Most big businesses are started when new products or methods are invented and marketed. Want your piece of the pie? Here are the top three tips for selling your invention:
Start with a patent search to be sure your invention hasn’t already been claimed by someone else. Then, file for a Provisional Patent to receive immediate “Patent Pending” status for 12-months. This is an inexpensive and immediate way to protect your idea and get it to market quickly without worrying about someone stealing your idea. Then you can safely work on commercializing your product while you prepare the more involved full Patent filing.
2. Create a Prototype and Patent Drawings
It’s a good idea to work with experienced illustrators for patent drawings, given the very specific requirements of the United States Patent Office (USPTO). LegalZoom's experienced patent team can create professional patent illustrations of your invention, increasing the chances of your patent application being approved. When it comes to creating a prototype, you may be able to do it yourself if it’s something like the Hula Hoop. But if you need help with the execution, you have options. AsktheInventors.com offers tips and resources for creating a prototype.
3. Bring It to Market
Start with a basic plan. Figure our how much it will cost to produce your product. Look at what other similar products cost and figure out the price people are willing to pay. Make sure that the price you can get covers your costs and leaves you a profit margin. Next, identify your target market. If you’ve created the next big thing for tailgating parties at sporting events, you probably want to target men (and women) who are sports fans. If your invention is more along the lines of a bridal shower all-in-one party kit, you may want to target the bridal market.
For something like a bridal shower invention, consider hosting a booth at the next Bridal convention. For other inventions, try cold-calling companies that are already selling to your target market but don’t have what you’re offering. It’s best to start with product managers rather than the executive team, because they are often instrumental in product development. You can also keep an eye out for AJ Khubani, dubbed by the Associated Press as the “Infomercial King”. The founder of Telebrands “As Seen on TV” products company has been hosting inventor auditions that may (or may not) be coming soon to an area near you.
Whether you’ve invented the next iteration of the PC or a wooden toy, the best thing to do is act quickly. As the story goes, Alexander Graham Bell wasn’t actually the first to invent the telephone—Elisha Gray was. But it was Bell who won the race by filing a patent first. Take a lesson from a legend and take the leap today.
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