Throughout my time helping Can You Patent An Idea develop a variety of different projects, this conundrum has often reared its head. It is important to say from the outset that there is absolutely no definitive answer, but I will aim to convey the alternative perspectives, to allow inventors to make an informed choice for themselves. The opinions about this topic vary across professionals in the IP industry and the answer will differ depending on the specific idea.
With that in mind, here are the main reasons for developing a prototype before patenting:
A patent application needs a certain amount of detail regarding just how the idea functions. This is referred to as ‘sufficiency’ or perhaps an ‘enabling disclosure’. It is often much easier to describe, and draw, an invention after a prototype has been given and tested.
Prototyping develops the thought and it may be that the new or better option is achieved. Potentially these iterative developments could require altering the first patent application or filing a new application. This could cost more or bring about advantageous changes being left unprotected.
The grace period before substantial fees and important decisions need to be made through the patenting process is quite short, taking into consideration the average time it takes to launch a new product to the market. It may be argued that it is safer to progress the concept as much as possible before filing the patent application, including finalising the style through prototyping. This would then allow the grace period for use for manufacturing or licensing the item.
A prototype may be used to test the current market plus some people take into consideration that it is recommended to accomplish this before starting your potentially expensive Inventhelp Success Stories strategy. (Disclosing the idea can prevent a granted patent being achieved and legal advice 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 continues to be filed.)
A prototype may prove that the idea is not viable therefore saving the price and time involved in drafting and filing a patent application.
Conversely, here are the main good reasons to file a patent application before prototyping:
Prototypes often have to be made by companies and therefore it can be a good idea to file for the patent first to guard the intellectual property.
If the inventor waits for the prototype to be produced before filing the patent application, someone else may file an application for the similar idea first. In numerous countries around the world, such as the UK, the patents systems are ‘first to file’ and not ‘first to invent’.
The patent application process includes a thorough worldwide novelty and inventiveness search from the UK IPO that may reveal valuable prior art material, not merely 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 and the resulting patent, just like all intellectual property, offers an asset that is properties of the inventor or applicant company. If prepared effectively, the patent can be licensed or sold to generate money stream potentially without ever needing to make the prototype.
It may be better first of all a patent application if funds are restricted, being a patent application is usually cheaper 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 idea in greater detail. This might be following the evidence of concept offered by the prototype.
There are a few ways round these issues. Prototyping manufacturers can have to sign a confidentiality agreement before the idea is disclosed. However be aware that many companies will never sign confidentiality agreements, since their in-house departments might be concentrating on similar ideas. Pre-application patent searches could be carried out just before prototyping or patenting to find out whether it be sensible to proceed while not having to draft and file a software.
There is a third perspective for consideration. Some skilled professionals would suggest that it’s not just a patent or prototype that should come first nevertheless the opinion of industry experts as to whether the idea is viable and will sell. They might debate that the prototype and patent are important areas of the process but, at the beginning, it’s best to ascertain that there is actually a market before investing in either a patent or prototype.
In conclusion, the simplest way to proceed with any cool product idea is Inventhelp Successful Inventions. When the novel functionality in the idea is unproven, then this prototype may be a sensible first step. It really is worth making sure a fbmsjf clients are utilized to make the prototype which a confidentiality agreement is signed before the concept being revealed. Alternatively, the inventor might want to file a patent application first and accept that additional cost might be incurred to re-file or amend the applying because the project is developed.