Whether you’re an experienced inventor or a newbie who just came up with your first big idea, the Inventor Smart Monthly Newsletter is for you!
You’ll find valuable tips, useful resources and words of wisdom that can help move your invention ideas forward!
Selling to Retailers with One Product
Something else to consider when pitching a buyer is that when you have one product or one SKU (Stock Keeping Unit), it can be very difficult for a buyer to commit to a purchase order. The SKU is a unique number used to internally track inventory.
The buyers most likely would prefer working with a vendor who has a line with multiple products and has an established track record or history of successful sales. This is how it is most of the time and it may be tough for an inventor with one product to break into a retailer. The buyers do take chances with a new product if they like it, but with one, there may be a slim shot.
They would have to open up a new vendor account with you, teach you their logistics, and you would have to deliver to their warehouse within a tight window of time. All this has to be perfect to meet their requirements and work with their systems. The buyers are assigned a certain space of shelving within a retail store and they have sales targets of how much they need to produce from that space. So, they have a responsibility to find the right products and add them to the shelves. Their careers depend on it. So that’s why they go for established brands with a track record. Not that getting one product into retail is impossible, but it can be difficult. That’s why we have other options these days. We have Amazon for example, where we can put our one product for sale or we can sell our product on our own website, or we can find other Amazon-type websites to sell through, and we can even sell directly through social media advertising.
We are inventors, finding solutions to challenges. Anything is possible, and you can figure out your way into retail. Keep going.
Source: How To Make Money with Your Invention Idea Book by Brian Fried
What To Do When You Have Little to No Money For Your Invention
When you’re an inventor, you know just how exciting it is to come up with a new product idea.
You’ve finally found a solution to a problem everyone deals with. Better yet, you know that once word gets out about your invention, people will be clamoring to the stores to buy it…or at least, that’s what you hope for.
But in order to get to that point, you realize it’s going to take some time and dedication on your part. On top of that, you expect the invention process will require you to put in some hard-earned cash, which could be easier said than done.
Getting Started With Your Invention On A Shoestring Budget: Research Your Idea
First, you must establish that the idea you’ve come up with is truly your own. Take advantage of search engines like Google to do this, and run multiple searches to ensure your idea is, in fact, original. Make sure you run multiple searches for different keyword variations, and use both the web and image search features. You should be searching as if you wanted to find a product identical to your invention idea. It’s a good idea to keep a log of what you find, referencing the images or URLs of the products similar to your idea.
Professional Patent Search
Once you’ve done thorough research on Google and you’re confident that your product hasn’t been created yet, the next logical step is to perform a patent search.
Since a professional patent search with a patentability opinion can cost anywhere from $500-$600, it is crucial that you research your product as much as you can before conducting a patent search; the goal is to make sure you aren’t wasting money on a professional patent search that only proves your product cannot be protected. Once you have completed your initial research without finding your product, then you can consider conducting a professional patent search with a patentability opinion.
Alternatively, you can reach out to a patent attorney or a patent agent; they can perform a patent search and provide you with a professional opinion about whether or not your idea could be protected.
Alternative Patent Search Options
While a professional patent search is certainly worth considering, it isn’t the only option for inventors on a tight budget. You may, instead, choose to conduct your own search using Google Patents or the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
Once you’ve found information on existing products that are similar to yours, you can take these findings and present them to a patent attorney or a patent agent to determine whether or not your idea could be protected.
Whether you pay for a professional patent search or you decide to go it alone, I cannot urge you strongly enough to get a professional opinion about whether or not you can protect your idea.
Keep in mind, if a patent search and evaluation are not done properly before you attempt to license your product, there could be negative consequences in the future, as you may find out that your invention is infringing on someone else’s intellectual property.
Protect Your Invention With A Provisional Application
If your research indicates that your invention can be protected, you may wish to file for a provisional patent application. In doing so, you can protect your intellectual property for one year after the filing date, during which time you can fine-tune your product and save up for your utility patent. Once you’ve filed your provisional patent application, this will allow you to say your invention is patent pending.
Your utility patent itself can cost anywhere from $2,000 and up, depending on the complexity of your invention. Remember, this does not include the patent office filing fee, nor does it include the lawyer’s fee to review and respond to the patent office’s “office actions.” For more information, you can refer to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) fee schedule online.
Filing for a provisional application could be a great option for inventors who want to discuss their product with others, but lack sufficient funds to file for a utility patent.
Creating Your Prototype
Creating a mock-up, or prototype, of your invention is another critical step for making your idea a reality. Prototype creation can cost as little as $50 and up for a basic concept, depending on the features and materials your prototype will require.
There are many options for making a prototype these days, including CAD (computer-aided drawing) models and 3D printing, but the goal is to produce a prototype that looks, feels, and functions like the finished product you’re envisioning.
You’ll want to make sure your prototype serves as a high-quality model, as this is what you’ll be presenting to potential licensees, investors, and partners.
Licensing Your Invention
9 times out of 10, inventors on a limited budget will find that licensing their product is the best way to bring it to market. When you license your invention, this means you are working with another company, also known as a licensee, who is renting out the rights to your intellectual property. Most of the time, the licensee you work with will cover the cost of manufacturing and distribution, ultimately limiting the amount of money you’ll need to spend on your idea.
When you work with a licensee, your total investment may not go beyond the costs of your patent search, patent filing, design preparation, and prototype creation/ presentation. Not only can working with a licensee allow you to minimize your costs, but you will be able to sit back and collect royalty checks without having to do much additional work.
To find out your options and get help with your invention you can visit Inventor Coach Brian Fried @ brianfried.com for more helpful inventing tips.
Question: What is the Patent Cooperation Treaty
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international agreement for filing patent applications having effect in many countries around the world. Although the PCT system does not provide for the grant of “an international patent”, the system simplifies the process of filing patent applications, delays the expenses associated with applying for patent protection in foreign countries, and allows the inventor more time to assess the commercial viability of his/her invention. Under the PCT, an inventor can file a single international patent application in one language with one patent office in order to simultaneously seek protection for an invention in the PCT member countries. For more information see
National Inventor Club hosted the annual Inventor Showcase In honor of National Inventors Month. We had a great lineup of inventors who presented their product or prototypes!
See their demo, hear where they are on their journey and what’s next for their invention as they revealed their prototype or finished product to you!
Let’s check out the latest and greatest inventions from our inventor members!
We were also joined by Stephen Yanchuk of USPTO, he shared some exciting event that will be happening in the USPTO that inventors can take advantage of. We were also joined by Charlene Walters author of Launch Your Inner Entrepreneur book, she gave us some entrepreneurial tips and advise. We also heard from Bob Quintana who shared to us the importance of being committed in achieving what we want from our inventions and from what we are doing right now.
National Inventor Club is one of the largest and most active communities for inventors, innovation, and service providers that support invention and continues to provide a nationwide platform for great guest speakers, networking, and connections founded and moderated by Brian Fried, who has been running inventors clubs for over 15 years.
The Got Invention Show
The Got Invention Show features a 30-minute interview where an inventor promotes an invention, seeks a licensing deal, or looks for distribution opportunities. Host Brian Fried focuses on his guest’s challenges and solutions. He asks about their journey, where they are right now, and what will come next. He invites guests to offer words of wisdom to viewers and listeners.
Would you like to be our guest on the Got Invention Show? Schedule your interview today to promote your prototype or product now available for sale to now reaching 100 million households!
You and Host Brian will do a 28 minute interview and once the interview is completed, you can use it for your website and social media and we air on Amazon Fire, Roku TV, YouTube TV and next month we will be on Apple TV!! The podcast audio version of your interview is played on Spotify, iHeartRadio, Google and Apple Podcasts and Amazon Music! Small fee, great promotion for you and your invention!!
IP Identifier: Learn to identify and protect your intellectual property
Learn how to identify which of your creative ideas might be intellectual property assets and how to protect them by using the USPTO Intellectual Property (IP) Identifier.
Are you thinking about starting a business? Do you own one already? Or maybe you’re an inventor, artist, or designer. Maybe you sell goods online or in a store or provide a service to others. If so, you may have intellectual property.
To learn more visit https://ipidentifier.uspto.gov/#/identifier/welcome
“Spend as much time online researching “how to” and advice resources as you do on creating your idea.
The resources today can really help you move forward without having to pay tons of money to other people for things like technical drawings, patent work, even prototyping.
While you must always be on the lookout for shysters, there’s alot of people in the inventor space who genuinely want to help.
Don’t sell yourself short, you do this !!”
Craig Adams Inventor and Member of National Inventor Club
Are you ready to pitch your invention? Now Casting for the Got Invention Show’s “Pitch Your Invention” Mini Series!
Pitch Your Invention is still casting inventors with inventions for a special media series introducing yourself and demonstrating your invention with a 2 minute pitch!
-We’re looking for inventors to give their best 2 minute pitch of their product or prototype and be a part of our upcoming program! (no cost to you and recordings happen from your webcam into our studio).
-If you’re selected, you can be a part of our episodes that may air on Amazon Fire, RokuTV, YouTube TV, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Google and Apple Podcast and Amazon Music! If you’ve already submitted, please do not apply again, Brian is starting to feel better and will get started soon!
– If you have yet to apply, click here: www.pitchyourinvention.com
Got Invention Show
Check out Brian’s latest book just published!!
Do you have this great idea for an invention in your head? Are you ready to learn how to make money with that invention?
● This book is about taking action so you can take that great idea out of your head and make smart decisions to help you make money. Here’s how it works:
● We’re going to walk through the steps of getting started with your big idea.
● We’ll also explore how to turn your idea into a real prototype.
● We’ll discover resources to protect your ideas and, of course, help plan your future.
So why did I write this book? I want to provide the opportunity for more inventors to learn the process it takes to experience the invention brought to life. Not only to make your invention a reality, but to learn how to earn from your inventions.
A shop for Inventors, innovators and patent holders - Check out InventorMart.com!
This is a shop for you! You’ve worked hard on your invention, now you can wear DESIGNS & MERCH made with you in mind! Find shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, hats, stickers, blankets and over 1,000 unique items to show that you are proud to be an inventor. check out InventorMart.com
About Brian Fried
Brian Fried, serial inventor with 15 patents, is an award-winning authority in the invention industry, a sought-after celebrity guest speaker and an advocate for the invention community. As Chief Invention Officer of Inventor Smart and Expert Inventor Coach, Brian represents inventors at every stage of the invention process, project managing new up-and-coming inventions from idea to manufacturing or as an invention licensing agent to secure deals with major brands and earn royalties for inventors.
Brian is the founder of the National Inventor Club where guest speakers focus on topics of interest to the inventor community.
He is a 3x author and his 3rd book, How to Make Money With Your Invention Idea was just published in May 2022. He also hosts Got Invention Show and Radio where you can watch on RokuTV, Amazon Fire, YouTube TV, and you can hear his podcasts on Spotify, iHeartRadio, Amazon Music Google and Apple Podcasts. Brian recently launched a new merch line with various designs for inventors, InventorMart.com
You can visit Brian’s personal website at BrianFried.com and check out his invention that have been licensed where he earns royalties and manufactures others that he sells on his own currently found in retailers.
Brian’s Inventor MasterClass is now available! If you want to evaluate your invention, find out if licensing or manufacturing is the right decision for you, sign up for an eLearning course at InventorClass.com. National Inventor Club Members receive a discount. For inventor resources, more information and additional tips, visit Inventor Smart.
Sponsorship opportunities available for future newsletters. If you’d like to promote your product or service please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (631)565-7074
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Brian and the Inventor Smart Team