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!
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.