Many of us have had a moment in life when we were the owners of a million dollar idea. But more than likely, after the initial enthusiasm, we calm down and settle back into our normal lives. The most likely reason for not following through on these ideas is we simply do not know the steps to take.
Whether you plan to produce the million dollar idea yourself or allow another company the right to mass produce your brainchild, the following steps are necessary to bring your idea to fruition.
It is not enough to only tell your friends and family about the great idea you have for a product. You should commit to paper every thought you have regarding the idea. This step in the process will go a long way to assure your product idea is not stolen from you.
You have probably heard the term 'poor man's copyright' before. This copyright is attained by sealing a written version of your idea within an envelope and mailing the envelope to yourself. This action provides a documented account of when your idea was established.
The fact that you have never seen a product or invention similar to your own does not mean it does not exist. You can perform an online search of your own before hiring a patent attorney.
Your research should also investigate whether a market truly exists for the idea you possess. This step should be taken before time and money are invested in the idea. You should be sure to know who the target market is for your product and ask yourself honestly if that market would be willing to purchase the product.
Produce A Prototype
It is now time to make a model of your new product idea that will act as a physical representation of the plans you have produced. The prototype will give you something tangible to display when you seek the support of licensees or investors.
Developing your prototype will also provide you with the opportunity that may be necessary to work out kinks or flaws in your product idea. Once you obtain the official patent for your new product, you may not be able to include modification to the product in the patent. This development could result in you losing the right to the improved version of the product.
Apply For A Patent
Once the kinks are worked from your product idea, you will need to apply for a patent. The patent options are a design patent or a utility patent. You can fill out the paperwork to obtain a patent or trademark on your own but should employ the services of a patent or trademark attorney before submitting the application.
It is important to remember that a truly valuable idea will almost guarantee infringement by an outside party. For this reason, it is extremely important a proper patent or trademark is obtained.
Market The Product
Now the business side of bringing your product to customers comes into play. You need to answer important questions like where will the money come from to produce the product. Where will the product be manufactured? How and where will the product be sold?
This is also the point in the process where you will need to make a final decision on whether to manufacture the product yourself or license your new product to another company. You will receive much less money per unit when going through another company but will not have any manufacturing or overhead costs.
Most people feel they have at least once conjured a great idea for a new product that could permanently change their lives for the better. The majority of would-be inventors eventually forget about their ideas because they do not understand the necessary steps to make their dream a reality. The five steps listed above are all that is needed to bring the great idea in your head to fruition.