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What is Product Development? Product development is the process of designing, creating, and marketing an idea or product.

The product can either be one that is new to the marketplace or one that is new to your particular company, or, an existing product that has been improved. In many instances a product will be labeled new and improved when substantial changes have been made. The Product Development Process All product development goes through a similar planning process. Although the process is a continuous one, it is crucial that companies stand back after each step and evaluate whether the new product is worth the investment to continue. That evaluation should be based on a specific set of objective criteria, not someone s gut feeling. !ven if the product is wonderful, if no one buys it the company will not make a profit. "rainstorming and developing a concept is the first step in product development. #nce an idea is generated, it is important to determine whether there is a market for the product, what the target market is, and whether the idea will be profitable, as well as whether it is feasible from an engineering and financial standpoint. #nce the product is determined to be feasible, the idea or concept is tested on a small sample of customers within the target market to see what their reactions are. Product $evelopment can be accomplished in following stages% Documentation &imply having an 'idea( is worthless))you need to have proof of when you came up with the idea for your invention. *rite down everything you can think of that relates to your invention, from what it is and how it works to how you+ll make and market it. This is the first step to patenting your idea and keeping it from being stolen. ,ou+ve probably heard about the 'poor man+s patent())writing your idea down and mailing it to yourself in a sealed envelope so you have dated proof of your invention+s conception. This is unreliable and unlikely to hold up in court. *rite your idea down in an inventor+s journal and have it signed by a witness. This journal will become your bible throughout the patent process. An inventor s journal can by any bound notebook whose pages are numbered consecutively and can t be removed or reinserted. ,ou can find specially designed inventor s journals at bookstores -try .olo Press or the "ook /actory to start0, or you can save money and purchase a generic notebook anywhere they re sold, such as the grocery store, office supply store, stationary store, etc. 1ust make sure it meets the re2uirements above. Research ,ou will need to research your idea from a legal and business standpoint. "efore you file a patent, you should%

sketch out all of your ideas into your inventor+s journal.ou can determine these costs by comparing those of similar products currently on the market.ou will almost always discover a flaw in your original design or think of a new feature you would like to add. but do . do some preliminary research of your target market.ou can write the patent and fill out the application yourself. your brother thinks your idea for a new lawn sprinkler is a great idea. "efore you begin the prototyping phase. . !iling a Patent . it s finally time to file a patent. you cannot patent it))regardless of whether a prior patent has been filed. Do not file a patent before you have made a prototype. "egin with a drawing. . . This will demonstrate the design of your invention when you present it to potential lenders and licensees. create a full)working model of your idea. 2. 3 Research your market. but that doesn+t mean your neighbor would buy one. . nonobvious ornamental designs0. no matter how uni2ue you think your invention is.ou should also complete a non)patent 'prior art( search.ow that you have all of the kinks worked out of your design.3 Complete an initial patent search.gov to make sure no one else has patented your idea. it will be too late to include them in the patent and you will risk losing the patent rights of the new design to someone else.)$ model of your design. "efore you hire a patent attorney or agent. make sure your product can be manufactured and distributed at a low enough cost so that your retail price is reasonable. Is this something people will actually buy7 #nce you know there s a market. If your invention is something that will cost a lot of money or is unreasonable to prototype -like an oil refinery process or a new pharmaceutical drug0. . 9ere are some general rules of thumb when prototyping your invention% 1. consider using a computer)animated virtual prototype.uspto. There are many books and kits that can help you create prototypes. 4ore than 56 percent of all patents never make money for the inventor. "efore you invest too much time and money into patenting your invention. Making a Prototype A prototype is a model of your invention that puts into practice all of the things you have written in your inventor+s journal. #nce you+re satisfied with the mockup. There are two main patents you will have to choose from% a utility patent -for new processes or machines0 or a design patent -for manufacturing new. If you patent your idea before you work out these kinks. 1ust because you haven+t seen your invention doesn+t mean it doesn+t already exist. :reate a concept mockup out of any material that will allow you to create a . complete a rudimentary search for free at www. This will also help you si8e up your competition))which you will have. &ure. If you find any sort of artwork or design related to your idea.

9ave your inventor+s journal. Agree to the estimated total cost before hiring your patent professional. They are less expensive and will work more closely with you. run away= #nce you are far. "ut consider the upside% . *hen searching for a patent attorney or agent. or license it for sale through another company. 2. /rom the time you conceive your idea to the time you see your product on the shelf is a very long process. This often scares away inventors who feel they deserve more. *hen you license your product you will probably only receive two percent to five percent in royalty fees. This will save them time.ow it+s time to figure out how you+re going to bring your product to market. ?eep your focus on smaller patent firms.ow is a good time to decide if you will manufacture and sell the product yourself. prototype and notes with you. . find a patent professional who is also an electrical engineer. $iscuss fees. 9ave patience and follow due diligence in your steps to patenting your invention and your years of hard work will finally pay off. follow these steps to choosing the best patent professional% 1. 4ost inventions take years to come to fruition.not file it yourself until you have had a skilled patent professional look it over first. If you do not have a strong patent written by a patent attorney or agent. someone will infringe on it. Marketing #our $nvention . you will be pulling your hair out later when a competitor finds a loophole that allows them to copy your idea. Ask them what their technical background is. This will also help persuade them to work with you. far away. 1ust remember that an easy road doesn+t necessarily mean a short one. and you money. Patent and Trademark #ffice.&. . $o your homework. remember one thing% If you see them advertised on T<.ou will not have the financial burden associated with maintaining a business. :reate a business plan% 9ow will you get money7 *here will you manufacture the product7 9ow will you sell it7 . It s best to get the legal help now to avoid any legal problems in the future. This could end up making you more money in the long run. /ollowing these five steps will ensure an easy road to patenting your invention. 4ake sure they are registered with the >. If the invention is really valuable. If your invention is electronic. ".