Invent, protect, and implement - from idea to income
You have a good idea and want to make a great fortune out of it? Your invention is almost ready and you don't want someone else to hijack it? You already have a patent in your pocket and are considering using it yourself or selling it? At bluepatent.com, we advise you on how you can develop your idea to the point where you can earn money.
Where does an invention begin and how does innovation happen? Creativity cannot be forced, but usually does not develop without a starting point and inspiration. Special techniques encourage the mind to be free for new ideas. Inventions are often created when people who are well versed in a field deal with topics and in doing so
- Solve problems with current concepts
- Combine two existing concepts
- Identify trends in good time
- Misjudge in history - prominent inventions and their doubters (link)
Inventors should not be discouraged by prophecies of doom from their contemporaries. History shows that even experts often prematurely judged and did not recognize the potential of new developments. Edison's light bulb was dismissed as a failure, oil was long regarded as useless, the car as a fad and flying as impossible. An invention is always a child of its time. Not every invention has to change the world immediately - sometimes small practical parts make life easier for many people.
Often, several inventors work almost simultaneously on finding a solution to the same problem. Before you invest time and money in something that someone else has already solved in a very similar way, you had better research which patents already exist in your field. Such a search for foreign property rights is always advisable:
- During the invention, to serve as inspiration
- Before filing the patent application in order to ensure novelty
- Before the market launch of a product (Freedom to Operate)
- For competition monitoring after the introduction of one´s own product
More about this topic:
Avoid Double Inventions by Early Patent Searches | more
If you are satisfied with your invention: Are you filing the patent application first or are you building a prototype first to bring it to practical use as quickly as possible? The patent application requires that the invention works, but you do not have to file a prototype. Your invention must meet these criteria in order to be recognized as a patent:
- Novelty (worldwide)
- Inventive step (must not be obvious from the state of the art)
- Technicality (only technical inventions can be patented, business ideas or software only in certain cases)
- Industrial applicability (usually no major hurdle)
Patent applications are subject to fees. Therefore, it makes sense to initially file only one application for Germany with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA). For twelve months you have the opportunity to file a subsequent application for your invention throughout Europe or worldwide on the German filing date.
If you want to market your invention in your own company, you may already have thought about the name of your future trademark. Renowned brands are recognized all over the world. This makes it all the more important to protect them from confusion and imitation as intellectual property and industrial property rights. The trademark can be composed of words, letters, numbers, colors or illustrations. You can protect a logo, the name and even an advertising slogan.
Tip: Have a trademark search carried out before you register your own trademark. This will prevent you from infringing other people's rights and paying double registration fees yourself.
Even in technology, it is not only the content that counts but also the appearance. The design of packaging and products is often an important factor. Within the EU there is automatically design protection for three years. If the design is so unique, original and inseparable from the product that you do not want it to be copied, it can be registered as a "design patent" and protected for up to 25 years. This can be country-specific or Europe-wide.
Tip: Don't just register a single design, but several or a complete product portfolio to make circumvention more difficult. In addition, you also have the trademark and the invention protected as a patent or utility model.
Every invention begins with an idea, - which is followed by the development of prototypes.
If the product of your invention is original and very useful and you want to market it, you must create a prototype for it without delay. Today's 3D printing technologies, so-called rapid prototyping, make it possible to produce individual pieces very quickly. There are different processes with different materials. Design errors can be detected and corrected on the prototype. The disadvantage is that the application of new technologies also costs money. However, a functioning prototype is very convincing when you are looking for an investor.
The prototype works, a business plan is in place, you already have the first comrades-in-arms? On the way to their own company, the lack of capital is the biggest hurdle for most people.
Depending on your financial needs, you can source funds from:
- "FFF" (Family, Friends and Fools)
- Banks (Start-up loans)
- Incubator Networks
- Crowd Investing
- Business angel
- VC/venture capital companies
Tip: First test your pitch on a person from whom you can expect honest feedback before standing in front of a potential investor for the first time.
It is better to be a team player. Often, it's not the qualification, but interpersonal problems that make a team fail to do what it could. Therefore, it makes sense to deal with effective team structures: How do you get the members to contribute to the common goal with their different abilities? An authoritarian style of leadership is just as much a hindrance as laissez-faire./p>
Now that your invention is patented, - what next? After investing time and money in your development, you understandably want it to pay off for you at some point. You have three possibilities to exploit your patent:
- Market your patent as a product in your own company. Sometimes this is not possible or not economical.
- Allow other companies to use your patent for a royalty.
- Sell the patent completely
Tip: Think about the exploitation already at the development stage and keep the benefit of the patent. This makes selling or licensing easier