distribution of your invention. Of course, you must be wary of dishonest invention developers, therefore, avoid companies that ask for up-front monetary contributions and research your local options as much as possible.
What is the recommended method for contacting manufacturers?
One way of presenting your invention to manufacturers is by using correspondence. However, I would recommend using correspondence only as a means of arranging a personal visit. As a matter of fact, write a well structured letter to the president of the manufacturing company, briefly explaining your invention and asking for a brief personal meeting to present your idea. A personal visit, supported by your prototype and your creative personality, is by far the most effective way of presenting your invention. Involvement of an attorney could be very helpful at this junction, however, you may be able to handle this on your own. Whatever approach you take, be vigilant, patient and persistent in your quest.