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Will My Invention Be Profitable?

Many people come up with fantastic ideas for new products and services. But not every invention is profitable. You don't want to invest much time and money into an idea only to learn that nobody will buy it.

There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding whether to pursue a patent on a new product. While the patent application is not that expensive, much work goes into patenting your invention.

Here, we will briefly explain how the patent process works and discuss how to determine whether your invention will be profitable. If you are ready to proceed with your patent, contacting an intellectual property lawyer is a good idea. They'll guide you through the application process and help protect your patent rights.

Why Should I Seek a Patent for My Invention?

Thousands of inventors submit applications to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) annually. Some applicants are small business owners who have designed interesting new products. Many startup companies and entrepreneurs submit applications for patent protection or exclusive rights to new service models.

Types of Patents

Whatever your idea, securing a patent is the best way to ensure nobody steals it from you. There are three types of patents available. These include:

  • Design patents
  • Utility patents
  • Plant patents

Each patent serves a unique purpose. Primarily, a patent allows your product to stand out against similar products. It can help your company protect its trade secrets and protect small companies from having large companies swallow up their ideas.

New businesses should seek intellectual property protection if they offer a particular service or product type. For example, suppose you open a store that sells tutoring software. In that case, you will apply for a patent grant to ensure other tutoring companies don't copy or imitate your programs and applications.

Where Do I Submit MyPatent Application?

If you have a patentable invention, you should apply to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The agency's website offers various services for people seeking IP protection. It also operates a patent system that tracks provisional patent applications, property rights, and ownership.

While patent laws protect property rights, the USPTO manages the patent system. An examining attorney at the USPTO reviews your paperwork and drawings after you apply. Then, your examining attorney checks to see if your idea resembles other patented products. If your invention is unique and distinct, there's a good chance the office will grant your patent.

Deciding if Your Idea is Profitable

If everybody with a good idea submitted a patent application, the USPTO couldn't meet the demand.

There are specific questions or issues to explore before submitting your application in the patent process, like:

  • Conducting a patent search. Check for existing patents or pending patents for products like yours. The person who submits their application first will get a priority date for copyright and trademark purposes.
  • Will you be able to sell your invention? There is no point in securing a patent for a product nobody wants. It's one thing if you want a patent for creative purposes. But, if you are in the business of selling goods or services, your invention must be marketable.
  • How expensive will it be to secure a patent? Don't spend more money securing a patent than you'll make on the invention itself.

Consider the cost of getting a patent. This includes marketing and production costs. A patent can cost a few thousand dollars for a U.S. patent to hundreds of thousands of dollars for international patents.

As you identify improvements and expand markets, there are maintenance fees and costs of more patents. A patent attorney can also file a patent. The marketing and production costs depend on your product. So does the degree to which you rely on professional services, such as marketing firms and manufacturing companies.

A Patent Attorney Can Help

If you aren't sure whether you want to apply for a patent, talk to an intellectual property lawyer. They can review your paperwork and search current patents to ensure there isn't a similar product already on the market.

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Next Steps

Contact a qualified business attorney to help you identify how to best protect your business' intellectual property.

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