As an Inventor do you need a Prototype?

Official seal of the USPTO

Not many people know this but before the 1880’s every inventor had to present a working model or prototype to the patent office. This was the beginning steps for the patent application. Today it is not necessary to have a prototype to patent, sell or license your idea.

There are however many advantages to prototypes. You can visualize the functionality of your invention to other people.  A prototype proves what is called a “reduction to practice” and if the question ever comes up, a prototype can be proof that you were the first inventor.

A prototype can prove if your design actually works or if it has major flaws. It can help you make sure your invention is the right size, shape and form. You can use it during demonstrations to help sell or license the product.

Inventors should make sure they get a signed nondisclosure agreement if someone is going to work on a prototype for them. Make sure to discuss the project thoroughly and agree on fees for the entire project in advance. If you or anyone you know needs help getting a prototype made in an effort to sell or license their invention, please contact us at New Product Consulting.


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