1. What Is an Invention Proposal?
2. How to Write an Invention Proposal
3. Introductory Section
4. Reader-Focused Section
5. Invention Description
6. The Patenting Aspect of an Invention Proposal
7. About the Inventor Section

An invention proposal example is what an inventor for a potentially patentable product or process would write in order to propose their idea to the management department of the company they work for, or to potential investors, or to potential patent licensees.

What Is an Invention Proposal?

Anyone with a good idea that they believe is unique and would be appealing to the market should consider creating an invention proposal in order to get the idea patented and protected before another inventor takes it or tries to profit from it. This invention proposal will be the basis for a later patent application for the invention if it's not already patented.

How to Write an Invention Proposal

The main sections of an invention proposal are:

  • The introduction.
  • A reader-focused section.
  • A description section.
  • Final section about the inventor.

Introductory Section

The proposal should begin with a cover letter that simply lays out what the proposal is about. You'll want to state your name and relationship to the reader. You'll also want to explain the reason for the proposal. Are you looking for patent investors or pitching something to your manager. Be clear about what you're looking for from the reader. What do you hope to convince them to do with this proposal? Don't forget to also include the necessary contact information if your reader is really interested in supporting your idea.

After the cover letter, you'll include a title page. This piece will be simple with just the name of the proposal. The title should clearly represent your idea. More complicated invention proposals will need to include a table of contents for readability and possibly an executive summary. An executive summary pulls out all of the most important points of the proposal and puts them in a list form for quick reading.

Reader-Focused Section

This is the part of the proposal where you clearly lay out what you need from your audience. Answer the questions you think they will ask. Spell out what they would need to do in order to support the project. You'll also want to use this section to sell your idea. Get the reader interested. Show them how they can benefit from being involved.

Invention Description

The invention description piece of the invention proposal should give a detailed description of your invention. This should cover the process of coming up with the idea for the invention and what its main purpose will be. You'll also want to describe how the invention could be manufactured. Be mindful of not getting too detailed so as to narrow the scope of a future patent. Patents cover inventions based on their main use, so the broader the use, the more coverage the patent provides.

The Patenting Aspect of an Invention Proposal

If the purpose of your invention proposal is to obtain a licensee for your patented invention, you'll want to approach the proposal a little differently. You'll need to include important details about what the patent covers, the proposed terms of the licensing agreement, and the cost for the license. You might need to also include information about the following:

  • Nondisclosure agreements.
  • Procedures.
  • Limitations.
  • Intellectual Property.
  • Cost Summary.
  • Restrictions.

Getting the input of an experienced patent lawyer can help you know exactly what to include in your proposal to better your chances of obtaining a licensee. Also, if you're proposing to license your patented invention, you'll first need a patent to license. Applying for a patent can take time, so be sure to have all of your ducks in a row before starting this process.

About the Inventor Section

In the last part of the proposal, you will essentially sell yourself as a trustworthy inventor. Here you'll want to convince your reader that you know what you're doing. An easy way to do this is by including your:

  • Education background.
  • Expertise.
  • Experience.
  • Certifications.

This is a good place to include a short biography or resume. If you hold any other patents, you should list them. Think about what a reader would like to know about you. What do you think would make them want to partner with you? Present yourself as reliable and professional.

If you need help with an invention proposal, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.