So many inventors ask us all the time about what we think about their idea and what they should do next. Before you search for anything else online, especially for a company to discuss your idea with, do these three steps:
- Google your idea. This may sound elementary to some people, but for a lot of eager inventors this step gets forgotten in all the excitement. Don’t rely on your own memory and if you have ever seen your idea at a store or anywhere else before- actually look online for a place to buy it!
- Search for similar patents. Google has again made search a lot easier, this time for patents. Go to google.com/patents. Search for keywords you would use to describe your idea to someone. Don’t get discouraged when you find a similar idea! Make a list of patents you think might be similar to your idea to discuss with your patent attorney. If you can’t find any patents similar to your idea, try to find a component of your idea that might be used in another way i.e. looking for a back-up sensor camera for automobile, instead search for motion sensor camera.
- Talk to a patent attorney! I know a lot of people are scared to talk to lawyers because they’re expensive. But it’s a lot cheaper to find out your idea needs a total overhaul to get a patent now, instead of after you’ve sunk time or money into product development. The intellectual property law firm we work with offers our clients patent searches for very reasonable prices. The most important part of their patent search is their legal opinion on the patentability of your idea. They not only tell you if they think you should move forward with your idea, but they tell you what you can adjust on your idea to increase your chances of obtaining a patent for it. This feedback is worth it’s weight in gold.