It happens every day. A person comes up with an invention idea for a new product, a new process, or creates new material which offers commercial value. However, to turn an invention into a product is a process that can take time, but it is well worth the effort if what you have to offer shows real promise.
The first step in the process of turning an invention into a product is assessing the value of what you have invented. While it is easy for the inventor to believe that what they have created has practical value, it’s quite another to demonstrate that the public needs your invention to help improve their lives. All too often, inventors have come up with clever and interesting products that offer no practical value and thus make poor products since there is no demand.
However, for the inventor that has created something which offers practical value, the steps towards turning it into a product start with protecting your idea
Patent Your Invention
You will need to file for patent protection so that your idea is not used by another party without your permission and without benefiting you financially. The United States has created a patent office which has formal guidelines to patenting your invention which must be followed. When granted, it means that your invention can only be developed and sold with your permission.
- Record Steps in Creating the Invention
- Check to See if Invention Qualifies for Patent Protection
- Research Commercial Value of Invention
- Search Patent Records for Similar Inventions
- File Application with USPTO for Patent Protection
You will need to document the process of creating your invention as that will be part of the application process. Your invention must fall under one of the three recognized categories, design, plant, or utility to qualify for a patent. Next, you will need to assess the commercial potential for what you have invented so that it as a practical benefit to others.
Before you file an application, you will need to research the patent records to see if a similar invention has already been created. If so, then you cannot file for patent protection. However, if there are enough differences, then your invention may qualify. Once you have completed all the steps, you can file for patent protection.
Once you have the patent granted, the next step is to get the financial backing to turn your invention into a product. There are a couple of popular methods that you can use to turn your invention into something the public can use or benefit.
Create a Company: Many inventors have built their own businesses based on the invention that they have created. In this process, you find financial backers to provide the means necessary to manufacture your product and in return they get a percentage of the sales.
Sell the Invention: This is a more common approach as the inventor shops their invention to companies that may be interested in making it for themselves. Most inventors will sell the rights to their invention for an up-front price and a percentage of the sales. This method is more popular because the company that purchases the rights does all the work while the inventor reaps the benefits. You may also lease the rights to your invention for a set time which is another popular way to earn profits.
Either way, turning your invention into a product first requires protecting it with a proper patent. Once the protection is put into place, you are free to profit from what you have created without fear of it being taken.