Have you got an idea for an amazing new product? Great! But before you get too excited about moving on to the sexier aspects of product design services (like deciding exactly which cool color scheme is best), there’s one major hurdle that you need to clear: are you sure you’re the first?
Patent Research: Why It’s Important
If someone has thought of your idea before, then why doesn’t the product exist? The truth is that many, many more designs are patented than are ever manufactured. If you use or sell the patented invention, you can be found guilty of patent infringement–which usually means that you’d have to pay a significant fine.
Can’t I Do My Own Patent Research?
While anyone can search the US Patent Office, it’s not as straightforward as running an inquiry on an internet search button. There are millions of patents, and you may be accused of patent infringement if your design is considered similar enough to any one of them. In the end, a patent search is a lot like buying a car. You can evaluate the car yourself, but unless you’re a professional mechanic, it’s going to be easy for you to miss things. Most car buyers opt to take their vehicle to an expert, and before spending money on an idea, most inventors would prefer to know that they’ve got an expert on their side, too.
Why Use A Product Design Service?
Now you’re convinced of the necessity of doing a patent search before you spend too much money on an idea, but you may be wondering why we offer this as part of our product design services. The simple truth is that searching for patents–and then, if necessary, filing them–are valuable design exercises as well as legal safeguards. In order to file a patent, you must describe the invention in a great deal of detail. If you then decide to develop and manufacture the invention, it can be useful to avoid reinventing the wheel–having all those details in place allows the product design service company (that’s us!) to know exactly what the vital parts of your idea are, and what can be altered for ergonomic or marketing purposes.
Patent research, like a lot of things in product design, can seem overwhelming, technical, or out of reach. But it’s still true that most of what you need is a great idea, great investors, and hard work. Remember, we’re on your side, and we want to help you bring a great product to market.
How To Search For A Patent – www.entrepreneur.com
Patent Search 101 – www.ipwatchdog.com