Throughout my time helping Famous Inventors develop a multitude of different projects, this conundrum has often reared its head. You should say from the outset that there is absolutely no definitive answer, however i will make an effort to convey the alternative perspectives, to allow inventors to make an informed choice for themselves. The opinions about this topic vary across professionals within the IP industry and also the answer will differ depending on the specific idea.
Having said that, here are the main reasons for developing a prototype before patenting:
A patent application needs a certain amount of detail regarding how the idea functions. This is referred to as ‘sufficiency’ or an ‘enabling disclosure’. It is often much easier to describe, and draw, an invention when a prototype has been created and tested.
Prototyping develops the idea and it may be that a new or better option would be 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 must be made through the patenting process is fairly short, taking into consideration the average time it takes to produce a brand new product onto the market. It could be argued that it is preferable to progress the thought as far as possible before filing the patent application, including finalising the design through prototyping. This could then permit the grace period to be utilized for manufacturing or licensing the merchandise.
A prototype can be used to test the market plus some people take into consideration that it is best to accomplish this before starting a potentially expensive Invention Prototype strategy. (Disclosing the idea can prevent a granted patent being achieved and legal advice should be taken on how to test the market without forfeiting potential patenting opportunities. Confidentiality agreements are just one way of protecting an understanding before a patent application has become filed.)
A prototype may prove that this idea will not be viable therefore saving the cost and time involved with drafting and filing a patent application.
Conversely, listed here are the main good reasons to file a patent application before prototyping:
Prototypes often need to be made by companies and for that reason it can be smart to file for the patent first to guard the intellectual property.
When the inventor waits for that prototype to be produced before filing the patent application, somebody else may file an application for the very same idea first. In numerous countries around the world, including the UK, the patents systems are ‘first to file’ and not ‘first to invent’.
The patent application process includes a thorough worldwide novelty and inventiveness search by the UK IPO that could reveal valuable prior art material, not just regarding the direction the prototype should take, but also in terms of potential infringement issues whereby the prototype are able to be designed around existing patents.
A patent application as well as the resulting patent, like several intellectual property, provides an asset that is properties of the inventor or applicant company. If prepared effectively, the patent may be licensed or sold to create earnings stream potentially without ever needing to make the prototype.
It might be better to start with a patent application if funds are limited, as being a patent application is generally less expensive than a prototype.
A ‘provisional’ patent application could be filed without requiring great detail, providing a follow-up application is then filed within twelve months which describes the concept in more detail. This can be pursuing the proof of concept offered by the prototype.
There are a few ways round these issues. Prototyping manufacturers can be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement before the idea is disclosed. However keep in mind most companies will never sign confidentiality agreements, since their in-house departments might be working on similar ideas. Pre-application patent searches could be completed just before prototyping or patenting to discover be it sensible to proceed without having to draft and file a software.
There is a third perspective for consideration. Some skilled professionals would advise that it’s not a patent or prototype that should come first but the opinion of industry experts as to whether the thought is viable and definately will sell. They would debate that the prototype and patent are essential areas of the procedure but, in the beginning, it’s better to ascertain there is really a market before making an investment in either a patent or prototype.
To conclude, the simplest way to proceed with any cool product idea is Inventhelp Patent Invention. In the event the novel functionality of the idea is unproven, then this prototype may be a sensible first step. It is worth making sure a fbmsjf company is employed to produce the prototype and that a confidentiality agreement is signed ahead of the concept being revealed. Alternatively, the inventor might want to file a patent application first and accept that additional cost could be incurred to re-file or amend the application because the project is developed.