The technological improvements in the world have led to the inception of various ideas among various peoples around the world who are not an inventor in a specific field but somehow due to their hard work or discovery, they have invented a novel invention or process which could be a blockbuster for the world or in a certain field. Now the question arises that how to protecting your idea before converting that idea into a product.
Important steps to be considered for protecting your idea, before converting it into a product :
1. IDEA WRITING :
First important thing is to write your idea into a paper. What are the features of the idea? What is all about the idea is talking about? On a paper, you can write the title, abstract, specification, material used, apparatus used specifically which are required to manufacture it. What future potential you are seeing it after getting a patent? What market is it going to affect?
2. CONSULT ATTORNEY :
Consultation with an attorney or advocate might give you insights of how to take a step forward in the market. Experienced attorney will help you doing market research and in patent search as well as convert your idea into the legal language which might help during patent filings so that you will not miss anything.
3. MARKET RESEARCH :
After this, you have to conduct a market search that how the product is going to change the market. Few thing to be kept in mind doing the market research.
What are the similar products which exist already in the market with same or similar to the idea, and if so, where are they selling and who’s buying the products? Who are your possible competitors? If competitors are already there, then what should be the price of the product so as to be reasonable to the public as compared to others?
4. INITIAL PATENT SEARCH :
Initial patent search actually helps protecting your idea or to give insights about the existing patent for the technology or to the product associated. Based on the location, you can do the Patent search as some of the products might not be available in the same location or in the different locations.
Attorneys will help you conducting a prior art search to find any existing worldwide in patented as well as non-patented literature. The freedom-to-operate analysis will help you building a legal opinion as to whether a particular product is considered to infringe any patent(s) owned by an individual or other organizations.
5. MAKE/DEVELOP A PROTOTYPE :
Prototype is an individual that exhibits the essential features of a later type. Convert the idea into a diagram or drawing, or any product or professional product so that it can be shown to companies for licensing or to show it to the patent office for working. Make the prototype with the help of latest 3-D printing techniques.
Once it is developed, it’s time to start bringing an idea to fruition. This prototype will help you to find the flaws in the product and if something is missed in the product, so it is an early stage to rectify the flaw and make a perfect product for the public. You can show the prototype product to the companies for licensing agreements.
6. CHOOSE BETWEEN MANUFACTURING AND LICENSING :
After prototype, carefully choose what actually you want to do to with the product, either to manufacture by yourself or give it to a company to license it so that company has right to manufacture and sell. Well, chose it carefully as once the product is licensed, you will not be able to manufacture it and if you did, then infringement suits will be followed and that will be an extremely costly business.
Manufacturing the product will bring question like an office, location with where to manufacture it, where to store raw materials, storage capacity and transportation. These things needed to be addressed as early as they can to avoid any possible future conflict.
7. FUNDING :
Funding is an important part after a prototype is developed and you chose to manufacture it by yourself. You can seek help by asking Government to provide funds (Start-up funds in India), collaboration with governmental or non-governmental agencies, various research companies, crowdfunding, bank loans and microloans.
8. LEGAL REQUIREMENTS/STEPS:
Legal requirements are going to be a huddle as if you have decided to go either for licensing or for manufacturing of the product, then you have to sign many documents like :
- Technology transfer or know-how or technical assistant agreement
- Source code escrow agreements
- Design and development agreements
- Settlement agreements
- Franchise agreements
- Royalty agreements
- Marketing agreements
- Distribution and sale representation agreements
- Material transfer agreements
One mistake while signing these documents can lead to a loss of money which you have invested, so be careful.
9. CONFIDENTIALITY :
It is the dominant step or at supreme priority as once your idea is leaked, then all the above-mentioned steps are of no use, as everybody knows now what you are planning. Maintaining the confidentiality of your concept or idea is very important. Only tell those people to whom you can trust or better to keep it as a trade secret so no one would be aware of that.