Throughout my time helping Invent Help Patent Invention develop a variety of different projects, this conundrum has often reared its head. You should say from the outset that there is no definitive answer, however i will try to convey the alternative perspectives, to allow inventors to make an informed choice for themselves. The opinions on this topic vary across professionals within the IP industry and also the answer will differ depending on the specific idea.
With that in mind, listed here are the premiere factors behind developing a prototype before patenting:
A patent application requires a certain degree of detail regarding how the idea functions. This is referred to as ‘sufficiency’ or even an ‘enabling disclosure’. It is usually much easier to describe, and draw, an invention once a prototype has been produced and tested.
Prototyping develops the thought and it could be that the new or better option would be achieved. Potentially these iterative developments could require altering the initial patent application or filing a whole new application. This might cost more or result in advantageous changes being left unprotected.
The grace period before substantial fees and important decisions must be made through the patenting process is quite short, considering the average time that it takes to launch a brand new product to the market. It could be argued that it is better to progress the idea whenever possible before filing the patent application, including finalising the style through prototyping. This could then enable the grace period to be used for manufacturing or licensing the product.
A prototype can 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 Patent Referral Services strategy. (Disclosing the concept can prevent a granted patent being achieved and legal services needs to be taken on how to test the market without forfeiting potential patenting opportunities. Confidentiality agreements are one way of protecting an idea before a patent application has become filed.)
A prototype may prove that the idea is not viable therefore saving the price and time involved with drafting and filing a patent application.
Conversely, here are the key good reasons to file a patent application before prototyping:
Prototypes often must be produced by companies and for that reason it could be smart to file for the patent first to safeguard the intellectual property.
In the event the inventor waits for your prototype to get produced before filing the patent application, another person may file an application for the same idea first. In lots of countries around the globe, including the UK, the patents systems are ‘first to file’ and not ‘first to invent’.
The patent application process features a thorough worldwide novelty and inventiveness search by the UK IPO that may reveal valuable prior art material, not just in terms of the direction the prototype should take, but additionally when it comes to potential infringement issues whereby the prototype can then be designed around existing patents.
A patent application as well as the resulting patent, just like all intellectual property, offers an asset which is belonging to the inventor or applicant company. If prepared effectively, the patent can be licensed or sold to produce money stream potentially without ever being forced to produce the prototype.
It might be better first of all a patent application if funds are restricted, as a patent application is generally less expensive than a prototype.
A ‘provisional’ patent application can be filed without requiring great detail, providing a follow up application will be filed within one year which describes the thought in depth. This may be following the evidence of concept supplied by the prototype.
There are several ways round these issues. Prototyping manufacturers can have to sign a confidentiality agreement ahead of the idea is disclosed. However bear in mind that a lot of companies will never sign confidentiality agreements, since their in-house departments could be concentrating on similar ideas. Pre-application patent searches could be carried out just before prototyping or patenting to discover be it sensible to proceed while not having to draft and file a software.
You will find a third perspective for consideration. Some skilled professionals would advise that it’s not a patent or prototype that should come first nevertheless the opinion of industry experts as to if the thought is viable and will sell. They could reason that the prototype and patent are important elements of the process but, on the start, it’s best to ascertain there is truly a market before making an investment in either a patent or prototype.
To conclude, the easiest method to proceed with any cool product idea is Patent A Product. In the event the novel functionality in the idea is unproven, then the prototype may be a sensible initial step. It is worth making certain a fbmsjf company is employed to produce the prototype and that a confidentiality agreement is signed prior to the concept being revealed. Alternatively, the inventor may choose to file a patent application first and accept that additional cost might be incurred to re-file or amend the application form as the project is developed.