information resources for realising inventions

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  • information resources for realising inventions
  • joemarshall
    Member

    Have you actually built a prototype, or is it just an idea?

    If it is just an idea, probably the first thing to do is hack something together.

    If you don't have the skills to build whatever it is, then you need to find someone to build you a prototype, which will either require you to find someone with skills who really wants to help and take part in the idea*, or to pay an engineering company to build you one (which requires you to be able to do a full drawing / design of your idea).

    Bear in mind that everyone and their dog has a great idea for a fancy widget / bike part / piece of software etc. Ideas are worth nothing without actually building anything, so there's no point in being cagey about your super duper ideas. Building things is what is worth the money, and is where you find out how stupid your idea is. If you can build a prototype, then you actually have something where it is worth considering things like who might build them, how you might avoid them ripping you off and not giving you any money etc.

    Another thing that helps is asking other people, getting the idea out there and finding out what the obvious problems with your initial take on it are. The more people you talk to, the more likely you are to meet someone who can help with making it an actual product too, which is the only way you have any chance of making money out of it (assuming that is why you're interested). There is a tiny risk that someone will nick your idea and build it themselves, but to be honest, if the idea is amazingly good, yet dead simple to copy, once you started selling them, some company somewhere would work around any patents that you get and just build them or something similar, so you don't have much to lose, and you gain loads by talking to people.

    Joe

    *Although if they are any good or sensible, chances are they will want paying for any work on it.

    MikeT-23
    Member

    Got an idea for an invention, and no idea how to progress it. I know it's a big ask, but where might one start?
    If there are online resources which I could investigate I'd be grateful to learn what they are.

    samuri
    Member

    When I was down london last week, there were loads of posters by the givernment offering what seems like exactly the service you're after.

    These chaps I think.
    http://www.dius.gov.uk/innovation/business_support/research_and_development

    Oggles
    Member

    http://www.innovate-design.co.uk/
    Offer a free patent advice pack, and will do a free assessment of your idea under confidentiality agreement. They can offer further services helping with patenting and product design/development. If you've already designed it, the information may be all you need.

    Alternatively their links page has a ton of useful sites.

    EDIT: I should say, I have not used them, but I did a project for them when I applied for a work placement. There's nothing to lose from getting an independent assessment done.

    grynch
    Member

    and you may want to do a little looking to find out if your invention is in fact new… you'd be surprised how many people ( companies ) file "inventions" only to find out that yes it has been done already.

    http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/
    http://www.wipo.int/patentscope/en/patents.html

    joemarshall
    Member

    Seriously, whilst product design people are lovely(1), and I'm sure you've got a great idea(2), I'd ask yourself about your idea – would you be willing to risk thousands of pounds of your own money on the idea at this moment? If not, I'd make as cheap a prototype as possible and work on that until you have something where you believe your idea works in practice, so you are confident enough to want to put some money into it – those product design types don't come cheap (and if they're anything like the people I've known in that area, don't work on a percentage of future profits – it'll be billed hours after the initial consultation).

    Joe

    (1)and there is quite a lot of useful stuff on that site, even if it is a bit biased towards a particular model of making / protecting inventions.

    (2)or at least you think it's a great idea

    grynch
    Member

    * is a bit biased towards that site *

    go figure. *L*

    yes there are other patent application / protection methods out there but I referenced the one I am familiar with.

    and Joe.. you are right with your advice… a cheap prototype is an excellent idea as costs can be prohibitive for a single inventor, but as a caveat to that.. be careful whom you show a prototype to if you have no protection at all on the design as yet.

    PhilO
    Member

    UK Intellectual Property Office (aka Patent Office): http://www.ipo.gov.uk/

    MikeT-23
    Member

    Yo guys – you've been most helpful, really. Thank you so much.

    Sorry it's taken a week to come back, but I'd put the notion aside.

    Those reources you suggest are fantastic, and I'll explore them in depth over the weekend.

    As for the idea, it's a an 'adult toy' shall we say, so it may be a bit more difficult to locate designers and backers. Then again, maybe that's my prudish upbringing out to promote denial.

    Cheers, and thanks again

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