1. Sadly, the biggest things to fear are the many fraudulent invention companies that claim to offer help. The problem is so pervasive that there is an actual law that forbids companies from misleading clients in the way that they so often do. Although this law has helped to go after some of these scam companies, fraud in the invention business is still an epidemic.
2. Be aware when a company wants to sell you a virtual prototype. A virtual prototype is not the same as a physical prototype. A virtual prototype is merely a graphical representation of your idea. There is no real way of determining if the idea really works.
3. The reality is that it is extremely rare to earn money from an idea only or from a virtual prototype. It is nearly impossible to land a licensing contract (someone interested in buying your product) unless they first see a physical, working prototype that they can feel, touch and play around with.
4. You should do a patent search before starting to work on a prototype. Not only will you find out if your invention idea is already out there, but you will get valued information so that you may be able to modify the product enough and still have a valid and patentable new invention.
5. A really common mistake is to write a patent immediately after doing a patent search. You should wait to first have a working prototype before writing your patent.
6. Remember, your new product idea has to be head and shoulders better than anything else in its category. The marketplace is crowded with products, and for yours to stand out, it must have that special “X-Factor”.
7. It is best to get an independent opinion about the chances of success for your new product idea. But who to talk to? A patent attorney will only tell you if your idea is novel enough to get a patent. A design engineer will only tell you the best way to make your product. You should get a professional evaluation from a reputable company that knows marketing, manufacturing costs as well as the ease of entry into the marketplace. The evaluators would look at all the variables to see if there are any aspects of your idea that would make it hard to sell. This would give you an honest evaluation as to whether it makes sense to continue with your project.
8. Most companies that advertise to inventors make their money from directly from charging inventors and not from royalties or sales of product. Beware of companies that want money up front for licensing your idea, or for “presenting your idea to industry.” Those fancy web sites and marketing campaigns have been paid for by inventors like you who gave money in the hopes of having something good happen with their product. It is OK to pay for a professional evaluation, for product development (if you need some assistance in producing a working prototype), and for patent work, but other non-tangible services should be looked at carefully.
9. Try to check out the success rate of the company you are thinking of working with. Check out their Better Business Bureau score.new invention idea It should be an A or A+.
10. Although it is important to be cautious when talking about your idea, be careful that you are not too cautious and stop yourself from getting the necessary information and help. If, for instance you are speaking with a store merchant inquiring if they’ve seen something like your idea, be as vague as possible. If, instead, you are speaking with a patent attorney or an invention company, sign a simple non-disclosure agreement before sharing your idea and then move on with it. new invention ideaKeep in mind that it takes a large effort to develop and manufacture a product. Most people are too busy to steal your idea and spend the hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to develop it.
11. It is important to have some type of exclusive ownership of your product before beginning to negotiate a licensing agreement. The most secure way to protect your idea from being stolen is to file a design or utility patent. Your other best protection is keeping a dated, detailed and bound journal showing the progress of your idea. Sign each page and have another person date and sign each page as well.