For an individual that just has been granted a patent, moving forward may be somewhat overwhelming. Provisional Patent holders realize they have one year from the date the patent was issued to see their idea into fruition. While large corporations have the resources to see their inventions smoothly move from concept to manufacture, the household inventor may have many questions on how to move forward in getting their invention the best exposure possible.
There are several routes one may take. First, it is very important to have a detailed description of the invention. An inventor must keep in mind that the description must be in simple format. This is in order to ensure that each reader is able to thoroughly understand what is being presented before them. Is the verbiage clear and concise? Do the illustrations accurately reflect what is being portrayed? These are a few questions an inventor should bear in mind before presenting their invention to the public.
While some inventors may have a working prototype, it is often unnecessary. Prototypes, although useful, can cost thousands of dollars and may be lost or stolen. There have been cases of prototypes being damaged during shipment as well. A well written document, as well as descriptive artwork and technical drawings will suffice and will cost the inventor a lot less in the long run.
Now that a proper description is in place, it is time to move forward in presenting the idea to others who may help the inventor see their idea into fruition. The Internet is a great place to start. First though, what is the item made of? Is it fabricated of plastic or metal perhaps? What about textile? Just by simply entering ‘manufacturers of (insert selected material here)’ into an online search engine, hundreds of links may be returned. If the invention is made up of multiple materials, search on the most prevalent material first. A manufacturer may source out the other materials to another manufacturer. It is important to keep in mind that only US manufacturers should be selected because the patent is only valid within the confines of the US.
Many links will lead to websites that may include information about the company, as well as pictures of what types of items they manufacture. If an address is included in the website, a packet of information may be mailed to the manufacturer. A cover letter with the inventor’s contact information should be included in the packet.
Another avenue to explore is to have a professional website built. A good web developer should be able to instruct the inventor on styles and colors. It is more important that the invention is highlighted over the need for fancy pages that include a lot of bells and whistles. In the case of a website, less really is more. The first page should show the invention within the screen’s width and height so that the viewer does not have to scroll down to view it in its entirety. It should not contain links to more than two or three pages, and definitely leave out any links to any outside pages. The goal is to keep the viewer’s interest as long as possible. Register the webpage with the top search engines. Be sure keywords are inserted throughout the website’s text description so that viewers will be easily directed to it. Include the web address on any correspondence. Sometimes the best leads come from people an inventor may already know. Craft an email describing the invention and why it is needed. Include a link to the website and let people know that the goal is to find a manufacturer willing to review the invention. Ask them to pass it on to anyone that may know someone that can help. Leave no stone unturned.
There are also tradeshows and conventions throughout the year in various cities where an inventor may rent a booth to showcase their item. The Internet is another great resource to find dates and times of these events. These events also provide a great way to network with manufacturer representatives and other fellow inventors. Be sure to provide information on the invention as well as a business card for any possible leads.
With the clock ticking on a patent, expect to set aside time each week to get the invention in front of the proper people. All it takes is one yes from a manufacturer to get the ball rolling. With perseverance and hard work, an inventor’s efforts may pay off handsomely. For additional information, please contact LoneStar Patent Services here.