Ideas and Inventions What To Do When You Are Inspired
It all starts with an idea. You think, "Wouldn't it be great if..." But now what?
The good news is that even if you are not the first to come up with your idea, you could very well be the first to do something about that idea. Maybe it's not even unique. An improvement to an existing product or process could just as well place you on the path traveled by other successful inventors.
There is a lot of specific information I can share with you at this stage, and I will. You need to move from exploring the possibilities, to actually making a profit from your idea. First though, there are a couple of very important things you are going to need. First, you need encouragement, and second, you must be warned that there are predators out there who want to take advantage of you. You face a long, challenging journey ahead. Don't listen to the naysayers, and don't quit no matter how much you are tempted to along the way. There are rewards ahead, and they are worth more than your challenges.
Perhaps a bit of explanation about why we are so willing to help you would be beneficial. As a marketing person, I have been approached many times over the years by inventors who need my services. My client, who I provide webmaster services for, is in manufacturing. They also work first hand with inventors. Before you approach either of us though, there are certain bases you should have covered. This information will help you accomplish things in the proper order.
The first thing you need to know is the need for secrecy. If you approach a patent attorney, the very first question you can expect is, "Who else knows about your idea?" There is a fine line between an idea that can be protected, and something that is thrown into the realm of "public domain" because you shared your idea with the wrong parties. One common mistake is checking with marketing agencies and/or manufacturers before seeking legal protection. Don't do that! When you approach us, you should be armed with a non-disclosure agreement.
If you haven't already guessed, the invention process will require significant funding. Actually, it will require lots of financial backing if you don't have your own resources. Don't let that obstacle discourage you, and don't succumb to the temptation to share your idea without qualified counsel. There are legitimate sources that want to help people with good ideas get through this challenge. Again, watch out for predators and scams!
Once you get through the preliminary process of making sure your idea can be patented, your other needs include things like design assistance to assure it can be produced, technical expertise, tooling, manufacturing, marketing, graphics, insurance, and more. Working with domestic suppliers is advisable too because your legal rights are often abused if you use offshore sources who are under no obligation to abide by our laws.
Properly handled, your idea has the potential to place you in the ranks of others who have successfully travelled this path before you. I hope our experience can steer you around the common mistakes that could kill your idea before it has the chance to provide the rewards you deserve.