When it comes to capitalizing off your invention ideas, your first step should be legally establishing ownership rights to the inventions you are attempting to market. Without such ownership rights, you will not profit from your invention – simply by dreaming about it. Once you have established legal rights to your invention, the next step is marketing the business idea. Once the market for your invention has been established, it’s time to capitalize and make a profit.
So what if your invention idea is completely impractical? Don’t give up hope just yet! There are a variety of ways to market your invention. Many times inventors will seek out funding sources in order to fund their inventions. If this is unsuccessful, there are numerous ways that an inventor can market his or her invention.
One of the easiest ways to market an invention is through the use of patents. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides a list of “excluded designs” for any given invention. In addition to these design exclusions, the USPTO also limits the number of years that a design can be patented. However, even if your idea is excluded from a standard patent, it may be eligible for an individual patent. This is often referred to as a first patent, and if granted, it will cover the claimed invention for a designated period of time – often for a decade.
Marketing your invention idea through the use of a trademark is also useful. A trademark gives consumers an indication that the invention is owned by the inventor; however, it does not give rights to sell or reproduce the product. Rather than focus on obtaining rights in a scarce resource, inventors can focus on developing a quality and successful product instead. A successful patent also allows the inventor to strengthen the brand of their consumer product or service by securing protection in a nationally recognized marketplace.
Some inventor will pursue both marketing and product development strategies. Often, these strategies are pursued together to ensure a stronger company future. Typically, an inventor will seek funding for their invention idea before pursuing development activities. Funding sources can range from friends and family to financial supporters to sponsorships and grants provided by local, state and federal government agencies.
Entrepreneurs new to the business world should consider seeking mentoring from industry veterans who have experience in both product development and marketing of invention ideas. These professionals can provide insight into what works and what does not in regards to marketing and product development. Additionally, they can help with selecting a strategic business plan to guide the startup. Additionally, they can aid in securing a patent and complete the necessary legal steps for securing a United States patent. The support of a mentor can help ensure the success of your new business startup.