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Feb 21
I get asked this question all the time, “Can I patent it myself?” Technically, yes, you can. However, my answer is always No. No! and Absolutely NO!! Doing your own patent work is like doing your own brain surgery. By the time you realize you’ve made a mistake, it’s too late to fix it.

Let me explain.  I do recommend that you read about the patent process.  The book “Patent It Yourself” is a good one.  You don’t want to pay the Intellectual Property (IP) attorney to educate you.  That you can do yourself.  However, that said, there is a reason why these professionals go to school for years and take several exams.  Writing a good patent is a unique and specialized skill set. 

I had a gentleman call me last week and ask about filing his own provisional patent application and then his own utility patent application.  If you’re going to bet your financial future on an invention, why wouldn’t you get the very best help and follow the steps that will give you the best opportunity for success?  Why would you risk everything on doing something that you are not trained for or had any experience doing. Would you really do your own appendectomy?

Honestly, unless you have the money to pay for a professional to file that patent application for you, you shouldn’t be going down this path at all.  Inventing is expensive and hard work.  Don’t cheat yourself by cutting corners on the important steps.  There are other ways to “bootstrap” that won’t put you at risk.

Feb 12

Inventors frequently swing to two extremes when it comes to their business plan.

The first one is simply: have idea – get patent – make money.  I can’t even tell you how many ways this is a flawed plan.  This plan is relevant only in fantasy land and real inventors can’t afford to live in fantasy land.  You have no proof of concept, no numbers, no packaging, nothing to sell and no customers.

The other extreme is equally flawed:  have idea – buy a piece of business plan software – go to a class – fill in the blanks – make money.  It doesn’t matter how much dreaming you do at this extreme, you can’t have accurate numbers without doing the hard work up front.  Again you have no proof of concept, no numbers, no packaging, nothing to sell and no customers.  With this plan all you are doing is guessing.  Real inventors don’t guess.

Honestly, the first stages of inventing do not require a business plan.  You have to do your homework first.  In fact, unless you are presenting to a bank or an investor, you don’t need a business plan until you are in business.  And then, a business plan serves as a road map for you. 

A more useful exercise is to develop a marketing plan after you know you have a product.  After all, if you can’t sell the product to a consumer, it doesn’t matter how good your business plan is.

The first inventing steps require your time and energy.  Do you own searching for like and similar products.  Search online, in stores and on the USPTO website.  Build a cheap version of a prototype.

The first thing you have to pay for is the professional patent search.  All of your business decisions will be based on the results of this search, but that is discussed in another blog.

FYI: You are still a long way from needing a Business Plan.