We strongly recommend that you do not to share your idea with anybody, including your family and friends, unless they sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) between you and them; particularly in the early stages of the product design and development process, taking all measures available to protect your Intellectual Property is paramount to the success of your idea.
Before you submit any idea to us we send you an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) that legally keeps the information confidential between us. This legal document protects your idea from being shared with any third parties without your express permission. It also helps to confirm that you haven’t shared your idea with anyone else before applying for a patent.
NDA stands for ‘non-disclosure agreement’ and is a legal document that, when signed, prevents your product information being discussed with third parties without your consent; the information is thus kept confidential between the parties who sign the agreement, i.e. you (the inventor) and Idea Reality.
There are a few things that you can start doing before you starting the process of designing and developing your idea. To help you, we’ve created our ‘5 basic steps’ for inventors looking for new invention help. Alongside this, our free inventors’ pack contains valuable information to support you in the early development stages, including:
- Examples of other inventor’s journey.
- Explanation of categories of products we have worked on.
- What to expect in the design of my product idea.
- Press and media coverage.
Every project is unique and therefore, so too are the requirements, so it’s hard to say exactly how much developing your product idea will cost or how long it will take. For example: a simple product with no electronics could take up to 6 months to prepare for manufacture. The prices also vary depending on the level of complexity involved. We have created a guideline of starting costs for a simple project, here. At Idea Reality, we work at your pace, meaning that you control when we proceed with each stage of your project. Payment is split between stages so no big upfront costs. Once you submit your idea for review we will outline a project proposal with the costs and time estimates along with a plan for development of your unique idea so you can decide whether to go ahead or not.
The free idea review involves a meeting or Skype call with Idea Reality’s Design Director; James and/or one of our senior designers. You can be present for this or it can be done remotely. Once you have submitted your idea confidentially you can benefit from a free idea review. This will cover practical aspects of your idea such as:
- Manufacturing processes
- Adding innovation
- Routes to market
There is a myth that the first thing to do with your idea is to patent it straight away. Patenting protects the way a product idea works and how can it be made. There is no point rushing to patent a half-baked idea only to realise down the line that you need to change it once it has been developed. This can be very costly and we do recommend that, before you patent your idea, you speak to a professional product designer. Sometimes a patent is not even necessary so don’t be pushed into this process by other companies.
There must be a design in place first. You may have found a brilliant idea that you are sure will change the lives of thousands of people in the future. However, to be able to license your idea to a company, you will need to develop your design into a proven or manufacture-ready product first. Prototypes, videos and feedback from users, as well as a business strategy are all helpful to facilitate the sale of your product. Once you develop your idea you will be able to approach businesses to invest further in the development of your product in mass scale. The business model here is typically to earn a percentage of the sales of your product design, or to sell the whole design idea for a lump sum. Many ideas have made millions and this has proven true over time, but the odds normally depend on external factors and circumstances that sometimes are out of your control.
Be very careful here. If a company is offering to develop your idea for free they will likely require an initial payment from you, offer no guarantees and take a large portion of the rights to the product. In our experience this route is rarely beneficial. We recommend you check out reviews for any company you decide to work with.
You might have a great idea that you are sure will change the lives of people but until the idea is developed and presented properly there is no chances that the idea can be put forward for investors or companies to invest in it.
Once your idea has started to take shape you may want to patent it. There is a chance that you may want to license your idea to a business, in this case it is sensible to patent it. Sometimes you may want to patent part of the technology you have discovered in your new invention before you plan to sell it yourself or to share your idea with investors. In this case it is sensible to apply for a patent at the stage you are planning to share your developed product to the world.
‘Registered designs’ or ‘Design Registrations’ in the UK and EU are something you can consider for your product idea. This prevents others from copying or stealing your uniquely designed product for a period of 25 years. Unlike patents, design registrations protect the appearance and shape of your product. You can also protect your brand with a trade mark. This includes names or logos, or combination of any of these.
Call us for a Free product review +44 (0)3330 119940