We are often contacted by private inventors. Our last post on this topic received a great amount of interest, which inspired me to add the following check-list for people to think about if they want to realise one of their own inventions. If you haven’t given serious thought to the the whole process, then we would recommend you do so before spending your hard earned money…See you on Dragons Den!
IDEA – Have you got a great idea?
RESEARCH – Do you know whether anyone else thinks its a great idea? Are you infringing anyone else’s intellectual property? Who is going to buy your product? How many are you likely to sell? Who is going to sell it for you?
PROTECTION – Your idea is far more valuable if you can protect it and stop other people copying you too closely. Your options include patents, registered designs, design rights, copyright, and registered trademarks. Always get a confidentiality agreement in place before revealing your idea to a third party. The IPO website is a great source of information for UK inventors.
MONEY – Product development isn’t cheap. But it could lead to great things if your idea is unique and has commercial potential. Your research should not only answer the questions when it comes to how much money you could potentially make, but also how much it will cost to develop your new product and what funding options are available to you.
DESIGN – Do you have creative input from professional designers you trust? They will save you a lot of trouble during the development process, and the end product will be better and more commercially focused.
EXIT STRATEGY – Right at the start of your project you should have thought about how you would like it to end. License your idea to an existing manufacturer / brand? Sell you IP? Create your own brand? How are you going to profit from your idea and hard work?
This post would be the size of a book if we were to try to cover every aspect, pitfall, and process involved in developing a successful new product. Hopefully a few of the points will help inventors out there to make an objective judgement and some good decisions. Happy inventing!