Inventing a new product can be incredibly fulfilling, but that’s not to say there aren’t pitfalls that can derail your progress. For experienced and prospective inventors alike, there are mistakes that must be avoided in order to see your idea to fruition. With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of five common mistakes for all inventors to avoid. At Glober Designs, we specialize in every aspect of bringing an invention to life. If you need help with patent services, product design, prototyping, manufacturing, or anything in between, we can help!
-Using the Invention Publicly Too Early
We know how exciting it is when you are holding your invention in your hands. You’re just dying to try it out and show what you’ve created. However, before you rush into a local town hall meeting to show off your product, it’s important to understand how patents work. Current USPTO patent law states that there is a 12-month window from the first public display of your invention for a patent to be filed. If you ignore this window, you forfeit the patent rights to your product. The USPTO follows a “first inventor to file” principle, which means that even if you can prove you invented something before another person, if they filed first, they get the rights.
While being an inventor is incredibly fulfilling, it’s important to understand that there’s a lot of hard work that comes with it. Fame and fortune is not going to be something that happens the instant your product goes to market. There’s no such thing as a get-rich-quick scheme that works out. This is especially something you want to keep in mind if you plan on licensing your product. If you walk into a licensing deal with impractical expectations, you’re likely to get sent back out without a deal. The quickest way to sink a good licensing deal is by being greedy and impatient. Set realistic goals for what the market value will be for your invention to manage your expectations.
So you’ve got a brilliant idea, right? Well, how do you know it’s a brilliant idea? That’s what makes research so important to the inventing process. The number one thing you need to know is what the public demand is for your product. Gather evidence regarding this demand to bolster your development. This will also help you understand the realistic marketability of your invention. You should be going through market research throughout the development of your product. Things might change that force you to alter your invention to make it more desirable. Ignoring this research could cause huge issues down the line, whether they’re financial or production related.
-Incorrect or Incomplete Applications
The patent process is not one that moves quickly. With many applications coming in on a daily basis, you need to maximize your application’s time in the patent office. If you put down incorrect information, or if your application does not have all of the required information, you’re delaying your ability to get the patent. Give yourself enough time to complete the application correctly and with as much information as you can provide to ensure you only have to submit this application once.
-Skipping a Patent Search
This should be a part of your normal research as detailed previously, but it is so important that it deserves its own section. If you don’t perform a patent search, you won’t know if someone has already developed your invention, if a patent already exists, or if you have the rights to pursue production and development. To ensure you have covered your bases, hire an attorney to perform an official patent search. Not only will this help you understand if a patent already exists, it will also help you avoid having to pay thousands in legal fees down the line if someone does hold the patent.
There can be a lot of pitfalls that derail a hopeful inventor from bringing their invention to life. Avoid these common mistakes and you’ll be one step closer to seeing your product on shelves. If you need help with your invention, Glober Design can help you. Whether you want to see what your product will look like with prototyping and CAD design or you need assistance with marketing a finished product, we can help with every step of the process and beyond. Call us today to learn more about how we can take your idea from a dream to a reality.