Be very wary of companies who promise to develop your invention
Invention development is terminology mainly used by marketing companies as described in the article at this site “Invention Tips and Warnings”.
Unfortunately many members have been caught by invention development companies that are actually marketing companies who promise to make contact with ready buyers which never seems to eventuate after the inventor has spent thousands of dollars. These organisations usually know very little about the development of inventions despite what they say.
USA patent attorney’s warning
The link below is a good article worth reading and gives a list of companies that the US Patents office has had complaints about.
Ask for proof, ring the actual inventors
To protect yourself you need to ask them for a few successful inventors they have helped and talk to them. If there are reasons for you not being able to talk to these past successes then warning bells should start to ring in your mind! Below we talk about how you can develop your invention, but here is a list of things these fraudulent companies claim. http://www.bpmlegal.com/pinvmktg.html
Inventors can be easy prey
They all follow similar patterns – First an evaluation which confirms your thoughts that your product is extremely valuable and will sell (even if it is a poor product with no prospects of being sold). That gets you excited so they can offer a range of services from patent searching, to patenting, to prototypes, video presentations or straight into sending out letters and brochures to potential buyers. The object is to milk as much money from you over time as they can. In the end they will send out letters, brochures, videos etc. that you have paid for to thousands of potential investors and the results will be NIL. You pay for Australia first then they suggest the poor results were because you did not pay the extra and go to international investors. If you pay for this too you will still not get a result and you have no proof that anything was ever sent.
We guide you along the path
IAA(Vic) do not develop inventor’s inventions which is a complex task requiring a great deal of work. We guide our inventors along the path of development and mentor members in the process. We have many contacts that might also help in invention development including our sponsors who have proved to be economical and reliable.
There are many specialized companies who can do invention development as long as the invention is similar to many other products that they have already had experience with. Plastic injection molding companies who sell their products to distributors might be a good source for inventors of products that are made from plastic especially if the company already deals with the same type of distributors as the inventor’s invention would require. The same is true of metal fabricators for metal products.
Real invention development
True invention development requires market research to determine if there is a market or if one can be developed for a new invention, the likely selling price, distribution outlets, packaging requirements and style or design features. After market research the next stage of invention development is the production of a prototype that meets the needs of the market research because there is no point in making a product that will sell for twice the price that most people will pay for it, or be twice the size of the type of product people will want to buy because the re-seller will have difficulty selling it. No sales = no profit for the inventor.
After the prototype, testing needs to be carried out to prove the product will perform the way it was intended. It is common during this phase to redesign the product to overcome problems that show up during testing, possibly several times. This will involve more design, more manufacturing input and other prototypes. When it is established that the product will work, can be manufactured according to the results of the market research then a business plan and marketing plan need to be developed at the same time as Intellectual Property protection such as a patent, registered designs and a trademark registration.
When the costs of invention development have been established a pitch will need to be made to bankers or investors to raise the capital. Up to this point considerable capital will have already been allocated and spent just to get to this point of deciding whether to go ahead.
In many instances this is a cost-prohibitive process for an inventor with a single product. It would be more economically viable if the product used consumables like dust bags for a vacuum cleaner or sanding pads for a sanding tool which would be more convincing for a retailer to stock the product, then the cost of getting the product to market can be offset by the rising demand for consumables after launching.
Invention development companies would find it difficult to retain the expertise needed in the many areas required by a variety of inventions so it is not common for these companies to actually exist and caution should be exercised when dealing with a company that claims to be able to develop and commercialize your invention for you especially if they talk mostly about the potential income rather than production of the invention.
Perhaps the best way to develop your invention
One of the best ways to develop an invention is to do it slowly and methodically, including working on the prototype to get it right and doing your own market research by going to retailers asking about a product like yours. When you feel you have a good product you should then seek advice about patent or other intellectual protection and try to find manufacturers who already make similar products to see if they would be interested in developing yours as well. Some of these manufacturers will have design capabilities and prototyping ability and will have packaging contacts too. If they already make products suitable for your consumers they could be interested in yours as well.
We cannot tell you that the best advice is to wait until you have a market for your product before patenting it in case it is patented by somebody else before you, but business-wise it is a very big risk to spend money on patenting before proving there is a market for the invention.