The road to inventive success is never smooth, and the history of invention is landmarked with failures. For every successful invention that is patented and finally ends up as a viable product that someone would actually buy or use, there are numerous failures. Inventors sometimes face financial disaster as a result of having spent their last penny on the services of a patent attorney, only to discover that no-one is interested in buying their ideas. Hopefully, the following tips will help you on your way to a successful invention.
Perhaps you have been in a situation where, in an apparently confident and knowledgeable way, someone would say to you: “I’m telling you, you can’t go wrong. It’s a brilliant idea and it’s just what the world has been waiting for.” Beware of those ideas that are conceived in the pub or around the barbeque or dinner table while having a good time with friends or family. In such a relaxed atmosphere the potential for dreaming up fantastic ideas is high, which is a good thing, but beware of being carried away by the heat of the moment. If you still think that you have a good idea the next day, and you are determined to follow it through, start making notes and sketches as soon as possible while your idea is fresh in your memory, and remember to add the date to your notes. Then, over the next few days, read through your notes and ask yourself, is it really a good idea; would people really buy this; do people in fact need it? Install a mindmapping program on your computer and start documenting your ideas in a loosely structured way, laying the foundation for further research.
At this stage, doubt may enter your mind. getting started with a new invention idea When this happens, take a break. Set a reminder on your mobile phone to review your idea two or three days later, then try to forget about it while doing other things. When you confront your idea again a day or two later, are you still as enthusiastic about it as before? If so, the time has come for some serious, hard work; if not, then it is probably better to shelve the idea. There is no point in continuing with something if your heart is not in it.
Should you make your idea public? This is a ‘catch-22’ technical point worth considering. On one hand, if you broadcast your idea, then someone may steal it before you have a chance to patent it; on the other hand, if you don’t publish information about your invention, then you run the risk of losing your opportunity to be the first to patent it. It is important to know which rule is followed in your country, “first-to-file” or “first-to-invent”, and what these rules entail.
Let’s assume that you have reached the point where you are ready to file a patent application. Before doing so, it is necessary to do a novelty search to determine whether your idea is really unique. In other words, does prior art already exist for your idea?. A seasoned inventor may prefer to do his or her own novelty search, but for the novice, this is the time to visit a patent attorney. Whichever way you do it, this is a crucial step. But there is another important step that you may want to consider before filing a patent application, and that is to evaluate and prove your concept. The advantage of doing this before you file the application, is that it could save you a lot of money. If you decide to go ahead and file your patent application without proving your concept, it is nevertheless a good idea to do so before you start looking for a manufacturer for your patented invention. getting started with a new invention idea
There is a way to evaluate your concept without overtaxing your resources, known as “modeling and simulation”. This entails developing a realistic computer model of your concept and running several simulations in order to test your idea. Some of the advantages of this approach are:
No need to construct an expensive physical prototype.
The ability to evaluate the concept under a wide range of ‘what if’ scenarios, much more rapidly and far cheaper than would be the case with real-life testing.
Simulations of your invention are likely to highlight shortcomings or positive aspects not previously considered.
The results of simulations facilitate the drafting of realistic specifications.