A few weeks ago an inventor told me that he was checking into the cost of manufacturing before having his patent search reviewed. This was a bit out of order but not a huge issue. You want to understand the costs involved before jumping off the cliff.
However, I found out later that the inventor had gone ahead with a rather large order before having the search reviewed and patent done. This is not a fatal inventing mistake but it can certainly be an expensive one.
There can be several problems with manufacturing first. They are:
- You may be making a design mistake that could have been caught with the search review (older patents often reveal bad designs).
- You may be infringing on other prior art that would have been revealed with the review. In this case, you risk eventually receiving a “cease and desist” letter notifying you of the prior art and demanding that you cease selling your invention. Then, entire investment will have been wasted.
- If your patent attorney determines that you can file a patent but the first design either has flaws or infringes on prior art, you will end up paying for additional design work, new molds or tooling, and more manufacturing.
If you are going to bet your financial future on a new idea, it is in your best interest to do it right. Make sure you do your homework beforehand.