The year you have provisional patent pending status is perhaps the most dynamic year of your invention’s “life.” During that year, if executed correctly, your idea will mature into a something that is safely makeable and protectable.
I can't stress this enough...planning matters. I call it your idea's "Golden Year."
What you accomplish in this year will determine just how strong your ultimately filed patent application will be, and how relevant it is to the product or service you will sell. It also determines how well your business will capitalize on the opportunity you have.
To make the most of this year, you must have a plan. Since creating my first invention over twenty years ago, I've helped hundreds of inventors, entrepreneurs and innovators file nearly one thousand patent applications on their way to making their dreams a living reality.
Along the way, I've developed a system that gives innovators, entrepreneurs and inventors the tools they need to accomplish as much as possible in that year. I call it the Invention Factory Formula. It's a step-by-step approach to getting your idea ready for prime-time.
With it, you can go from completely confused to confident in as little as 60 days, and set yourself up for your best year ever! And, if you've already been through the process before, you'll learn why your last idea could have been more successful.
Here are the Invention Factory Formula's highlights:
1. Protect: File a Provisional Patent Application as quickly as possible. Because of the America Invents Act ("the AIA"), you just have to (see Part I).
2. Search: With speed and intention, get a professional patent search (there are several types of patent applications, and the kind that will likely help you the most at this stage is called a "prior art search" or "patentability search").
3. Validate: After you review and understand your Patentability Search Report, you will next want to get a Market Search Report. You're seeking validation that the market exist, and you are looking for products that are already on the market that solve similar problems.
4. Develop: With the information you've obtained, you can next proceed to create prototypes. There are several types of prototypes your product will use as it matures from concept validation, and then concept to market. I'll tell you more about these in the near future.
5. File: The work that has gone into accomplishing steps 1 - 4 all come together near the end of the provisional patent pending year, as you plan to file your utility patent application. Also because of the AIA, filing for a utility patent application is, for practical purposes, mandatory if you want to continue pursuing your invention to market.
These are just the high points in the process. However, the process is not strictly linear. During that year, while you are developing your product, doing market research, and continually thinking about how to make your product better, you may inevitably realize that what you have in month ten or eleven is probably different enough from the idea you started with that you will want to obtain additional patentability research and perhaps more market research.
You'll want to incorporate the most recent findings possible in your patent application, and perhaps file an additional provisional patent application.
Quick Take Action Tip: fill out an action plan for your idea, and commit to sticking to it.
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