4 Concrete Steps to Turn Your Designs and Ideas Into Products
Developing an original and innovative product idea can be a thrilling and exciting process. However, introducing it to the market requires countless hours of brainstorming, prototyping, and marketing. Additionally, this complicated process involves continuously refining your ideas and extensive evaluations to determine patentability. To successfully turn your designs into a product, you must follow the correct steps. Continue reading to find the four crucial steps to bringing your invention into the world.
Doing a Market Research
Before turning your ideas into products, you must research the market to ensure no similar product already exists. Chances are that several businesses, catalogs, and specialty stores offer products similar to yours. You must browse the internet extensively and search as many online marketplaces and forums as possible to confirm that your product idea has a unique selling point. You may also need to visit a library and look for similar products in printed trade catalogs.
After conducting thorough market research, it’s essential to do a patent search to gain complete confidence in your product idea. A patent search would identify existing patents related to your invention or idea. While you can do a patent search online, it is better to hire a professional for accuracy and comprehensiveness. A patent search process typically takes one to two weeks to complete after receiving sketches or designs of your product and can cost around $1000.
Building a Prototype
A prototype is a model of your invention that helps you practically demonstrate the design of your product to manufacturers and licensors. It allows them to test your product, identify the elements that work well and the areas that need improvement, and find any flaws in its design.
Begin by sketching 2D representations of your product from multiple angles to demonstrate its functionality function. Each sketch must be detailed and colored, including dimensions, mechanical and electrical components, materials, and texture.
The next step would be to create a mock physical model of your product. And once you’re satisfied, create a fully functional prototype by using kits, guides, and books. You can hire a sculpture artist, carpenter, electrician, CNC machinist, or any handyperson with the skills required to build the product.
Prototypes with complex electrical and mechanical components require custom manufacturing. Alternatively, you can hire professionals from platforms like Pterobyt who can help create photo-realistic and accurate 3D renders and animations of your product using the latest CGI technology.
It is crucial to have any parties in the prototyping process who have direct knowledge of your design sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). This agreement legally binds concerned parties to not disclose any information regarding your product to anyone else without your permission.
Protecting Your Invention
Once you have finalized your product design, you must protect your idea by filing a parent before bringing the product to the market. A patent gives the inventor the right to prevent others from replicating and selling their invention for a limited period. Patents can be of three types, utility, design, and plant.
Utility patents can be granted for technical or industrial processes, compositions of matter, machines, new articles of manufacture, and any new and useful improvements. These provide protection for 20 years. Design patents protect a manufactured article’s appearance for 15 years from the grant date. A plant patent can protect new and distinctive strains of plants 20 years from the filing date.
A patent can be filed on your own, but it’s favorable to hire a patent attorney, so they can help you navigate the application process. Licensed attorneys are knowledgeable and experienced in writing detailed and technical patent applications that describe the product adequately and avoid any loopholes that might lead to the patent being invalidated or declared unenforceable in a court of law.
A patent application in the United States has to be filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), so you must hire an attorney registered with them. Since patents can protect your ideas for a limited amount of time, you must get them renewed every few years.
Before filing a patent, you must thoroughly refine and test your prototype to find any areas that might need improvement and correct any flaws in your design. You cannot make these corrections after a patent has been granted, which can result in a weaker patent.
Contacting a Manufacturer
Once you have a prototype and a patent, you must mass-produce your product by contacting a manufacturer, which may require you to try multiple times before finding one willing to manufacture your product. The manufacturer may also ask you to cover a portion of the cost of the materials, new equipment, and labor, so be prepared for these additional expenses.
Make sure that you find a balance between quality and profitability to ensure manufacturing costs are not too high, as this can negatively impact sales. It’s also essential to arrange a warehouse for storing your product and launch a marketing campaign to introduce your product to the market successfully.
In this world of constant innovations, success is all about timing. If you have an idea you’re excited about, make sure you don’t wait too long to bring it into the market, as someone else might take the opportunity. Caring for everything alone can be challenging, so hire professional assistance wherever needed. After taking care of the legalities and paperwork by securing a patent, get your product manufactured, market it, and bring it to the world.