A great product or service idea could be worth millions or even billions of dollars, but you could find yourself in an undesirable position if you fail to obtain a patent. To put it simply, anyone can rip-off your idea and begin selling it under their name unless you take the proper legal steps to secure ownership of your idea.
The most profitable patent ever belongs to pharmaceutical company Pfizer, whose best-selling drug Lipitor brought in $131 billion while its patent was still valid. Although patent protection expires after 14 or 20 years, depending on the type of item that has been patented, this gives companies, inventors and entrepreneurs a long period of time to produce their product and turn a profit.
Getting a patent is not necessarily easy, and it will require you to fill out a lot of paperwork and pay a large fee. Due to this, it is important to ensure that you pay close attention to each step of the patent process so that you can maximize your idea and potential profits.
The Invention Process
You can invent anything that pops into your head, but going beyond this stage requires some forethought. After all, if your idea is not new or practical, it is not likely to become profitable. Therefore, part of the invention process should involve performing due diligence to make sure that you do not end up sinking thousands of hours and dollars into an unviable product. You will also want to double-check that no one else has filed a similar patent before you move forward.
How to Get Your Idea Patented and Licensed
It is necessary to fill out a patent application and pay all of the applicable fees to get the process started. The provisional patent application is only $130, but this figure is very misleading. Industry experts have stated that it often costs more than $8,000 to file for even the most simplistic product patent with the assistance of an attorney, and this price can quickly balloon to more than $18,000. Therefore, it is best to work with an experienced patent marketing team to get the most bang for your buck and to help minimize the overall cost.
At any given time, there are millions of patent ideas being conceived and worked on around the world, but most of these concepts will never come to fruition. The harsh reality is that the marketplace is already flooded with products and services, so it is vital to come up with a truly unique idea that people will actually have a need for. Additionally, you need to be passionate about marketing your idea.
Scott Cooper of World Patent Marketing says that promoting a patent requires a lot more than just a social media presence: "If you want to successfully market your idea, you have to live and breathe your invention. It basically needs to become a part of you. You should market your idea aggressively, pursuing every valuable opportunity that comes your way. In fact, promoting your invention is just as important as the actual inventing process."
Ideally, you will utilize the services of a patent marketing company to assist you because they have the necessary knowledge and skills to put together an attractive marketing campaign. Taking this step can make it much easier to get your foot in the door with major retailers.
Your idea could turn out to be bigger than Pfizer's Lipitor patent, but you will never know if you do not sit down with a patent expert to discuss everything. After you have the initial concept design and have figured out how the product will be made, it is best to get help from people who file and market patents on a daily basis.