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Patent Mythology #2

By Linda Lewis:

The Myth:  A great idea is an invention.

The Reality:  A great idea is…..an idea.  An invention is the tool, technique, composition, method or device that makes that idea a reality.  My six year old son told me, “Mom, I have an invention!”  “Great!” I replied, “What is it?”  “A car that gets 100 miles per gallon.”  I told him, “That’s an idea, not an invention.  When you build that car, I’ll patent it for you.”

A great idea is a great start.  Now get to work.  First do some searching to see if your idea is new.  We recommend Google Scholar, because it has a very helpful format for searching patents.  It’s important to know that you not only must have a new idea, it must be non-obvious.  Several patents can be combined to make an idea obvious.  Once you have determined that your idea is new and non-obvious, you need to work on a prototype.  It doesn’t have to be the best embodiment, it just needs to demonstrate the concept.  I’ve been impressed with what can be demonstrated with cardboard and duct tape.  The new 3-D printers are making prototyping easier than ever. Then, when you’ve made that idea a reality, contact your patent attorney.

 

 




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