A lot of inventors do not act on their inventions because they think that patent services are too cost prohibitive. They lack knowledge in this area and are not aware of the different types of patent protection that are out there. There are some shorter term protections that are affordable and allow you protection on the CONCEPT of your idea, even before you have a working model! It’s best not to show your idea to anyone prior to seeing a patent attorney unless they sign a non-disclosure agreement. Its also not a great idea to mortgage your house to fund your project based on the opinions of your idea from your friends and family. They often do not want to hurt your feelings and will give you a glowing report, whether they like your idea or not. A simple market survey will go a long way here BEFORE you bet the farm! Do not show your proto-type on any public forum. Doing so can cause your invention to be non-patentable.
If you decide to produce, package and market your idea yourself, two common issues that cause first timers to fail on the store shelf is lack of effective package design and lack of an effective name that describes what the product does. The color of the packaging should be a bright color that first grabs the consumer’s attention. AVOID camo packaging that does its job too well of blending in so nobody sees it! Design packaging that is quick and to the point with only 3-5 selling points listed on the front, along with supporting pictures of the features.
If you decide that you don’t have the time or the money to produce and market your idea and would rather do a royalty or private label deal, it is best that you know how to properly approach potential partner companies instead of just calling them up and “winging it”. This is where most inventors make the most critical error and either get show down quick, get no response, or even get their idea stolen. You will need to know how to approach these companies, when to call, how to quickly and effectively present your idea, what to expect, what your other forms of income are besides the royalty itself (most companies will not offer info on this when you negotiate). You will need to know what percentages are proper for the industry and what should and shouldn’t be in the agreement so that nobody can LEGALLY steal your idea. Yes it can happen if you don’t know what to look for. Its never your knowledge that will hurt you, its your lack of it if you’ve never done these deals. Your car and garage sale negotiating skills will not work here. This is a different kind of animal! Just like hunting, its best to know the terrain before going in. To find out more, visit the invention consulting page.