People come up with new ideas every day they think will revolutionize the world and make them tons of money. Most of these ideas are conceived by watching people do things during their everyday lives. While I do not want to discourage anybody from following their dreams pursuing such ideas, some of the best inventions I have seen were developed to help people do their everyday jobs.
For example, some years ago I had a client who developed a new type of wrench for doing a specific job when repairing automobiles. While his wrench had utility (was useful for doing something) and was new, the U.S. Patent Office (USPTO) could not be convinced that the wrench was a non-obvious improvement over the prior art wrenches. I had told him this was the likely result after doing a patent search, but he felt that it was worth a try (and the wrenches could be marked “Patent Pending” while the utility patent application I filed for him was actually pending before the USPTO).
Why are these ideas often better than those conceived by observation?
Well, firstly, you are intimately familiar with the problems you encounter on the job… be it a factory worker trying to lift and position sheet metal for stamping in a press, a new mother or father trying to dispose of those “nasty” dirty diapers while at least keeping some of her dignity, or even a child on his or her “job” trying to ride a skateboard down a stair rail.
Secondly, you have put a lot of thought into trying to make your job easier or safer. You face the challenge every day and must “deal with it”! You have a major stake in solving the problem. Lets face it, we all try to look out for number one. If we can save energy… why not do so. Furthermore, we obviously do not want to get hurt doing our job.
Finally, there are likely thousands… probably millions of people around the world who do the same job you do. This is a market ready to “gobble up” your new idea in a heart beat! THEY ALL HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM YOU JUST SOLVED! You get a patent on your idea where you want to control use of the idea and you are in the driver’s seat!
A word of caution. Be sure that if you work for a company or do “freelance” work for others that you have your local attorney check any employment contract you signed and brief you on any applicable state laws that apply. This is because state law or your employment or other contract you signed may dictate that your employer or freelance customer owns the idea (and any patent rights thereto) you developed on or relating to your job rather than you. Be safe and check it out!
Also, remember that there may be adverse consequences in obtaining a domestic (USA) and foreign patents if you decide to build and utilize your idea (or method) on the job. Before doing so, talk with an experienced patent attorney!
Want to see if your idea is patentable? Click on the link below:
Want to lock-in patent pending for your invention or new product idea? Click on the link below:
Brian R. Rayve
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