What I've learned so far!
Ok I'm working on a prototype (now my second incarnation of the design, the first didn't work). This is what I've learned so far. It's more for my reference but I'd appreciate any feedback you may have.
No 1: Don't put too much energy into protecting your idea, put it into executing it. Firstly if you have an idea, that's all you have. It's only in your head or maybe on your PC; it certainly isn't out there yet making millions.
If you don't discuss your idea with people you can't get any feedback on it.
You can still be careful about it; I've got this idea for a travel aid with the advantage of providing the ability to put your feet up during long haul travel.
See I didn't tell you how I may achieve this. I would not share the details until I'm confident I can trust the person I'm speaking too, but I have explained the benefits.
How can you expect anyone to be honest about your idea if you can not discuss and develop your plan?
Don't worry about patenting an idea; if your can write the patent yourself great, if you cant you'll need to hire an expensive patent lawyer. Either way it's not going to be cheap!
My advise is to apply for the patent (the take months to be approved) and at least you've got a record of it. Then when you have a finished design get an attorney to write your patent. You wouldn't want to spend 6 months and a few hundred quid on your design only for someone to steal it 2 years down the line.
There is of course another argument to the patent discussion, one that you shouldn't bother at all. Bear with me it's not as crazy as it sounds for 3 reasons. One, if your idea's that easy to copy its probably not worth your effort, maybe you should re-think it. Two, the chances are that a some point some body is going to make a cheap imitation some where, unless you can afford tens of thousands defending your patent it's not worth it, and finally if you execute your design and business better than the competition it doesn't matter anyway, you'll blow them away!
Last edited by Zambezi; 07-10-2014 at 03:53 PM.
Awesome advice, Zambezi! have you learned anything else since you shared this?