Throughout my time helping Inventhelp Patent Invention develop a variety of different projects, this conundrum has often reared its head. It is important to say from the outset that there is 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 on this topic vary across professionals in the IP industry and also the answer will differ depending on the specific idea.
With that said, here are the main reasons for creating a prototype before patenting:
A patent application requires a certain degree of detail regarding how the idea functions. This is known as ‘sufficiency’ or an ‘enabling disclosure’. It is usually easier to describe, and draw, an invention when a prototype has been produced and tested.
Prototyping develops the thought and it might be that the new or better option is achieved. Potentially these iterative developments could require altering the first patent application or filing a whole new application. This could will cost more or result in advantageous changes being left unprotected.
The grace period before substantial fees and important decisions must be made throughout the patenting process is very short, thinking about the average time that it takes to launch a new product onto the market. It can be argued that it must be preferable to progress the idea as much as possible before filing the patent application, including finalising the design and style through prototyping. This could then enable the grace period for use for manufacturing or licensing the item.
A prototype may be used to test the market and some people consider that it is best to do that before starting your potentially expensive How To Invent A Product strategy. (Disclosing the concept can prevent a granted patent being achieved and legal counsel needs to be taken regarding how to test the marketplace without forfeiting potential patenting opportunities. Confidentiality agreements are just one way of protecting a concept before a patent application has become filed.)
A prototype may prove that the idea is not viable therefore saving the fee and time involved with drafting and filing a patent application.
Conversely, here are the key reasons to file a patent application before prototyping:
Prototypes often have to be created by companies and for that reason it may be a good idea to apply for the patent first to protect the intellectual property.
If the inventor waits for your prototype to get produced before filing the patent application, somebody else may file a software for the similar idea first. In lots of countries of the world, such as 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 from the UK IPO which could reveal valuable prior art material, not only in terms of the direction the prototype should take, but also in terms of potential infringement issues whereby the prototype may then be designed around existing patents.
A patent application as well as the resulting patent, like all intellectual property, gives an asset which 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 being forced to produce the prototype.
It could be better to begin with a patent application if funds are limited, as a patent application is generally less than a prototype.
A ‘provisional’ patent application could be filed without requiring great detail, providing a follow-up application will be filed within 12 months which describes the thought in more detail. This may be after the evidence of concept provided by the prototype.
There are some ways round these complaints. Prototyping manufacturers can be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement before the idea is disclosed. However be aware that a lot of companies will not sign confidentiality agreements, since their in-house departments may be focusing on similar ideas. Pre-application patent searches can be completed prior to prototyping or patenting to learn whether it be sensible to proceed without having to draft and file a software.
You will find a third perspective for consideration. Some industry experts would advise that it’s not a patent or prototype that should come first but the opinion of skilled professionals as to if the concept is viable and can sell. They would debate that the prototype and patent are important elements of the procedure but, at the start, it’s better to ascertain that there is actually a market before purchasing either a patent or prototype.
In summary, the simplest way to proceed with any cool product idea is Inventhelp News. In the event the novel functionality of the idea is unproven, then this prototype might be a sensible initial step. It is worth ensuring that a fbmsjf clients are utilized to make the prototype which 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 may be incurred to re-file or amend the applying because the project is developed.