Invention Ideas

Summary: This article offers tips on how to pursue invention ideas. Steps include recording your idea, designing your idea, the patent process, making a prototype, manufacturing your product and selling your idea to larger companies.

English: Graphic work-by paul b. toman

Everyone has had a moment their life where an idea to improve or invent a product has popped into their mind.  Maybe they thought of a great new product idea that fills a specialty need or maybe they invented a way to improve on an already existing product.  There is a huge difference between having these ideas and actually acting on these ideas.  When we don’t act on our ideas, inevitably we wind up seeing our invention on a commercial or on the shelves at Walmart a few years later.  That’s when we wind up kicking ourselves for not pursuing our idea.??

So what if you do have an idea that you would like to see come to fruition?  How do you get your idea created, manufactured or sold?  The first step is to write down your idea.  Create a detailed outline describing your idea and the exact specifications of the product or how it improves on a current product.  Once you have your idea on paper, it’s time to get it created or designed.??

English: graphic design work by Emmanuel Cloix

For technical ideas with moving parts or complex assembly, you will need to hire a CAD designer to create a perfectly proportioned blueprint of the product.  This CAD design can be used to show potential investor exactly how your product works.  For less complex designs or simple mock-ups of a product, you can also hire a graphic designer to bring your idea to life.  You can hire both CAD designers and graphic designers online as freelance workers.  Websites like, and all have a plethora of contractors actively seeking work.??

Once you have your design created you can start the patent process.  An actual US government patent can cost thousands of dollars.  For those inventors who want to protect their idea in the short term, a patent pending is best.  You can get a patent pending, also known as a provisional patent for a few hundred dollars.  Websites like offer a streamlined provisional patent process that can be completed relatively quickly.  Inventors can upload the description of their idea along with the graphic design or CAD design directly on to Legal Zoom’s website.??

English: Example of an early Australian patent...

After you have your product protected, you can pursue the creation or sale of your idea.  Creating a product yourself is much more difficult than simply selling the idea to a company that is already set up to manufacture this type of product.  Either way, the next step in bringing a product to life is to make a working prototype.  This is a replica of exactly what your finished product will look and feel like.  This prototype is an excellent tool for convincing potential investors to buy into your idea.  If you plan on submitting your invention to multiple companies, make sure you have enough prototypes for each submission.  ??

Those who want to create their own product need to find interested manufacturers with the capability to duplicate the prototype in mass quantities.  Many manufacturers will require you to purchase a minimum run of your product, which means they may want you to commit to buying thousands of copies of your product.  This is why selling your idea to other companies is a much cheaper initial investment.  You can simply sell your idea and receive a payout along with royalties from each product sold.  Selling ideas is no easy task and the percentage of ideas that are actually sold is probably very small, but if you believe in your product it can be done. ??

During this entire process it helps to talk with other inventors to get advice on how to bring your product to life.  There are a few inventors’ forums online when you can get some quality advice.  Remember to never give out your actual idea in any forum or even via email.  If you do share your idea with anyone new, be sure and have them sign a non-disclosure agreement to protect your product.  If you have faith that your idea is truly sellable and you take the proper steps, you may actually see your product on the shelves or on television.  When this happens, it can be both personally rewarding and financially beneficial.

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