Every business, small or large, is full of talent that needs direction to understand where innovation begins and the steps they must follow before they can legally protect their intellectual property.
This is why we have compiled a brief inventor’s guide to navigate conceiving an idea capable of becoming a patent-worthy innovation and everything in between till filing a patent.
An easy four-step inventor’s guide will give you the quick start that you need. Let’s dive in!
Step 1: Innovation
It all begins with a new discovery, an idea, an experiment, a novel solution, and even distinctive data. When an organization believes in fostering an intrapreneurship culture and giving every employee a chance to innovate and grow beyond the core roles, they receive abundant participation. This participation by the employees is, in fact, the real innovation.
For instance, one of our customers received over 1000 novel ideas within ten months of uptaking an idea and innovation management software, out of which almost 600 invention disclosures were submitted for assessment. More than half of the submitted disclosures were approved and filed.
Basically, every employee is an inventor who drives innovation. Once there’s an idea with a high potential, then begins its path to market.
Step 2: Invention Disclosure
As a proactive employee, you must come up with ideas that change business processes and strategies internally and the end product that customers consume. However, the invention disclosure step comes in for the ideas that have the potential of turning into a full-blown invention.
Your invention, a result of your skilled research, creativity, and intellect, could be novel, ingenious, and useful. You might have conceived and developed an unusual, unexpected, or non-obvious product that requires legal protection in the form of patents, copyrights, and trademarks.
As an investor, you’d want to protect your intellectual property and the commercial value of your innovation by restricting its use by third parties.
Here’s a list of the prerequisites to find out the patentability of your invention before submitting the disclosure.
- Reduced to practice: Ensure your invention is not just a concept but has a complete construct.
- Novel: Perform a prior art search to ensure your invention has the capability of differentiation.
- Usability: Ensure it has a purpose and operability out there.
- Non-obvious: Ensure the invention, apart from being novel, is also distinct. It shouldn’t be an obvious discovery.
So, if you have an invention that meets the criteria and has a potential commercial value, submit an invention disclosure to your organization. It is an all-comprehensive form that serves as the first notification to the world that you have an idea worth protecting. Technically, it contains a complete description of the invention, details of contributors/authors, operability of the invention, its advantages, third-party apps used, diagrams, and so on.
Since invention disclosure is the first step towards commercialization, it needs to be effective. Otherwise, you risk minimizing your chances of getting your patent granted.
You should consider working with the InspireIP team to get a professional and automated tool to do the job. Our expert team would walk you through exclusively through every step mentioned in this inventor’s guide and more.
Step 3: Intellectual Property Assessment for Inventors Help
After submitting your invention disclosure, it goes straight to the internal attorneys (the IP team) of the organization for evaluation. They perform a thorough analysis to gauge the commercial benefits of the invention and the feasibility of protecting your intellectual property. The IP team has the capability to add reviewers to finalize the invention disclosure before filing it. During the assessment process, the review committee could ask you to not pursue your invention at the moment or ask for additional information. Based on the assessment, your innovation will be pursued further or shelved momentarily.
Step 4: IP Protection Filing
After the internal invention assessment, the external attorneys and other stakeholders are looped in. An expert, such as a drafting attorney, works with you (the inventor) to ensure that the invention disclosure has all the required details.
This step further includes sub-tracks, including stakeholder meetings, drafting applications, evaluation and approval, and inventor paperwork before finally filing the patent.
A good patent application incorporates every minute detail necessary to explain the innovation. It also informs about the need for its potential commercialization.
Patent protection filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or foreign patent offices requires several years and resources. After a while, the invention obtains an issued patent, copyright, or trademark.
Bonus Tips: Help for Inventors
As a bonus to your short inventor’s guide, we recommend you follow these measures till you have disclosed your invention:
- Do not go online with your innovation. Basically, refrain from using online platforms, such as blogs, LinkedIn, or Quora, to talk about your research.
- Do not transfer any material that reveals confidential information to anyone or talk to external parties without a NDA.
- Do not publish anything without confirming whether or not it has commercialization and IP protection value.
- Submit an invention disclosure as soon as you find your idea has the capability to solve a significant problem.
Help for inventors must come from within the organization and that requires an effective innovation strategy. Reach out to us at email@example.com to learn more.