Throughout my time helping Invent Help Invention Ideas develop numerous different projects, this conundrum has often reared its head. You should say from the outset that there is absolutely no definitive answer, however i will make an effort to convey the alternative perspectives, to allow inventors to make an informed choice for themselves. The opinions about this topic vary across professionals within the IP industry and also the answer will differ depending on the specific idea.
With that said, below are the premiere factors behind developing a prototype before patenting:
A patent application needs a certain degree of detail regarding just how the idea functions. This is called ‘sufficiency’ or even an ‘enabling disclosure’. It is usually easier to describe, and draw, an invention after a prototype has been given and tested.
Prototyping develops the concept and it could be which a new or better solution is achieved. Potentially these iterative developments could require altering the original patent application or filing a whole new application. This might are more expensive or result in advantageous changes being left unprotected.
The grace period before substantial fees and important decisions must be made during the patenting process is quite short, taking into consideration the average time that it takes to produce a new product to the market. It may be argued that it must be safer to progress the concept whenever possible before filing the patent application, including finalising the style through prototyping. This might then enable the grace period to be utilized for manufacturing or licensing the merchandise.
A prototype could be used to test the marketplace and a few people take into account that it is recommended to accomplish this before starting your potentially expensive Invention Companies strategy. (Disclosing the thought can prevent a granted patent being achieved and legal services ought to be taken regarding how to test the market without forfeiting potential patenting opportunities. Confidentiality agreements are just one way of protecting an idea before a patent application has been filed.)
A prototype may prove that this idea is not really viable therefore saving the fee and time associated with drafting and filing a patent application.
Conversely, below are the primary reasons to file a patent application before prototyping:
Prototypes often have to be created by companies and thus it could be smart to apply for the patent first to safeguard the intellectual property.
If the inventor waits for your prototype to become produced before filing the patent application, somebody else may file an application for the same idea first. In lots of countries around the world, like the UK, the patents systems are ‘first to file’ rather than ‘first to invent’.
The patent application process features a thorough worldwide novelty and inventiveness search from the UK IPO which could reveal valuable prior art material, not just in terms of the direction the prototype should take, but also with regards to potential infringement issues whereby the prototype can then be designed around existing patents.
A patent application and the resulting patent, just like all intellectual property, gives 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 make the prototype.
It might be better to begin with a patent application if funds are limited, being a patent application is usually less expensive than a prototype.
A ‘provisional’ patent application may be filed without requiring great detail, providing a followup application will be filed within twelve months which describes the concept in depth. This can be following the proof of concept offered by the prototype.
There are several ways round these issues. Prototyping manufacturers can have to sign a confidentiality agreement prior to the idea is disclosed. However bear in mind that most companies will not sign confidentiality agreements, since their in-house departments might be working on similar ideas. Pre-application patent searches could be carried out just before prototyping or patenting to discover be it sensible to proceed without needing to draft and file a software.
There exists a third perspective for consideration. Some skilled professionals would suggest that it’s not a patent or prototype which should come first but the opinion of industry experts as to whether the concept is viable and definately will sell. They could argue that the prototype and patent are important parts of this process but, on the beginning, it’s better to ascertain that 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 Inventhelp Wiki. If the novel functionality in the idea is unproven, then the prototype might be a sensible starting point. It is worth ensuring that a fbmsjf company is employed to produce the prototype which 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 could be incurred to re-file or amend the applying since the project is developed.