How to invent something and patent it is the process you should follow if you have a new creation and you want to legally prevent others from buying, selling, using, or manufacturing the invention.

The Market Test

Creating and patenting an invention takes significant time, money, and effort. Before investing in your idea, make sure you have developed a product or service that people will want to buy. Depending on the type of invention, your market could be either local or global. Keep in mind that, to succeed in the market, you don't necessarily need to create a completely new product. For example, diapers themselves were not a new concept when disposable diapers were invented. Because they filled a market need, however, they became a billion-dollar product used worldwide.

The Availability Test

Even if other inventions like yours exist in the market, you can create a niche if your product is better than similar products. It should be easily distinguishable and fill a specific need. For example, coffee isn't new, but decaffeinated and low-acidity varieties were both million-dollar product ideas.

The Patency Test

This determines whether your invention is eligible for a patent. You can search the United States Patent and Trademark Office database to determine whether a similar invention has already been patented. If it doesn't, you may have an invention that is eligible for patent protection.

The Excitement Test

Market research allows you to see how excited people are about your product. In the early stages, this can be as simple as asking friends and family members to weigh in. You can also conduct pre-launch testing by creating a presentation with the features and benefits of your product along with high-quality images. This can be in a digital format with an opt-in form that allows the public to sign up for a presale. This allows you to measure the level of interest in your product without spending a lot of money. You may also want to create a product prototype.

The Conviction Test

This ensures that you truly believe in your idea and have the necessary passion to bring it to fruition. Without this enthusiasm, it will be very difficult to create a market a successful invention.

The Importance of Market Research

If your invention does not fulfill a customer need and do so better than existing products, it will be unlikely to make a profit. Market research can help you find a profitable market niche. Evaluate the viability of your invention in the marketplace by asking yourself these questions:

  • Who are your potential customers?
  • What is the size of your target market?
  • Who are the key competitors in this market?
  • Does a clear market need for your product or service exist?
  • Does your invention have a competitive market advantage?
  • Is your product financially viable?
  • Have you conducted market trials of the product?
  • Do you have a pricing strategy and model in place?
  • Who can assist your market entry?
  • What are the distribution channels?
  • Do you have working capital funding?
  • Have you developed three years of financial projections?
  • Do you have a finalized business model?
  • Have you registered a legal business entity?
  • Do you have reporting and accounting systems in place?
  • Have you hired management and staff?
  • Have you created a marketing plan?

Creating an Action Plan

Making an action plan before you start working on your invention will lay the groundwork for success. First, list all your goals associated with the invention, then break these goals into smaller milestones. Each milestone should have its own granular project plan with the steps required to make it happen. This gives you a roadmap for your invention even when the process seems overwhelming and complex. It also gives you a way to clearly see your progress as you work on the project. The action plan should also include a budget since finances are often a sticking point for inventors. This allows you to raise the money you need along the way and avoid falling short.

Keep a journal throughout your invention process. This not only keeps all your notes in one place but may be important during the patent application process.

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