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. You are not only protected from the financial cost and the cost of time in researching and developing it, but also allows you to reap the fullest benefits of that invention or that innovation. And, you are given a pre-determined period to establish your trade and keep others from entering the same pursuit though they are financially capable.
Patent is a very valuable tool yet it is not a guarantee 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. This is because most patented products do not even make it to market.
So before you decide to move forward in patenting your invention, it is crucial to first evaluate your idea if your 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. You should go beyond gut feeling and the encouraging comments from your friends and family. This has to come from a solid market research and a substantial attention to product development.
You have to make sure that your idea does not infringe on someone else’s patent. What you can do is conduct a preliminary patent search on government records. When you search these government records make sure you check the keywords for every possible concept of the invention. The other search after the pry-at or keywords search is the freedom to operate search where in look at the protection period of the patent. In this search you will be able to tell if someone has already gotten your idea.
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. Here your invention is tested and reworked so that an acceptable model will come out from it.
If you now have a perfect model, you can start to define you market and determine how much large the market is. A very small product might not be viable commercially.
The cost of manufacturing consequently must be determined. Determine whether the production cost is less than the price 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.
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