Archive for November, 2008

Patent Prototyping & Drawings- Checklist Week 2

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Realizing your Invention

Last week’s focus was on the protection of your intellectual property. This week, creating your prototype and drawings should be on the forefront of your mind. As you move along the checklist, each step is crucial, so keep updated with the newsletter!

THE CHECKLIST
PROTECTING MY IP
CREATE A PROTOTYPE & DRAWINGS
DO RESEARCH
CREATE PRESENTATION MATERIAL
GET MANUFACTURING QUOTES
CREATE COMPANY CONTACTS
SEE MY PRODUCT ON STORE SHELVES
RECEIVE ROYALTY CHECK!

Now, you are ready to create proof of your idea. Proof that it CAN be made, HOW it will be made, and when it is made, IF it will work. Looking forward, these are the questions people in the industry want answers to.

Start with the drawings, if you do not already have them. These directions are based on USPTO guidelines for drawings when filing for a patent. It is better to make your drawings to meet the guidelines now, as opposed to being forced to re-do them later.

High quality, thick paper is best for your final drawing, but you may want to practice on cheaper material. The drawings should be done in black and blue ink on paper that is 21.6 cm wide and 27.9 cm long. Refrain from writing in the margins. Reproduction will be easier if the lines are dense, dark and well-defined.

Use consistent proportions throughout your drawing so that it will be clearly understood. Number every drawing or figure and every element that you have a description for. The numbering should be done consecutively. Numbers should only be given to elements of the drawing that you refer to in your description. There should not be text on the drawing unless it is necessary for the understanding of the invention.

If you are sending your drawings anywhere other than to the USPTO, date and sign your drawings so that no changes can be made without your approval.

It is important to remember that these drawings will need to be reproduced, so take good care of them. The paper should be flawless with no creases or folds.

After you have the detailed drawings and descriptions of how your invention will be designed, you can start on the road to your prototype. This is only an early stage model. It’s simply something to look at when describing how it will function. The prototyping phase is important because until you can actually play with and use your invention, you cannot be 100% positive that it will work.

A real, working, tangible version of your invention is a step that will feel like a leap in this process. A working prototype says that you are an inventor with serious intentions.

Start with a handmade prototype. Use the things that you can find around the house, inexpensive things that you don’t have to worry about making a mistake with. This will give you something to use for explanations and demonstrations, until you are able to upgrade.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that the main purpose of your prototype is to solve the problem it was created to solve. At this point, it just needs to work.

Drawings and prototypes are helpful tools when pitching your invention, so create them wisely.

Now you are just one step further to gaining credibility for your invention, and ultimately selling your idea!

This week: Create a tangible working prototype and explanatory drawings… CHECK!

Next week: Research and More Research!

About the author of this article:

Lindsey Yeauger is the Director of Communications for Idea Buyer LLC, a new product development company that owns and operates IdeaBuyer.com- The Online Marketplace for Intellectual Property. The site gives inventors the opportunity to showcase their intellectual property to consumer product companies, entrepreneurs, retailers, and manufacturers. You can email her at Lindsey@IdeaBuyer.com.

Intellectual Property Protection- Checklist Week 1

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Store Shelves…CHECK! Royalties…CHECK!

Over the next couple weeks our newsletter is going to be based on a checklist for getting your patent to market. Each step is crucial, so keep updated with the newsletter!

THE CHECKLIST
IP PROTECTION
PROTOTYPE AND DRAWINGS
DO RESEARCH
CREATE PRESENTATION MATERIAL
GET MANUFACTURING QUOTES
CREATE COMPANY CONTACTS
SEE MY PRODUCT ON STORE SHELVES

RECEIVE ROYALTY CHECK!

Protecting your intellectual property is the first and most important step in the inventing process. Use the USPTO’s recommendations to ensure that you are as protected as you think you are. There are ways to market and sell your intellectual property without formal filing, but the only way to GUARANTEE that you are protected is to make sure that you are patented.

I highly recommend starting with a provisional patent. They are inexpensive compared to a full patent, and they protect you for a year while you are doing market research. The results of your research will let you know if you want to continue to move forward and spend the money for a full patent.

protecting my idea

While you are awaiting your provisional patent, you will be in a patent pending status. This is good, but there is always a chance that you could be denied for one reason or another. In order to make sure that you are covered, use partial disclosure when you describe your idea to anyone that has not signed a non-disclosure agreement.

If you are wondering how to explain your idea without giving it away, use this to help you:

“Selling intellectual property is like selling a cake. Show the buyer how good it looks. Show the buyer how good it smells. Let the buyer taste how good it tastes. You can show them why it will work and why it will sell, but you don’t have to give them the recipe.”

Anyone who knows about your non-patented intellectual property should be signing a non-disclosure agreement. Now when I say anyone, I mean anyone. Friends can easily become foes, people get divorced, and some people just have big mouths. If they know that they are legally bound to keeping your idea a secret, they will be more likely to actually do it. Keep several non-disclosure agreements on hand and this will be easier to accomplish.

This week: Protect your idea and CHECK it off the list!

Next week: Creating a prototype and drawings!

About the author of this article:

Lindsey Yeauger is the Director of Communications for Idea Buyer LLC, a new product development company that owns and operates IdeaBuyer.com- The Online Marketplace for Intellectual Property. The site gives inventors the opportunity to showcase their intellectual property to consumer product companies, entrepreneurs, retailers, and manufacturers. You can email her at Lindsey@IdeaBuyer.com.

Selling an Idea

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Selling an Idea

How do I protect my intellectual property and still move it along in the sale process if it is not yet patented?
Sound familiar? Lately, that question has been asked most frequently by our members to our IdeaBuyer staff.

Well, let me first say that you need to get your intellectual property protected before it slips or is ripped from your fingers. Patents are the best way to do this. However, something important to understand is that patents protect inventions and not ideas. Without something tangible produced from your patent is not worth much. The USPTO only can legally protect those who do something with their idea. So, before filing for a patent or provisional patent, create a prototype or model.

If you do not yet have a tangible example of your idea, with or without a patent, use caution when
talking to others. Your idea should be on a strictly “NEED TO KNOW” basis. If they don’t need to know, don’t tell them. You only set off the chain reaction for them to go tell others and for one of those others to capitalize on your idea.

For those whom you decide “NEED TO KNOW”, have them sign a non-disclosure agreement. The
contract will ensure that both parties involved understand that the conversation(s) you have about your IP will remain secretive. And if for some reason the person violates that contract, you have the
documentation necessary to file a law suit.

Still, the best way to protect your IP is to create a working prototype as proof of your concept as soon as possible. Only a patent will protect you, and only if you have visual embodiment of your idea.

So let’s talk patents. You will need to patent your invention idea prior to selling it. While there are many patent attorneys available, you will want to be sure to work with one that has experience in your invention idea’s industry. Idea Buyer offers a number of it’s patent attorney’s at a discount to it’s members. For a free consultation to get your IP patented, call 832-683-1527.

I would like to share a way of thinking about IP sales:
“Selling intellectual property is like selling a cake. Show the buyer how good it looks. Show the buyer how good it smells. Let the buyer taste how good it tastes. You can show them why it will work and why it will sell, but you don’t have to give them the recipe.”

About the author of this article:
Lindsey Yeauger is the Director of Communications for Idea Buyer LLC, a new product development company that owns and operates IdeaBuyer.com- The Online Marketplace for Intellectual Property. The site gives inventors the opportunity to showcase their intellectual property to consumer product companies, entrepreneurs, retailers, and manufacturers. You can email her at Lindsey@IdeaBuyer.com.