Inventions.... What way should I go?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Squishy, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. Squishy

    Squishy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2011
    Florida
    I'm always coming up with ideas.. inventions and such, even when I'm not trying. It runs in the family, I suppose, as my great grandfather invented the water meter, though he sold it for a dime including all the credits (or so the story goes) [​IMG]

    Anyway... I have an idea that I know is solid gold... it's completely unique and marketable, health and beauty related... and no I'm not telling anyone until I have a patent on it, LOL!

    I knew someone who used to go on at length about their inventions and such, and I know the way they went with their product, they hired an engineer with the graphics computer program to map out all the specs of the item before they got the patent, and paid for it out of their own pocket. Don't think anything ever came of the idea though.

    But I need my brilliant BYC friend's input here.... How would you go about this process with an idea for a product?

    After getting the patent would you try to go it alone, with private investors and make your own company around this item (sellable on it's own, could be a line of products)... or would you sell the rights to a big company for royalties?

    Despite all the good points for it, the problem with the private route would be, how do you get the needed investors?

    The problems with selling the idea to a big company for royalties would be, no or little control of the product, the quality, packaging, marketing and all such other factors would be out of your hands. The amount recieved from royalties might be questionable in comparison to the true worth of the product, especially over the long term.


    So I suppose I really want to do it private... but I don't have any millionaire neighbors [​IMG]

    What do you all think?
     
  2. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    California
    Oh boy, you got alot of good questions there! Alot of what you want to know is available on the internet for free.

    Have you sent in a 'provsional application' yet? Look up USPTO (united states patent and trademark office) and you should be able to find the forms and download them for free, but the application is somewhere in the neighborhood of $110 dollars. It gives you some protection for 1 year while you prepare to file for patent. But you MUST file for patent within that year, or lose your rights to the product.

    Patents are very expensive, and one done right and legally will require a patent attorney. I know lots of people will try to say you can write your own, but the sad truth is, if your product is really that good, without an attorney writing you a DARN good patent (with possible world-wide filing), the big companies will simply knock you off, or invalidate your patent and go around you. Big corps have the billions to do what they want, you dont, and it never ends well for the little guy in those scenarios.

    Health and beauty is a very, very hard industry to get into- MASSIVE competition and cut throat people.


    Honestly, until you have enough experience in the inventing/marketing world, the best thing to to do is- First, your homework, serious research I mean. Next, find out what a reasonable royalty is (normal royalty runs between 3 and 10%, depending on many factors) . Best thing you can do is to remember that your invention is NOT your baby. DO NOT get emotionally attached to it, be prepared to be shot down ALOT, and remmeber the product is there to make you money- its worthless sitting on your shelf because you dont think your getting a good enough deal. Some money is ALWAYS better than none. What is amazing and special to you, is just another product amoung millions to others.


    Sorry if I have sounded like a downer, just trying to give some basic info in a short form. My advice comes from my hubby and I having been in the inventing and marketing biz for over 25 years between the 2 of us. Hubby started out on his own as just an average guy with a ok idea, and made it into something more before going on to do many great products. Its not an easy road and you have to have ALOT of positive thinking going on and be VERY driven to succeed. This economy is not favorable to people looking for investors right now either, you have to really know who is who and have connections to find the right people for the right price to get any decent deal on $.

    PM me, Id be happy to give you more info and maybe point you in the right direction of someone we work with who can give you more info. Oh, and STAY FAR AWAY from groups like 'Inventech' and the such. Those people who advertise on TV as helping people patent and market their products- trust me when I say I have good reasons for saying that.
     
  3. Squishy

    Squishy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2011
    Florida
    Thanks for the info Suzette [​IMG]

    I believe you totally on those "Inventech" type companies... I've heard LOTS of bad things.


    I'll PM you... but I spose really I will just have to figure out how to pay for a really good patent like you said and then go to a big company then.
    I know those crooks rob ideas off of people everyday, so I'd never have a convo with one without a solid patent in place, like you said.
     
  4. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 9, 2010
    north of eternity
    If you haven't already, a good place to start reading is http://www.uspto.gov/patents/resources/general_info_concerning_patents.jsp

    First
    , a thorough patent search is priceless. It's amazing the number of products that are already patented but sitting idle.

    I'm not brilliant [​IMG] but we've obtained patents both ways for different products...DIY obtained, and also via patent attorneys. It's a bit costly either way if one is low on funds, but, depending on the product, DIY is not really hard.

    Marketing is everything, and it's also the most difficult and costly thing for DIY'ers. That's why great products with patents sit idle until the patents expire.

    Our most successful product to date took 2+ more years in development after being patented, and more time after that obtaining industry endorsements, UL Compliance, and then after that, lots more travel across the U.S. meeting key peeps. The wheels can turn slow but it can be worth it. I worked with aerospace engineers/manufacturers to produce the initial prototypes from our specs.

    Attorneys are a must at some point, and utilizing them upfront will save tons of $$ spent on them down the road.

    I hope it works out for you. [​IMG]
     
  5. bluesub

    bluesub Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 4, 2011
    Pittsburgh
    Look at the information on this site for an idea on how much it costs to pay someone else to develop and market a new product.
    http://www.davison.com/legal/aipa.html This is a legitimate company, so it might give you an idea of what to look for when searching for help.
     

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