Good ideas run commerce worldwide. Without a constant stream of new ideas business will stall and we will be left with a stale consumer marketplace and lack of industry advance. Think about it; no Facebook, no Google, on intelligent refrigerators and microwave ovens, etc. Good-Grief.
A good idea gets copied by others, that goes without saying. But, a patent or even just a patent pending can slow down and even stop copycats.
Here are some of the ways inventors have made money with their protected inventions:
At this point you are saying, “Well good for them, but each story is one-in-a-million, I might just as well by a lottery ticket.”
Not so fast my friend, after 27 years in the invention business and walking international invention shows in the US, Geneva, Frankfurt, Moscow, South Korea, etc., I can tell you from first-hand knowledge that there are millions of inventors who have made a little money, and a lot of money through inventing.
Here is how it’s done:
- Think of a new idea, or an improvement on an existing product or service.
- Search the internet using descriptor words or phrases.
- Search the patent literature using descriptor words or phrases. (this is a different kind of search)
- Prepare and file your own DIY provisional patent application (PTO fee is: $65 or $130) or get professional help (these rights expire in one year after filing). Once you have a patent application filing date, you own exclusive rights to patentability. These rights are valuable and can be sold or licensed. Then you can stop worrying about non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements. Publicize your idea on the web, and do everything in your power to promote your (now protected patent rights) idea such as…
- Approach companies (worldwide) that make similar items or provide similar services to see if they are interested. You will have identified these companies while doing your searching.
- DO seek crowd funding from fund raising enterprises such as: kickstarter, Gofundme, indiegogo, teespring, patreon, youcaring, donorschoose, kiva, giveforward. These don’t cost you very much up front but can bring in enough money to get you started in business.
- DON’T be a lone-ranger. If your idea is valuable it should sprout feet, so get others on your team to bring legal, technical, and business knowhow to your enterprise. Do not pay them. Issue agreements to them promising compensation once you are bringing in the dough through sales or licensing.
Good luck! Gene Scott