Say you are working intensively on a project. After hours and hours of research and development, you finally think you’re there. You have an invention on your hand.
So, what might be the reason you wouldn’t disclose it:
- You are unclear about the benefits of patent protection.
- Lack of motivation for invention disclosures.
- You might have misconceptions about disclosing inventions.
- No culture and environment in your organization educates you about handling inventions right.
- You don’t see the reward and recognition that might drive you to intrapreneurship and disclosing inventions.
- You are unsure whether an idea is worth becoming a full-blown invention.
- You just don’t have enough time and resources to disclose it.
- Paperwork and you don’t go well together.
Since your company invests so much in R&D, your innovation management process must result in patentable ideas.
So, what do you do?
7 Ways to Get More Invention Disclosures
Run Innovation Challenges
Innovation-focused challenges that aim to generate novel ideas are a great way to invite invention disclosures. When you introduce innovation management software to your goal of getting disclosures, it enables you to capture innovation right, left, and center. There’s no loss of patentable ideas.
These innovation challenges help in establishing a culture of creativity and problem-solving at an organization’s core. In addition to your R&D projects and market research surveys, such challenges are the real winners in making invention disclosures a part of the routine.
- It deepens employees’ understanding of your invention disclosure, patent application, and patent filing process
- It makes continuous innovation possible
- It links your innovation strategy to your business strategy by delivering solutions consistently
- It engages the top stakeholders proactively
- It equips you with overall business innovation
You must create an incentive program that inspires inventor involvement throughout the entire process. When we talk about inspiring innovation in an organization, one of the best ways to do that is through providing monetary and non-monetary incentives.
Here’s an example:
One of our customers had a similar problem statement. They wanted to increase the number of submissions and the rate at which these invention disclosures were submitted.
- Their employees submitted over 1,000 ideas and invention disclosures.
- They saw a 63% increase in filings this year alone (and we still have three more months to go).
- A 4X increase in employee participation in the innovation challenges they ran through our platform.
- There was an uptick in collaboration among employees, with 75% of invention disclosures having one or more co-inventors.
Make Adding a Form as Easy as Creating an Online Post
Simplify the entire process. Don’t make your employees jump through hoops. After doing all the hard work, they shouldn’t get stuck on the paperwork.
Also, you know everything is digitized, so ensure your invention disclosure form filling, evaluating, collaborating, and filing process is too.
As the heading reads, make sure it is as easy as writing a LinkedIn post for your account. It should incorporate every technical aspect but give you the liberty to customize it as per your company’s unique requirements.
Educate Them What You Expect from Them
Like every other task, invention disclosures and patent filing need training. You must make a point to explain how your patent program works and what are the benefits of following the process.
Since we advocate a professional tool for filling out forms, it will cover the best market practices and standard guidelines to help you submit the best disclosure.
And because an invention disclosure is the foundation of a strong patent application, you must ensure it’s a good one.
Encourage the inventors to add detailed information and diagrams for better understanding. The form must quickly convey the problem, solution, and unique aspects of the invention. The inventors need to explain how the invention works and the value of pursuing a patent.
Make Collaboration and Communication Feasible
You’re running innovation challenges, backing R&D projects, and investing in market surveys, so you know it’s not (always) the job of a single person. Even after an invention is discovered, every step that comes after it requires communication and constant collaboration among various members.
These members refer to co-inventors, internal attorneys, external attorneys, drafting attorneys, a review committee, and other key stakeholders.
So, you must ensure your invention disclosure process facilitates real-time chats, data transfers, evaluations, feedback, and more.
It instantly removes a heavy burden from the inventors.
Although it’s completely a personal choice and depends on an individual’s perspective, having an AI-novelty checker integrated into your professional tool helps.
One of the common reasons why an inventor hesitates to submit their invention is the fear of not being novel. So, when you take away the problem, you ensure a seamless flow in your patent process.
Status Updates from USPTO
It’s most often an overlooked aspect, but letting drafting attorneys upload drafted patent applications on the company’s system helps a ton in engaging inventors.
You see, every inventor appreciates getting the latest on the submitted applications. Even when it’s a notification telling them their form has received its unique ID. It motivates them to submit and collaborate on more inventions.
In a Nutshell
To get more invention disclosures:
- Elucidate the benefits of patent protection.
- Motivate employees to submit forms and get rid of any misconceptions they might have through training and learning sessions.
- Make innovation a part of your organization’s culture, and every step follows.
- Establish reward and recognition procedures for employees that show intrapreneurial spirit.
- Tell your team that it is okay to try and fail and even work on ideas that they are unsure about.
- Provide them with enough time and resources to disclose inventions.
- Digitize and automate the entire process.