Beyond The Patent
Invent My Idea - A New Way of Doing Things

Extraordinary concepts are being thought of everyday by many inventors, and their inventions improve the way we live. Some people invent new forms of communication while others come up with medical instruments that will save lives. Still others invent something through accident like when Charles Goodyear invented vulcanizing when he accidentally dropped raw rubber on hot metal.

Inventing something starts from an idea. So if you are aspiring to be an inventor, you need to have ideas in your head. However, everyone gets ideas every now and then so you may be wondering why not everyone is an inventor. The fact is that no matter how good your ideas are, they are useless as long as they remain in your head. You have to turn a new invention idea into something such as an electronic gadget or a tool. If you want to be recognized as an inventor, you should be thinking in terms of “how do I develop my idea”, which is really the hard part. You will have to create an actual prototype, test it to see if it is working and make a presentation to prove its usefulness.  

Many people who churn out great new invention ideas are not highly educated or trained. A large number of them did not receive formal scientific education and often come up with invention ideas through sheer common sense. Usually, what they do is innovate and invent new ways of doing things in the process. For example, a ball pen and laser pointer is usually needed in school or office every day. However, for some people, carrying both in a pocket could be too cumbersome. An inventor would simply think of a way to combine both in a single housing, with both ends occupied by a ball pen and a laser pointer.

But though finding new uses for things can be very profitable and useful, not all of them can be patented. To be able to qualify for a patent, the new idea must be unique. It must be such a novelty that it is not obvious to create in relation with the other products that have already been created. This is called “non obviousness” in patent law.

What is Non Obviousness?

Basically, non-obviousness has been defined by the US Patent and Trademark Office as something that an inventor in a particular field will not consider as common sense or obvious. However, keep in mind that in determining the obviousness or non-obviousness of an invention, there is no exact system or formula that is used. The belief that changing a product by five to twenty percent would make it non-obvious is not true. Obviousness depends on the person in the same way as beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You can ask a hundred different patent lawyers about the obviousness of a certain invention and you are more likely to get a hundred different answers as well. It will become even more complicated when you come face to face with the US Patent and Trademark Office examiners.

You should also realize that product patentability is not an indication of its value. A few years ago, the patent office denied the application of Apple for its iPhone, which may be the most innovative technological gadget to come out in the market in the last ten years. On the other hand, you can have a look at the huge number of worthless and absurd patents that have been granted their patents.

The Invention Process

Anybody can turn an invention idea into money. You do not need to have the mind of Einstein or get a master’s degree to think of a new invention idea. However, you need to follow a process in creating unique and novel invention ideas, no matter if you are a seasoned inventor or an up and coming innovator.

-Identify a limitation, difficulty or inadequacy

Ponder on problems that you encounter each day. It might be something that you hear in the news, in your particular area of expertise or in your personal life. Ever if you hear someone wish for a better way of doing something, take note of it. Consider how you can make daily life easier or allow you to enjoy something more. What problems do you find frustrating? What are your regular time wasters?

-Develop an innovation or solution

Find out if there are any existing solutions to the limitations, difficulties or inadequacies that you have identified. If there are, find out how you can improve on them. Look at similar difficulties in different environment or industry and see how they are solved. The solution may not be readily apparent so be patient. Give your mind enough time for the problem. Make use of different techniques such as masterminding or brainstorming to visualize the problem and come up with a solution. Remember that you cannot rush the process so take your time and wait for a solution to appear.

-Develop your Solution

Once a solution has been identified, improve on it and come out with other benefits that could be derived from it. You should also expand the solution into other industries and markets that have the similar or the same problems. Once you are done with your invention, consider what you are going to do next. You could start thinking about protecting it with a patent or begin building a new business based on the new concept you have created.

Disclaimer: It is the inventor's responsibility to research and vet companies before entering into a business relationship with any company. InventMyIdea does not provide warranties or guarantees for services offered by any company.