NETWORKING FOR INVENTORS
Local Inventors’ Groups
Inventors’ groups have been scattered all around the world for many years. More recently, they’ve been scattered all around the internet as well.
You may be able to find a local inventors’ club nearby. Most of these are non-profit organizations whose mission is to educate their members and others about invention, product development and marketing. They meet (usually monthly) to learn about those subjects and to share their knowledge with others. They often provide a forum for speakers who have something to say to inventors and for inventors who are looking for help – but you can’t expect them to review, edit or otherwise control what is said.
Much of the value of an inventors’ group comes from an exchange of information, and from the moral support that can only be provided by someone who’s been through it before. That may work well for you if the club’s meetings are easily attended on a regular basis. Going often doesn’t work if the group is a long way away; going once is almost never enough to be sure of meeting someone who can help you, or someone whom you can help. Many of these groups are fairly small and not all are very helpful. But, if it works, it can be very profitable.
The Click Clique
Another approach is to start following what’s going on in some of the invention-oriented discussion groups on the internet. Some of these operate as e-mail lists, others are on usenet but they’re ‘there’ whenever you want to log on and there’s never a need to drive for hours to see what folks have to say. No need to wait for a monthly meeting. The downsides, of course, are that making a local contact on one of those groups is unlikely and the discussions are all public. As always, a newbie who asks one of the ‘usual questions’ is likely to get flamed. Before jumping in, you might want to read the FAQ here and review some other pointers on how to get started with an idea and what the patent process is all about.
Registered Patent Agent
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