Evaluate Your Invention
Ninety-five percent of patents do not end up being profitable. As result of these statistics, it is very important to research the market worthiness of your invention. You need to ask yourself questions such as:
1. Does your product fill a need or desire that people are willing to pay for?
2. Are there other products out there that are similar?
3. Who will be your competition? Who will be your customers?
4. Do you want to start your own business and handle the manufacturing of your product? This is not an easy option, but you have a chance of success.
5. Or, do you want to sell or license the rights to your invention? Often times this licensing rights are not lucrative.
Join an Inventors Group
You may want to join an Inventors Group such as the Inventors' Association of Metropolitan Detroit (see above) to receive support from more experienced inventors.
These groups meet in person as an organization or may be online.
This type of group also offers educational programming, networking, may recommend manufacturers and attorneys, and may even help to evaluate your invention.
Research at a Local Business Library Collection
1. Catalogs, Directories and Websites can provide data on existing products and their profitability.
2. Demographic information can help you find potential customers.
3. Identify the stages of product development.
4. Find manufacturers.
5. Develop a business plan.
6. Locate sources of funding.
Other sources of Community Assistance
Seek out business counseling at an organization such as SCORE.
Network with other established businessman.
Make use of a business incubator such as Techtown.
And most important, never reveal your idea to anyone without having them sign a nondisclosure agreement!
A final note of wisdom from experienced inventors- If you don’t have money to sue a patent infringer, your patent is worthless.
1. Once you receive a patent on your product, you may renew the patent once.
False: You may not renew a patent.
2. A Plant Patent deals with manufacturing facility designs.
False: Plant Patents deal with asexually reproduced plants (hybrids, etc.) and are in effect for 20 years.
3. If you have not registered a copyright for your written work, you have no rights to protect it.
False: Your work is considered to be under copyright as soon as the work is finished, regardless of whether you register a copyright. A copyright registration is considered proof of authorship in court.