Robert Croak, the inventor of Silly Bandz, has purportedly sold millions of packages of the rubber bracelets at around $5 for a pack of 24. If you have an idea for an invention, you might be the next in a long line of success stories. Make sure your idea is completely original, even if you don’t think someone has already invented it, do some research. Do a lot of research, because you might end up wasting a lot of time on an idea that’s already been patented. Once you insure that your idea is unique you have a number of options to choose from.
Invention contests – This is not the best way to make money with an invention as there isn’t any guarantee that you’ll earn anything. If you really have a good idea, and you want to make money with it, then you should make it happen on your own. Don’t just throw your ideas out there and hope that someone pulls your name out of a drawing. Sometimes in these contests, they’ll just send the ideas straight to companies and ignore the actual contest. That being said, there are inventing contests that yield a very high monetary reward, as well as getting your invention out there.
Patenting – If you think that you have a really good idea, one thing you need to think about is whether you want to patent it or not. When you patent your invention, you are preventing other people from copying and utilizing your product. If you are planning on selling your product to a company, it’s very important that you patent your idea. There are many companies that won’t even consider working with you if you haven’t patented your idea. Having a patent on your invention will give you full rights to do what you want to do with it. You can sell your patent as a whole to another company or person, or you can sell it partially.
You could end up spending altogether for the cost of a search fee, filing fee, examination fee, publication fee, and an issue fee which turns out to add up to $1,500-$2,500 to have your invention patented. However, if you pay all of these fees then you don’t have the possibility of consulting a qualified professional patent attorney. But if you use the services of a patent attorney, then you could end up paying anywhere from $6,000-$11,000. So many people prefer to get a patent on their own to avoid spending that much money.
Licensing your patent – Be sure that you understand you need to license your patent rights and not your invention. So you have to have a patent or have to have applied for a patent in order to get any licensing. Licensing your patent is basically four steps. You first need to find manufacturers, you should find 30-100 manufacturers that want products similar to yours. Prepare your marketing materials, this would involve making a professional brochure or marketing letter. It’d really help you to make a website of your product for your marketing materials. Now you need to turn in your marketing materials to the manufacturers, and then discuss your licensing. When it comes to discussing the licensing, you should hire an experienced attorney.
When it comes time to sell your idea, you should make a prototype. This is a great way to explain the true key points of your product. You can use outside help to make your prototype or you can do it yourself.
A great way to get tips on becoming a successful inventor is to meet other inventors who will help you understand what it takes and how to really get your name and products out there.