A prototype development is of utmost importance when it comes to reaching your idea to the potential venture capitalists, consumers and investors who might be interested in purchasing or licensing your invention.
However before going ahead with the prototype development process, do not forget to record your conception first and have the recordation attested to by one or two witnesses.
As soon as you are done with this simple yet important step, it is now time to think of getting a prototype developed for your invention.
Why to choose prototype development?
There are several reasons to choose an invention prototype development. First, it helps in determining whether your invention can perform as per the expectations.
Besides, the testing model also helps suggest if the model needs any more worthy improvements that can be included before eventually deciding to file a patent application.
Additionally, a working model also helps you in evaluating the negative and positive commercial aspects of your invention, such as appearance, manufacturing costs, possible packaging, reliability, options, repairability, etc.
Eventually, a functional model provides you with something tangible to demonstrate to the prospective companies, investors and consumers. However, be wary of the “One Year Rule” which means that publicly showing your invention starts a one year period in the course of which you have to file a patent application.
Though you can yourself make your invention prototype, it needs to be somewhat straight-forward.
If you want to build a prototype model of your invention on your own, do not forget to keeping notes of the procedures and methods that made use of at the time of constructing your model.
It will be wise if you keep a record of its construction as you kept the records of your initial conception, through an “invention record form” by having your and one or two credible signature.
Hire prototype makers, engineers
If you feel that you are not able to build a working model of your invention yourself, or you should not go with this invention model construction due to some or other reason, then you should get in touch with a model engineer or maker who will be making it for a fee. Do not hesitate to ask him/her for references, so that you can do evaluation of the prototype maker’s or engineer’s integrity and competency.
However, do not disclose any thing about your invention idea unless you get him/her signed a work contract or agreement, specifying exactly what type of work is to be done. Plus, do not forget to add in the contract that all information shared between both the parties about your invention will not be disclosed, and must be strictly confidential.
Furthermore, do include some type of clause in the work contract/agreement precluding the model engineer or builder to make any other improvement and variation with your invention, and making attempts to claim it as her or his own. While this rarely takes place, it does not need any extra effort to insert this clause in the work contract/agreement, as a result avoiding any misunderstandings or conflicts in the long run.
Below is given a sample clause that you must copy and insert in any work contracts/agreements when you opt for invention idea prototype development.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: Any and all intellectual property conceived by (insert your model builder’s name here) which in any way derives from the services provided for in this contrast shall become the sole and exclusive property of (insert your name here), regardless of whether such intellectual property is conceived during the time devoted to the services under this contract or not.
Additionally, since under US Patent Law (35 USC 115), all patent applications have to be filed in the name of the “actual” inventor(s). Given below is a sample clause that you must copy and enclose in any contract while choosing a model builder.
ASSIGNMENT OF RIGHTS: In the event that (insert your model builder’s name here) conceives of any improvements or variations relating in any way to the subject matter of this contract, no matter how subtle such variations or improvements may be, actual ownership of such improvements or variations shall belong to (insert your name here). Furthermore, (insert your model builder’s name here) hereby ASSIGNS ALL RIGHTS to such intellectual property, and agrees to cooperate fully without charge, in assisting (insert your name here) by signing any and all documents relating to any applications for US or foreign patents in connection with such conceptions.
When you have got your model developed by a model builder or engineer, you must keep the record of its existence and operability by getting it resigned and dated with one or two witnesses.
When you are with your working model, you can now assess the patentability of your invention and its potential commercial success.