Considerations to Get a Patent
Patent protection gives you the right to stop others from copying, manufacturing, selling or importing a novelty without your permission. With this you are also protected from the financial cost and the cost of time that you have invested and developed it, and it allows you to reap the fullest benefits of what you have invented or innovated. It also allows you time to establish you trade and bars others from entering that same pursuit eve if they are financially capable.
Patent is a very valuable tool yet it is not a guarantee to success. So, before pouring out your money in securing a patent, you need to take some steps to make sure that this business move is a smart one. This is because most patented products do not even make it to market.
One thing to do before you decide to have your invention patented, is to determine is commercial value if it is viable or not. To help you do that, you have to understand your product, your target market and what other products are available that is serving the same market. This information goes far beyond your gut feeling and the encouraging comments that you receive from friends and family. This has to come from a solid market research and a substantial attention to product development.
You product has to be unique, something that is not anything similar to somebody else’s patent. To do that, you should conduct a “preliminary patent search” on government’s records. The primary goal of the search starts with a pry-at search also known as keyword search where you pry on every possible pivotal concepts of the invention. After doing the pry-at search you then proceed to the freedom to operate search which gives information on the protection period of the patient. Here you can make sure that your idea is free and has not been patented by anyone.
Hiring an expert to help you in the task is much better than doing it all by yourself.
Next is to develop a basic prototype or a model to determine your product’s functionality. It is here where your product is also tested and reworked as necessary until an acceptable model is finally achieved.
Now you can define your market and determine how large it is after making a perfect dummy. If it is too small, your product may not be commercially viable.
The cost of manufacturing consequently must be determined. Whether the cost to make is less than the market is willing to pay for it.
So when everything is considered there are no more roadblocks to commercial success, now it is time to consider if you need a patent for it or not.
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