Frequently Asked Questions - Patent

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First, you should investigate the field to see how people are solving the problem now.  You could have the best solution in the world, but if others don’t see the problem then you won’t sell your solution.  Not solving the problem is your competition, as well.
Build a prototype as you imagined, and make sure that it will work and solve the problem.  You can build a prototype from wood, clay, foam almost anything.  If you can’t build it yourself, you can get a virtual model done.
Now you need to get a handle on the pricing to make sure that you’re not building a $100 lead pencil.  Your pricing does not need to be exact, but you still should make sure that you’re in the ball park.  You do need to have a multiple of about 4-6 from your actual total manufactured cost to retail price.  For example, if you’re making your lead pencil for $1, you will need to price it at $4-6 retail.  Everyone who touches your product needs to make money on it or they won’t sell it.
Now I would do some patent searching at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or at Google patent searching

Not exactly. You can file your own application. There is a really good book that can show you how to do it. It’s called Patent It Yourself by David Pressman and is available on (Nolo is a self-help legal publisher.) This book will teach you the “tip of the iceberg” type of information to file and prosecute your application.  I refer clients to this title if they are interested in filing themselves.  Almost without fail, they are calling me and asking for help after reviewing this book.  Regardless, I still encourage my clients to be educated and to understand what is going on in the process. This makes it easier for both of us.

Getting a patent number is but one arrow in your business quiver.  Having a patent and successfully selling a product are two different things.  Getting a patent does not make you money. Selling a product does.  Having a patent can get you into Federal Court and allow you to stop another from making, using or selling an infringing product which would erode your sales.


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