Getting help patenting an invention as a solo inventor

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At some point, you’ll have had a good idea for another ‘invaluable invention’ but what do you do next? Here’s our guide based on our experience of taking an idea from concept to commercialisation.  To get an overview of what’s involved also check out the patent process flowchart.

Before you get busy working on your invention, start by asking this question: How do you know if your idea is novel?

Professional patent search

The first step is to search relevant patents to see if others might have invented it already. If you find there is a patent, don’t despair straight away. The patent may not cover exactly what you’ve invented, and it could still be patentable. Maybe it’s time for a professional patent search. Ask us how.

Preparing a patent application

To apply for a patent, you need to submit a form to the US Patent and Trademark Office along with a full description of your idea and drawings or illustrations to aid the understanding of the technical features or assembly. Most likely you already have conceptual drawings as part of the design process for your invention. These must meet the legal requirements and ideally show the invention from several angles. Consider hiring a draughtsman with specialist knowledge in patent drawings.

Working prototype

You may also want to invest in getting a prototype made, by bringing on board a professional product designer or engineer.

 A working prototype is useful for testing the market and the product. You can get feedback and modify the design at this stage, saving expensive changes later when the invention is in full-scale production. There’s also a lot to be said for seeing an idea turned into a reality; it can either boost spirits or be the point where you decide to go work on something else.

Submitting a patent application

Be prepared to wait.

Eventually you’ll get a decision – has it been approved? Rather like passing a driving test, not everyone succeeds the first time. While there could be legitimate reasons for failure, now could be the time to research, investigate and challenge.

Be prepared to resubmit. It’s worth bringing in a fresh pair of eyes – inventors can be too close to spot the obvious, or lack the necessary legal or industry expertise.

Patent granted

Well done! A patent approval is only the start of the story.

You need to assess your patent and look at whether you want to develop or exploit the patent.

Ask yourself:

  • Is there a market for the patent?
  • How will I reach the market – are there barriers to overcome in terms of funding, manufacturing, sales and marketing?
  • Can I bring the product to market and make a profit?
  • Is it worth it?

Developing your idea

If you choose to enter the market, you need to secure the resources to develop your patented idea. Maybe it’s time to ask us how.

Exploiting your patent – selling or licensing

Alternatively, you can offer your patent to others, to bring the product to market. You can sell or license your patent; each comes with its own rewards dependant on getting the best price. We can help you achieve the best value for your patent. Get in touch to start the conversation.  


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