We’ve all heard this before is just above every aspect of life. And in the inventing process, it is absolutely TRUE as well! Listen to your instincts. I talk to inventors all of the time who hear one thing or another about inventing and their question to me is “Can that be true?” I ask them if it sounds right. Their answer is…..”well, no.” Of course not. If it sounds crazy, it probably is crazy. So here are some Too Good To Be True examples:
You can sell your idea. No! You can’t. Ideas are like belly buttons. Everybody has one and it doesn’t matter how cute it is, I can’t sell it.
You can license your idea and let the licensee file the patent. NO! Filing and controlling the intellectual property is the ONLY thing that gives you leverage. If your name isn’t on the patent and you are paying the registered patent attorney, you lose.
You can file your own patent (pro se). Legally, yes you can. Should you? NO! There is a reason why these people go to school for years to learn how to file a patent and you shouldn’t try to do it with a book you buy online or worse a template. The first thing a legitimate licensee will ask me is if a registered patent attorney did the patent filing. If the answer is “no”, the conversation is over.
“Just make it and sell it.” That only works if it is an inexpensive set up. If you are spending $500k to get to market, you probably want to know if you can get a patent.
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There are certainly other examples, but this will get you started. The best place to find a licensee is at a professional tradeshow.