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New Inventor Question-Where to go from here?

chappie99's Avatar

Hi All-

I'm new to the invention process. From what I've read about turning an idea into a product is to first making a working prototype, which I've done. I'm almost done w/ a working prototype so now I'm not sure where to go from here. Based on my readings (until I read an article on here), here's what I have gathered:

-send my prototype to a 3D drawer to have a full 3D drawing completed and have it printed in 3D for demo and patent purposes. approx cost $2k

-then do a patent search + application ~ $3900 (legalzoom)

-so looking at ~$7k in expenses

-from there I would find an injection molding company to produce some working versions that I would start trying to sell locally to test the waters. (not sure the cost but it's probably at least $5k-$10k

-if initial sales are good, then I have something to take to the market to see if I can license it

*Problem is, like most small inventors, I dont have an extra $30k lying around

I would appreciate any feedback on the steps to take once I have a working prototype.



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taterdog1's Avatargold

Hello Mike,                                                                                                                         I would take time to research Edison Nation and Quirky. Edison Nation only charges $25 to submit your invention and offers your invention protection with a confidentiality agreement.They have companies to pitch inventions to and have marketing experts to recognize potential products.                                                                                             I have approximately three inventions that I could manufacture and produce for a nominal investment.                                                                                                           I personally would not invest thousands of dollars on an invention that may not sale.There are better ways to get your inventions out there GOOD LUCK!

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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge


I concur with Barry. Why not first try submitting your invention to EN for $25 instead of going through all that hassle and expense? It's all confidential so if it doesn't work out with EN you can still take it down the development path yourself.

The downside of going with EN is that you'll have some waiting to do vs. doing things at your own pace, but that may not actually take more time than trying to find a manufacturer etc. Self-production can take a LONG time especially if you don't have a lot of money to throw at it. Not to mention the time and money lost if you make mistakes along the way. There is a huge learning curve to navigating the self-production route.

Other "downside" is you will share (50/50 split) royalties with EN. Not really a huge downside since EN does all the heavy lifting, pays all expenses, uses their connections, etc. sparing you all that effort and expense. In fact I'm happy to share royalties with EN since then I know I have a motivated expert partner whose interests are completely aligned with mine.

Your working prototype is more than enough to submit your invention to Edison Nation and attaching a video of the invention in action could really help prove the case.

Don't hesitate to reach out to any of us on these forums or via private message if you have any questions.

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magurn's Avatar

Hi Mike!

If you're interested in sharing your idea with Edison Nation to have it evaluated for potential licensing opportunities, you're certainly welcome to do so.

To get started, click on "Submit an idea" in the navigation bar above. Or, you can check out our active innovation searches.

To learn more about our process and review our standard terms and conditions before submitting your idea, please review the information provided on the Edison Nation Help Page.

If you feel we're a fit for your needs, we look forward to reviewing your idea soon!

Best of luck!

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circky1's Avatar

Hi Mike,

I agree with everything said by everyone so far. Keep in mind that if/when you are at a point where you need patents, you can save lots of money by paying for a patent search first without the application (I did this with Legalzoom, which I see are using..  This way, if someone already has the exact same functional patent, you won't waste your money.

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