Applying for a patent for your invention is a task that takes time, patience and attention to detail. Before you consider applying for a patent make sure you have kept good records of your progress. You should start an inventor’s notebook to track our progress, record conversations you have had regarding your invention and most importantly describe your invention/idea. Here is an in-depth guide to describing your invention or idea in your notebook and other information you should record.
DESCRIBING YOUR INVENTION/IDEA
When describing your invention/idea, you should draw a picture, if it is a tangible item. Don’t worry about your drawing abilities, it can be a rough sketch. Some of the best ideas started out as a sketch on a restaurant napkin. There is an added benefit to a rough sketch in your beginning stages; you’ll be able to refer back to it and see how far you have actually come.
After you have your sketch, you should describe your inventions features. This of this as describing your own home, if I were to describe my home to you I would say something like, “four bedroom, two bath, fireplace in living room, breakfast nook, hardwood floors, french doors to balcony overlooking the water”. Use this same technique when describing your products features. For example, some features might be:
* No assembly required
* Easy to use
* Conveniently fits in purse
List your products benefits. What are the advantages of your invention/idea. In other words, what problem does it solve? How can it help someone in their daily life or work? Here are some examples:
* Color coordinated shades eliminates confusion
* Can be applied in 10 seconds
* Various shades are available.
RECORDING YOUR RESEARCH
Next,you should have an area in your notebook where you records your research findings. Your invention/idea may be something no one has ever thought of or it may be an improvement on an already existing product. You should take time to do a little research and find out if there is a similar product in the market and if there is find out what makes yours different. What added value does your invention/idea have? Find out what makes your product unique.
Who’s going to buy your product? Who is your target audience? You need to find out who would benefit most from your product. Is your target market composed of moms, dads, teens, women in general, men or the general public. Determining this information will help you through out your entire process from prototyping to sales and marketing.
Are there other markets in which your invention/idea might reach? Your initial market research may tell you that only women would be the target audience for your invention/idea, this may lead you to disregard a totally different market which could create extra revenue. For example, I was marketing my mineral makeup line to women and only women but, I soon expanded my product to the male market with my camouflage for men.
Writing down summaries of conversations you have with individuals regarding your research is also instrumental. You should be careful to record dates and times conversations occur, who did you speak with and their contact details, and a brief summary of your conversation is all you need. This will allow you to reference back to your conversations. As an inventor, you will have many conversations with different people on a variety of subjects regarding your invention.
Just like an attorney, keep records of conversations can also serve as a useful tool when applying for your patent. Why? Well, patents are granted to the person who is most actively developing the invention and your notebook will serve as proof.
It is imperative that your continually update your notebook with information throughout your entire process. This will all help the patent process be less painful in the end.