Requirements for Getting a Patent
Patent protection gives you the right to stop others from copying, manufacturing, selling or importing a novelty without your permission. With this you are also protected from the financial cost and the cost of time that you have invested and developed it, and it allows you to reap the fullest benefits of what you have invented or innovated. You are then given a pre-determined period to allow you to have enough time to establish your trade and keep others who are financially capable from entering that pursuit.
The simple fact is, a patent is a very valuable tool – but it is hardly your number one docket to success. So before you invest thousands of dollars in securing a patent, there are steps you should take to ensure that it is a smart business move. For after all, rarely do patent products ever make it to market.
So before decide to have you invention patented, make sure to evaluate your idea first and see if this invention has a viable commercial value. To help you do that, you have to understand your product, your target market and what other products are available that is serving the same market. This information goes far beyond your gut feeling and the encouraging comments that you receive from friends and family. This has to come from a solid market research and a substantial attention to product development.
Make sure that you idea does not infringe on somebody else’s patent. To do that, you should conduct a “preliminary patent search” on government’s records. The primary goal of the search starts with a pry-at search also known as keyword search where you pry on every possible pivotal concepts of the invention. After doing the pry-at search you then proceed to the freedom to operate search which gives information on the protection period of the patient. This step will help ensure that your idea has not already been patented.
You can also hire an expert to help you in this task.
You need to also determine your product’s functionality by developing a basic prototype or model. It is here where your product is also tested and reworked as necessary until an acceptable model is finally achieved.
If you now have a perfect model, you can start to define you market and determine how much large the market is. If you product is too small, its commercial viability might not be good.
Next comes determining the cost of manufacturing the product. The production cost should definitely be less than what the market is willing to pay for it.
So when everything is considered there are no more roadblocks to commercial success, now it is time to consider if you need a patent for it or not.