Throughout my time helping Inventhelp Caveman Commercial 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, but I will make an effort 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 the answer will differ depending on the specific idea.
Having said that, listed here are the main reasons for developing a prototype before patenting:
A patent application requires a certain degree of detail regarding how the idea functions. This is called ‘sufficiency’ or an ‘enabling disclosure’. It is often simpler to describe, and draw, an invention once a prototype has been given and tested.
Prototyping develops the thought and it may be which a new or better option is achieved. Potentially these iterative developments could require altering the initial patent application or filing a brand new application. This may will cost more or bring about advantageous changes being left unprotected.
The grace period before substantial fees and important decisions have to be made during the patenting process is very short, thinking about the average time that it takes to launch a new product on the market. It may be argued that it is preferable to progress the thought whenever possible before filing the patent application, including finalising the style through prototyping. This would then enable the grace period to be utilized for manufacturing or licensing the product.
A prototype could be used to test the current market and some people take into account that it is recommended to accomplish this before starting a potentially expensive How To Get Help With An Invention strategy. (Disclosing the idea can prevent a granted patent being achieved and legal services needs to be taken on how to test the current market without forfeiting potential patenting opportunities. Confidentiality agreements are a way of protecting an understanding before a patent application has been filed.)
A prototype may prove that this idea will not be viable therefore saving the fee and time involved in drafting and filing a patent application.
Conversely, listed here are the primary top reasons to file a patent application before prototyping:
Prototypes often need to be made by companies and thus it may be a good idea to apply for the patent first to protect the intellectual property.
In the event the inventor waits for the prototype to be produced before filing the patent application, somebody else may file an application for the similar idea first. In many countries around the world, including the UK, the patents systems are ‘first to file’ rather than ‘first to invent’.
The patent application process incorporates a thorough worldwide novelty and inventiveness search by the UK IPO which could reveal valuable prior art material, not merely with regards to the direction the prototype should take, but additionally with regards to 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, gives an asset which can be owned by the inventor or applicant company. If prepared effectively, the patent may be licensed or sold to produce an income stream potentially without ever having to make the prototype.
It might be better to begin with a patent application if funds are restricted, being a patent application is normally less than a prototype.
A ‘provisional’ patent application can be filed without requiring great detail, providing a followup application will then be filed within twelve months which describes the thought in depth. This can be after the evidence of concept supplied by the prototype.
There are several ways round these problems. Prototyping manufacturers can be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement before the idea is disclosed. However bear in mind that many companies will never sign confidentiality agreements, since their in-house departments might be working on similar ideas. Pre-application patent searches can be completed prior to prototyping or patenting to discover whether it be sensible to proceed while not having to draft and file a software.
You will find a third perspective for consideration. Some industry experts would suggest that it’s not a patent or prototype that should come first however the opinion of industry experts as to if the thought is viable and will sell. They could debate that the prototype and patent are very important areas of the process but, at the very beginning, it’s advisable to ascertain that there is actually a market before purchasing either a patent or prototype.
In conclusion, the best way to proceed with any cool product idea is Invention Help Companies. When the novel functionality of the idea is unproven, then this prototype can be a sensible initial step. It really is worth making sure a fbmsjf company is employed to make 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 application as the project is developed.