Do A Patent Search Early In The Invention Process.
There is nothing more valuable than a patent search when you have a new idea. The reason a search is so valuable is that this single step can save the average inventor a fortune. Many times you will find your invention has already been patented.
If that is the case and the patent is still active, i.e. less than 17-20 years old in most cases, you will either want to change your idea or start over with a new concept. Often there is no point in pursuing an idea that has already been patented if your idea infringes the patent.
Your goal as an inventor should be to seek out reasons why your invention will not work and will not make you money. This is hard for most people to understand.
Inventing successful products is a tough business. If there is an obvious reason that your idea will not be a success in the marketplace you want to find out as quickly and as inexpensively as you can. An invention patent search is one of the most effective ways of doing this. I have gone through dozens or more of what I thought were great original ideas. It turned out that I was completely wrong. Most of the time I found this out during the search process.
Even if you determine that your idea has already been patented in one form do not give up. There may be some critical change or twist that your idea adds that could be patentable or highly marketable. This is where experience and vision come into play. No one knows for sure what will sell without actually trying to sell a product to find out. Use your best judgment.
The best way to approach searching for patents similar to your concept is to do patent research yourself at Google patents or at the US Patent Office.
If you do a quick search and don't find your idea the next step is to get a professional patent search. Why? Because a professional patent searcher will find the patents that you cannot. If you are an inventor that is interested in making money from your idea you want to know what other people have patented. Almost always it is money well spent.
If a professional search turns up patents that are similar to your idea, you can make an informed decision whether you move forward with the idea or not. If nothing turns up in a professional search it can energize you to finish evaluating and developing your idea. Now could be a good time to get a patent. Check out how to patent an invention.
Both outcomes are equally important and you should celebrate either one. When you find your great idea has already been patented you can pat yourself on the back for saving thousands of dollars and lots of hours of your time.
If your idea turns out to be original and you decide to pursue it, get to work. Inventors really can make a lot of money with an original product idea.