Books are almost always a good idea. We’ve all heard the saying that knowledge is power. And investing the time in learning the process before you begin down any path has the potential to save you from making a costly mistake or one that you can’t undo. That being said, when it comes to the inventing process, there is good, there is bad and there is NEVER. So while I do recommend doing some due diligence and taking the time to get educated on the process, I also want you to balance that against one of the biggest enemies of the process: TIME. So here are some tips on how to not fall victim to that enemy.
First, don’t take a series of weekly classes to learn about inventing. At some point, it might make sense but not yet. Because time is NOT your friend when it comes to inventing. While you are taking classes someone else is filing the patent. Some of these classes also recommend poor advice like filing your own patent. (BIG NO NO! More on that later)
Second, tediously long books on the inventing process can put you in the same situation, unless you are a super fast reader. While you are falling asleep reading a boring book, someone else is getting the jump on you by filing first.
In 2013 the US went from “first to invent” to “first to file”. This change made time a big deal when waiting to file your patent. While I don’t believe you should enter the inventing world light heartedly or without doing some work to learn about the process, remember that time is the enemy now and this is why.
Just a quick note on any advice recommending filing Pro Se- or in other words, filing your own patent. This is one of those NEVERS I mentioned. Because it isn’t about whether you could do it yourself, it is a matter of whether you should. No! There is a reason why people pay a ton of money to get an education in patent law. You can’t do it in a few classes. Without the benefit of a long education on how to do it right, it’s easy to make a mistake. And often by the time you realize you have made a mistake, it is too late to fix it.
So what can you do? You don’t need to do this alone. So many potentially great inventors never take the first step because they don’t know what to do or are afraid to get involved. Inventing is exciting and it is really what America is all about. You can join a local inventor group sponsored by the United Inventor Association or join us virtually for the Inventors Roundtable virtual meetings: https://www.meetup.com/InventorsMentoringandFunding/. The meetings are free and we answer all your questions about the inventing process and service providers. You can also read one of our free resources, the Inventors Galaxy Guide. It takes about 30 minutes to explain the steps involved and what your options are and gives you quality information on how to move forward the right way. You can also contact me at Rita@InventorLady.com.
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