When to Get a Patent on a Product

when to get a patentThere are a lot of theories out there about when to patent your product idea. At Davison, we follow the strategy of “BUILD BEFORE YOU PATENT,” which also happens to be the business strategy of most manufacturers. New product development is a balancing act, and the best tight-rope walkers in this industry to learn from are product manufacturers. So … logic says “THINK LIKE A MANUFACTURER.” Ask yourself, “Would a manufacturer of this product do that?”

Logically apply the protection process to your new product idea. Most patent attorneys will have you believe that patenting is the first critical step in inventing. Once you file a patent application all eyes can evaluate what you’re trying to invent and protect. This is not good! There’s nothing more disturbing than the USPTO letting “patent poachers” look at the applications before issuing patents when approximately 50% of all patent applications received are rejected. Manufacturers understand this and, in general, file for patents only after they have their new product ready for production.

Next time you’re in the store look to see how many products are not patented. Sometimes manufacturers simply determine they aren’t going to spend the time patenting simple items. You might also look at the back of a product and notice “Patent Pending.” This means patent applications were filed with the USPTO but not yet granted – it could take two years to get an issued patent. Can you imagine a manufacturer sitting around waiting two years before they try to turn a profit on their new product?

Our approach to inventing practically mirrors how manufacturers create, design and develop new products. We do NOT follow the old method of “patent first and then figure out what the product is later.” Scores of patents are rendered useless because the original design is too expensive to manufacture or is filled with design flaws. Concentrate on product design and then go the extra mile to figure out the product packaging solution before applying for a patent. Manufacturers do … so you should, as well.

Patenting can be a critical element in protecting your product; notice we said product, not idea. Invent, design, develop, package and then start considering the protection process. Our system can greatly assist you in your quest, and if you’re interested in having a no-cost consultation of your idea with us, click here to fill out our Confidentiality Agreement.