Got a Plastic Invention Or An Idea?
What To Consider For Getting Your Product Made
So you have an idea for a new invention? That's great! Your entrepreneurial spirit is what drives innovation and fuels your dreams. Unfortunately though, we are not a finance company.
Please don't ask us to finance your idea or produce it at our expense!
The path before you is exciting, yet it can be daunting, frustrating, and discouraging. You will be tested on your determination, but rewarded when you endure. We hope this resource material will help you as you reach for the success that is now available to you.
Here are some things you need to know:
At the very top of this list is legal assistance and secrecy. One of the first things an attorney will ask is, "Who else knows about this idea?" Be very careful, you are now a secret agent. Disclosure of your idea can ruin your chances of getting legal protection. If you're not careful, your invention can go from a profitable, patent-worthy idea, to public domain where you have no control over it.
Is your idea completely new, or based on an improvement of an existing item? If the item currently exists in some form, you may need to identify any patent rights upon which your idea may infringe. Patent infringements are expensive, and need to be avoided.. period! To ensure your product does not have infringement potential, a patent search by a qualified patent attorney is strongly recommended. Sometimes patents are narrow in perspective and therefore easier to avoid infringing upon, but sometimes they are quite broadly written and very difficult to avoid. A competent attorney familiar with patent law is extremely valuable during this phase of your idea development.
Let's say your idea is completely new, and no patent infringement potential exists. Perfect! But you may want to protect your great idea with a patent of your own. The method in which the patent description is written, and how the patent application is submitted, are crucial in correctly protecting your idea.
Be advised, however, that a patent in the U.S. does not protect you from having your product copied offshore. Patents are extremely difficult to enforce in many international communities, especially in some of the larger emerging economies. Your idea itself, or what is called your "intellectual property" is especially vulnerable to attack! Keep your idea secret, and it's a good idea to work with domestic companies who are legally bound by non-disclosure agreements.
As if your need for caution was not already running high enough, there is yet one other issue we are compelled to share with you. Unfortunately, there are predators out there who want to exploit your ambition. This results in scams that take advantage of inventors. Be sure to utilize our resources below which contain useful information to help you avoid falling victim to an invention scam.
You will also need financial and business plans, licenses, tax ID's, legal fees, insurance, etc. This seems to be a lot, doesn't it? But these are all necessary steps to ensure the product is what you want it to be and does what you want it to do, safely and dependably. Should your product be one that addresses health care needs, or is for personal use, there may be additional laws or tests needed to eliminate product liability issues.
With patent and other legal issues, avoiding scams, and business concerns aside, you're finally ready to start product development. We can be a valuable resource at this stage, helping you with material and testing specifications, design assistance, engineering drawings and computer files (IGES, DWG, CAD, etc.), volume forecasts, tooling quotations (as needed), and more.
Be assured of this, the invention and production process takes funding! Patent searches, legal and professional services, design assistance, engineering charges, tooling, equipment... these can add up to many thousands and thousands of dollars before you have even made your first prototype product! And this process can sometimes take years to complete as you navigate the maze of challenges. Can the process be done without these types of charges? Maybe... but the chances of success diminish quickly without due diligence.
If you are still reading, then you are being prepared for the reality of both the obstacles, and the success, that await you with your idea. You will need more than just a plastic products manufacturer to enjoy the rewards of bringing your idea to market, but we would appreciate being part of the process.
We congratulate you on your creativity and ambition. We can help you when you reach the point of having your plastic product designed, tooled, and manufactured. We hope the information provided here will help set you on the path to seeing your idea take shape. You are not just an inventor, you are now an entrepreneur. We encourage the tenacity it will take for you to succeed.
Now use this information to prove you can be successful!
Places For More Information
US Patent and Trademark Office - This suggestion may seem somewhat obvious, but it is a logical place to go if you haven't already been there.