Inventor Lessons of the week

invention lessons learned - the inventor school - business training

invention lessons learned - the inventor school - business training

It was a very busy week, but a rewarding one. My invention projects are coming along and I’m picking up new skills and understanding about the business of inventing, product design, pitching, being organized and methodical as well as creative.

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(More Notes Below)

 

A little mistake… and it could have gone a lot worse!

  1. All Contracts, Purchase Orders and Pro-forma Invoices need to be VERY well reviewed.
  2. Not just by you but by a 3rd party. Get a trusted friend or consultant to look over your correspondence as well as the document being signed or agreed. This may save you time, money or both!
  3. For any project which you are having work done – outsourcing, prototyping, manufacturing, marketing materials etc. You NEED to have a very clear list of requirements. With a very clear list, you can share that with your sub-contractor or outsourcer so that it’s VERY CLEAR what needs to be done or what features need to be in the final product.
  4. Use Excel or Google Sheets or any other tool. Just exercise that business-like side of your brain 🙂

Provisional Patent Application – Submitted!

  1. The USPTO website’s EFS-Web portal is a means of submitting your PPA online. It’s not very straight-forward, but anyone can learn how to use it.
  2. You can qualify for Micro-Entity Status if your gross income is less than 169,000 (approx.) per year.
  3. There is an interesting way to add your signature to the PDF document…and NO you don’t need to scan anything!

Calling Potential Licensees

  1. I made a bunch of calls to potential licensees for one of my inventions.
  2. I researched a bunch of companies who I thought would be a good fit for my product idea.
  3. I call the companies and try to speak to someone who reviews the new product submissions.
  4. KEEP A LIST OF WHO YOU TALK TO! That paper trail can protect you later on.
  5. If they say yes, I send them an email my marketing materials (in this case, a YouTube Demo Video with a private link)
  6. I wait for email replies and if I don’t hear back in a week or so, I follow up by email or phone.
  7. I got a few replies saying they would “Pass” on my idea 🙁
  8. But every NO gets me closer to YES!

Other Invention Topics touched on this week:

  • Getting Started with Blender 3D Modeling. The most Powerful (and FREE!) 3D modeling software available
  • Are Apps considered to be Inventions? Can they be protected by patents or copyrights?
  • Licensing Agreements – what are the critical clauses to include to ensure you get the best deal?!
  • Left Brain vs. Right brain thinking – Inventors need a good balance. Don’t let your creativity get out of hand.
  • Who’s an inventor? Are Product Designers? Startup Founders? App Developers? All of the above?