New Inventors' FAQ
I’ve got an idea. What’s my next step?
Usually the next step is getting partial answers to some of these questions: Will it really work? Does anybody want it? How can I make it or get it made? How can I sell it? Can I keep other people from copying it?
Picking just one of these questions and working it to death is usually not a good approach. Get a rough estimate in each area first, and plan to go back and refine your estimates later.
But how do I get answers when my idea is a total secret?
No idea is a total secret. A good idea is usually an improvement on some old, well-known thing. Also, a good idea is almost always a solution to a widely known problem. You can set up questions about what people dislike about the old thing and what kinds of solutions other people have proposed to solve the known problem without letting the cat out of the bag.
There is nothing like it out there. Now what?
Too bad. If there is nothing at ALL like it out there, you can be sure that there is no market for it yet either. Finding out what is "kind of like it" is usually important. The internet search engines can help you get started in this area. So can trade magazines and directories that you may be able to find at your local library. A preliminary patent search (many of the web sites are listed on my links page) is almost a ‘must do’ because it is such an easy thing to try (although not always an easy thing to succeed at).
Everybody will want it as soon as they see it. Now what?
Too bad. The only things everybody wants are things that are already known and on the market. What sorts of people might be interested in trying a new and unfamiliar item (and how many of those people there might be) is a question that usually takes a lot of effort to answer. Finding a network that works for you can be an important step.
How do I find somebody to market my invention?
There has never been a shortage of invention marketing scams. They know how to sound good. They know how to tell you nice things about your idea until your money runs out. Beware of any company that tries to tell you that having the idea is the hard part, and they can do everything else that needs to be done. You can check out suspicious characters at several sites listed on my ‘links’ page.
Registered Patent Agent
St. Petersburg FL 33705-5305
+1 (727) 656 0669 voice
+1 (760) 841-0989 fax
questions to: email@example.com
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