Throughout my time helping What To Do With An Invention Idea develop a multitude of different projects, this conundrum has often reared its head. You should say from the outset that there is absolutely no definitive answer, however i will make an effort to convey the alternative perspectives, to allow inventors to make an informed choice for themselves. The opinions about this topic vary across professionals within the IP industry and the answer will differ depending on the specific idea.
With that said, below are the main reasons for creating a prototype before patenting:
A patent application demands a certain degree of detail regarding the way the idea functions. This is known as ‘sufficiency’ or an ‘enabling disclosure’. It is often simpler to describe, and draw, an invention after a prototype has been given and tested.
Prototyping develops the thought and it could be that the new or better option is achieved. Potentially these iterative developments could require altering the original patent application or filing a whole new application. This may cost more or lead to advantageous changes being left unprotected.
The grace period before substantial fees and important decisions have to be made throughout the patenting process is quite short, considering the average time it takes to produce a whole new product on the market. It could be argued that it is safer to progress the concept as far as possible before filing the patent application, including finalising the design and style through prototyping. This might then enable the grace period to be used for manufacturing or licensing the product.
A prototype can be used to test the marketplace and some people take into account that it is advisable to do that before embarking on a potentially expensive Inventhelp Locations strategy. (Disclosing the thought can prevent a granted patent being achieved and legal services should be taken concerning how to test the market without forfeiting potential patenting opportunities. Confidentiality agreements are a way of protecting an idea before a patent application continues to be filed.)
A prototype may prove that this idea is not viable therefore saving the fee and time associated with drafting and filing a patent application.
Conversely, listed here are the primary reasons to file a patent application before prototyping:
Prototypes often need to be created by companies and for that reason it could be a good idea to apply for the patent first to guard the intellectual property.
When the inventor waits for that prototype to get produced before filing the patent application, someone else may file a software for the similar idea first. In lots of countries around the world, like the UK, the patents systems are ‘first to file’ and not ‘first to invent’.
The patent application process incorporates a thorough worldwide novelty and inventiveness search by the UK IPO that could reveal valuable prior art material, not merely with regards to the direction the prototype should take, but also when it comes to potential infringement issues whereby the prototype can then be designed around existing patents.
A patent application as well as the resulting patent, like several intellectual property, provides an asset which is owned by the inventor or applicant company. If prepared effectively, the patent can be licensed or sold to create earnings stream potentially without ever having to make the prototype.
It may be better to start with a patent application if funds are limited, being a patent application is usually cheaper than a prototype.
A ‘provisional’ patent application could be filed without requiring great detail, providing a followup application will be filed within one year which describes the concept in depth. This may be following the evidence of concept supplied by the prototype.
There are some ways round these problems. Prototyping manufacturers can have to sign a confidentiality agreement ahead of the idea is disclosed. However keep in mind most companies will not sign confidentiality agreements, since their in-house departments could be working on similar ideas. Pre-application patent searches can be completed just before prototyping or patenting to find out whether it is sensible to proceed without needing to draft and file a software.
There exists a third perspective for consideration. Some skilled professionals would suggest that it’s not a patent or prototype that will come first nevertheless the opinion of skilled professionals as to if the thought is viable and can sell. They could argue that the prototype and patent are very important elements of the procedure but, on the very beginning, it’s best to ascertain there is actually a market before making an investment in either a patent or prototype.
To conclude, the easiest method to proceed with any new product idea is Inventhelp Patent Invention. In the event the novel functionality from the idea is unproven, then this prototype might be a sensible starting point. It is worth making sure a fbmsjf company is employed to produce the prototype which a confidentiality agreement is signed ahead of the concept being revealed. Alternatively, the inventor might want to file a patent application first and accept that additional cost might be incurred to re-file or amend the application form because the project is developed.