The most tragic part of inventing is when an inventor with a reasonably good idea makes a serious or fatal error. I see it happen all too often. For instance, getting a patent before you know if your invention can be made at a price someone will pay just means you’ll end up with very expensive “wall art”. The fatal error: spending several thousands of dollars (patents are frequently over-priced because inventors usually don’t get competitive bids from attorneys) before it’s time.
Another fatal mistake is not making sure that the attorney writing your patent works with the engineer. This is critical. If the patent is written first and the engineer makes changes to the design, you now have a product that doesn’t match the patent.
However, one of the most serious mistakes an inventor can make is believing everything he or she hears on television and/or internet advertising. Anyone who wants you to spend thousands of dollars up front may be making their money on you, rather than your idea, especially if you really know nothing about the service provider. Beware of TV and internet advertising that promises to make you rich on your invention! Check out the Federal Trade Commission websites on invention promotion schemes:
or the NCIO’s (National Congress of Inventor Organization’s) “Scambusters” website: