ADVICE FOR INVENTORS
Confidentiality - Patents - Product Design Process - Research - End Goal
Our guide to keeping your idea secure and developing the design in the most cost effective way. From advice on the best ways of protecting and patenting your innovative ideas to help with funding and visual presentations for sales and investment meetings.
Confidentiality & NDA's
It is vital to keep your idea confidential
Avoid disclosing your product design idea publicly. Not only could others steal your idea but it could compromise your chances of patenting the idea. Controlled disclosure is necessary when developing a new product design and speaking with stakeholders so we always recommend a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) / confidentiality agreement is signed by both you and the party you wish to disclose information to. This could be a manufacturer, customer or a design company such as Idea Reality Ltd. We provide all our clients with free NDA documents so that they can communicate their ideas to us as well as outside parties.
PATENTS & DESIGN REGISTRATIONS
Select the best protection for your design
Many people think that they must patent their idea immediately but this is not always the best use of money or time and sometimes not necessary at all. All product design projects are different and require different routes to achieve great results. The first thing to do is speak to a patent professional. Idea Reality can advise on the most suitable intellectual property (IP) to apply for whether a patent, design registration or nothing at all. Most ideas need some development before an IP application should be sought. There is no point patenting a half baked idea only to develop and improve it a few weeks later, rendering the initial application obsolete, and leading to increased costs.
PRODUCT DESIGN PROCESS
FOLLOW OUR SIMPLE PROCESS FROM IDEA TO REALITY
There is no set format when it comes to product development because all invention ideas are different. However it is important to understand the process and stages ahead before you embark on the journey. This will come from discussing the idea with your project design manager. Along with understanding the process and time implications you will also want an idea of costs. As the design has not yet been fully conceived it is impossible to quote accurate costs but estimates can be given based on the type of product, size and complexity.
R&D - INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY SEARCHES
Begin with simply searching the internet through Google to see what else is on the market. If you come across an existing product don’t give up immediately. Consider the product against your idea and if it could be improved upon in any way. Once you have done the typical internet searches you may wish to dig deeper into existing patent applications. Again you can do a certain amount of this yourself should you wish or hand the responsibility over to professionals like us. Regardless is it always advisable to have a patent attorney carry out a search before going too far regardless of your intentions to patenting or not.
PROTOTYPE & TEST
3D Printing, Test Rigs, Rapid Tooling
A number of prototypes may be required as your design idea develops and improves. Prototypes can take different forms depending upon the stage in the design process. Rough mock-up, scale model, 3D printed prototype, fully functioning model or Final visual prototype. It would not be sensible to produce a fully functioning and realistic prototype at great expense before the basic elements such as form, style and functionality are tested. In most cases the prototype is only required to prove that the concept design is correct before proceeding to manufacture however the complexity of the design will determine the quantity and types of prototypes required
Crowdfunding, Licencing, Self fund
What is your end goal
Do you plan to sell / licence the IP within the idea, manufacture the end product in order sell through distributors or even start a new business and sell it yourself? The answer to this question could determine the best route forward and considering this could save valuable time and money. Simply get in touch with us to discuss the options and find out how we can turn your idea into reality.