If you have an invention or idea you want to protect, you may be wondering what the best first steps are. Eventually, you’ll want to hire a lawyer to help put your patent to action, but there are some things you can do before that. This article will help you prepare as you begin to protect your new invention.
Compare your idea to others
Is your idea different and unique? Or are there other similar products on the market? Do your research first before you do anything else. Check out your competitors and write down what makes your product unique.
Research existing patents
To protect your own intellectual property effectively, you need to understand the process and what’s been done before. Take your time to dig through prior patent sand gain as much information and insight as you can. You can even take one of the free tutorials the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) offers.
Build a prototype
If your invention is just getting started as an idea, try building a prototype. This way you’ll discover what works, what doesn’t, and even alternative variations to your invention. This way you have something to show your attorney when it comes time to hire someone to help you get your patent.
Create a manufacturing plan
Talk to manufacturers and engineers, visit a manufacturing plant, get as much information about the process as possible. But try not to discuss your invention too much, you don’t want to run the risk of becoming a coinventor. You may also be able to find helpful manufacturing videos on YouTube.
Research the marketability
Research potential licensees or retailers. This will help you find opportunities you need to readjust or that you may have missed. Make a plan on how you would market your product.