There are many ways to find help in your quest to own a patent for your invention. The Small Business Administration, Minority Business Development Administration, and local Small Businesses Development Centers can help you at any stage of your business. These resources can assist you in the search for patents, licensing your invention, and preparing for public demonstration. Here are some tips to help you get started on your journey.
This comprehensive guide will help you as an inventor navigate the process of starting your business in Idaho.
1. Idea Validation
- Begin by validating and refining your business idea. Market research is important to determine if there is a market for your product.Identify the target audience, your competitors and market size.Ask for feedback from industry experts and potential customers to refine your idea.
- Create a detailed plan that outlines your goals for the business, target market, value propositions, marketing strategy and operations plan.Include information on your product/service pricing strategy, sales channels and competitive advantages.
- Choose the legal structure of your business. You can choose from a variety of options, including a sole proprietorship or partnership, LLP, corporation, or limited liability company. Your choice will affect your liability, tax, and ownership structure.
- Register your business with the Idaho Secretary State’s Office. Make sure that the name you choose is not in use and unique.Get any licenses or permits required for your industry or location.
- Consider filing for a patent, trademark, or copyright to protect your intellectual properties.
- Calculate how much capital your business will require to get started and run. Consider funding sources such as your personal savings, friends and family, angel investors, small business loans, venture capital or angel investors.Budgeting is a great way to control your cash flow and expenses.
- Select a location that is suitable for your business. It could be an actual storefront, an office or even a remotely located setup, depending on your type of business.
- As needed, hire employees, contractors or partners. Make sure they are equipped with the necessary skills to help your business succeed.
- Create a strong brand image, including a website, logo and marketing materials.Create a strategy for reaching your target audience online and off-line, using channels like social media, content, advertising and networking events.
- Create a sales plan that details how you’ll generate leads, turn them into customers and keep their business.Decide on your distribution strategy. It could be direct sales, retail partnership, ecommerce or a combination.
- You should familiarize yourself with the federal, state and local regulations applicable to your industry. It could be health and safety regulations, employment laws or taxation.
- Launch your startup by implementing your business plan.To encourage growth, you should constantly gather feedback from your customers and adapt your strategies to suit.
- Join business associations, chambers and entrepreneurial groups in your area to network with other entrepreneurs.
Accelerators & Incubators
Accelerators are programs designed to help startups and early-stage. Companies rapidly develop their businesses by providing a range of resources, mentorship, and funding over a fixed period, typically around 3-6 months. The goal of an accelerator is to accelerate the growth of a startup and prepare it for further investment or market expansion.
Incubators are programs or organizations that support startups in their early stages of development by providing a nurturing environment, resources, and guidance. Unlike accelerators, which focus on rapid growth, incubators typically focus on longer-term support for startups.
Idaho Small Business Development Center
Idaho Small Business Development Center is a program that accelerates the growth of small businesses in Boise and Nampa. They leverage business consultants, professional development, and a powerful network to deliver high-quality support to entrepreneurs. This program provides participants with one-on-one mentorship, social events, workshops, skill-building training sessions, consultation services, sprint programming, and various other events essential to move forward in the business industry.
One Stone is a program for student entrepreneurs located in Boise. Students are empowered and taught skills through social entrepreneurship, innovative initiatives, radical reinvention and experimental services. This program is based on the belief that students are capable of solving business problems. It helps them to understand and empathize, develop solutions, create prototypes, and validate business ideas.
Searching for existing patents
To search for existing patents for an Idaho Inventor’s Patentable Invention, you must know what the requirements are. You must be an individual, small business, or have a household income of 300% or less of the federal poverty level. In addition, you must have completed a Certificate Training Course and understand how the patent system works. In Idaho, an online certificate training course is recommended.
There are many resources to conduct a patent search. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) maintains a Full Text and Image Database. Through this database, you can search for existing patents or apply for a new one. Searching for existing patents in the USPTO’s databases is quick and easy. You can also refine your keywords by selecting the “CPC Scheme” option on the search bar. This will help you narrow down your search.
Once you’ve made a determination of whether your invention is patentable, you’ll need to search for existing patents in the United States and abroad. Using USPTO patent search tools, you can discover whether your invention is patentable and protect your idea. The USPTO website will give you access to various patent databases and explain the search process in detail. In order to ensure your invention is not covered by an existing patent, you must be as specific as possible when using search tools. To perform a patent search, be sure to use the search bar’s filters, including state-of-the-art, validity, and infringement.
Fortunately, there are several options for searching for existing patents in Idaho. The USPTO has a public search facility and several trained staff members are on hand to help you. The USPTO database is a comprehensive repository of patents and trademarks. It includes images of the patent files. Using USPTO’s online database, you can search for the same invention in many patent offices.
Applying for a patent before publicly demonstrating an invention
The patent application package contains all of the information that describes the invention, as well as the administrative documents that are required by the patent office. This information includes the specific field of invention, an abstract, a background of the invention, a summary of the invention, drawings of the embodiments of the invention, and the claims that define the scope of the patent. A patent application may be filed for any or all of these elements.
During the application process, it is important to ensure that you disclose the details of your invention in a manner that is clear to a person of ordinary skill in the field to use it. Also, it is important to indicate the name of the inventor. The patent rights belong to the inventor. Likewise, if you hire another person or company to develop your invention, you must transfer the patent rights to the corporation.
Typically, an invention should not be publicly demonstrated until the patent application has been filed. It is also important to keep the invention secret until it is implemented and patented. Even before publicly demonstrating an invention, it is best to consider the potential risk and potential benefits. Once you file the patent application, it will be protected against any unauthorized copying or reuse. A patent protects your idea, so you should avoid letting your invention go public without applying for it.
If your invention is still in development, you may be able to file a provisional patent application. This is an application for a patent that gives you an extra year to work on the invention. This is the first step toward a full patent. You can then file a regular patent application within a year of filing the provisional. During this time, you can make use of the invention, but you should not publicly demonstrate it. You can also claim priority if you file your regular application within the same year as your provisional application.
An inventor should consider the benefits of patent protection. It will be easier to attract investors if your invention has been patented before. The application will also protect your intellectual property (IP) and prevent competitors from copying your invention. Investors look for patents before investing in a new company. They don’t want the market to be flooded with “me too” products. If you want to create a product that is uniquely yours, patent protection is crucial.
Licensing an invention to larger companies
Before you try licensing an invention to a larger company, make sure that the company is a good fit for your idea. Take the time to study the company’s product line and mission statement. Submitting an idea that will not work for that company is a waste of time for both parties. Additionally, it makes it more difficult for the next independent inventor to find a suitable company to license their idea to.
The first step is to find a suitable licensee for your invention. For this, you need to find a company that has a similar product category. If you’re looking to license a kitchen gadget, for example, it will not make sense to license it to a car parts company. However, if your idea is applicable to other products and fits into the category, it is likely to be successful. To find a potential licensee, you can work with a licensing agent or search for a company on your own.
There are other advantages to licensing an invention to larger companies. First, the licensing company will bear the costs of production, distribution, sales, and other business risks. This makes it possible for the licensee to reduce the amount of risk that they take. The licensor will receive periodic payments from the licensing company in return for transferring the ownership of the invention. The downside is that the licensing company will likely have a greater market share than the inventor.
While there are some risks to licensing your invention to a larger company, the benefits are far more substantial. The licensing process will often take a few months or even a year. The process may require multiple meetings, and it’s essential to take the time to research the company thoroughly. If the relationship doesn’t work out, you can always contact the inventors’ organization for help. Inventors should also consult with an organization dedicated to protecting their intellectual property.
One of the biggest benefits of licensing an invention to a larger company is that it gives you the opportunity to access new markets. The licensee’s expertise in manufacturing, distribution, marketing, and sales power is invaluable to a larger company. Developing a new product is expensive and requires substantial resources. It’s best to consult an attorney before signing an agreement. You don’t want to be stuck with a company that doesn’t have the skills to develop and market the product.
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