Throughout my time helping What To Do With An Invention Idea develop a variety of different projects, this conundrum has often reared its head. It is important to say from the outset that there is absolutely no definitive answer, however i will aim to convey the alternative perspectives, to allow inventors to make an informed choice for themselves. The opinions on this topic vary across professionals within the IP industry as well as the answer will differ depending on the specific idea.
Having said that, below are the main reasons for developing a prototype before patenting:
A patent application needs a certain amount of detail regarding how the idea functions. This is known as ‘sufficiency’ or perhaps an ‘enabling disclosure’. It is usually much easier to describe, and draw, an invention after a prototype has been produced and tested.
Prototyping develops the thought and it might be which a new or better option is achieved. Potentially these iterative developments could require altering the original patent application or filing a brand new application. This could are more expensive or lead to advantageous changes being left unprotected.
The grace period before substantial fees and important decisions must be made through the patenting process is fairly short, thinking about the average time that it takes to launch a whole new product on the market. It can be argued that it must be better to progress the thought as much as possible before filing the patent application, including finalising the style through prototyping. This could then allow the grace period for use for manufacturing or licensing the product.
A prototype can be used to test the current market and a few people take into consideration that it is advisable to do this before embarking on a potentially expensive Inventhelp Patent Referral Services strategy. (Disclosing the thought can prevent a granted patent being achieved and legal advice ought to be taken on how to test the current market without forfeiting potential patenting opportunities. Confidentiality agreements are one way of protecting an idea before a patent application has become filed.)
A prototype may prove that the idea is not really viable therefore saving the fee and time involved in drafting and filing a patent application.
Conversely, listed here are the primary top reasons to file a patent application before prototyping:
Prototypes often must be made by companies and thus it could be wise to file for the patent first to safeguard the intellectual property.
If the inventor waits for your prototype to become produced before filing the patent application, another person may file an application for the similar idea first. In lots of countries around the world, including the UK, the patents systems are ‘first to file’ rather than ‘first to invent’.
The patent application process includes a thorough worldwide novelty and inventiveness search through the UK IPO which could reveal valuable prior art material, not merely regarding the direction the prototype should take, but in addition when it comes to potential infringement issues whereby the prototype can then be designed around existing patents.
A patent application and also the resulting patent, like all intellectual property, provides an asset that is properties of the inventor or applicant company. If prepared effectively, the patent can be licensed or sold to create earnings stream potentially without ever needing to produce the prototype.
It could be better to begin with a patent application if funds are restricted, as a patent application is usually cheaper than a prototype.
A ‘provisional’ patent application can be filed without requiring great detail, providing a follow-up application is then filed within twelve months which describes the idea in more detail. This can be following the evidence of concept supplied by the prototype.
There are a few ways round these complaints. Prototyping manufacturers can be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement prior to the idea is disclosed. However keep in mind many companies will never sign confidentiality agreements, since their in-house departments could be focusing on similar ideas. Pre-application patent searches may be carried out prior to prototyping or patenting to discover whether it is sensible to proceed without needing to draft and file an application.
There exists a third perspective for consideration. Some industry experts would suggest that it’s not really a patent or prototype which should come first but the opinion of skilled professionals as to if the thought is viable and will sell. They could debate that the prototype and patent are important areas of this process but, at the beginning, it’s best to ascertain there is actually a market before purchasing either a patent or prototype.
To conclude, the best way to proceed with any cool product idea is Product Ideas. If the novel functionality of the idea is unproven, then this prototype might be a sensible initial step. It really is worth making certain a fbmsjf company is employed to make the prototype and this a confidentiality agreement is signed before the concept being revealed. Alternatively, the inventor may choose to file a patent application first and accept that additional cost might be incurred to re-file or amend the application since the project is developed.