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May 30, 2023
John Rizvi, Esq.

Do I need to make a prototype?

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Welcome back. In this segment, we will be speaking with Mr Rizvi about prototypes. What is it? And where does it fit into the invention process?


Let's start with the word prototype. The word prototype is derived from a Greek word meaning primitive form. And that's exactly what a prototype is a primitive form. Typically a first attempt at a solution by an inventor.


Is a prototype required?


Absolutely not. There's often a misconception among inventors that if they have, as soon as they have a new concept, they race forward to produce a prototype. And there's no reason to do that. My guess as to where this misconception may have started, is that at one time, the patent office required a prototype to be submitted with every patent application. But this was back in the 1800s. That requirement has long since been dropped. So prototype is is certainly not required.


Okay, if a prototype is not required in order to file for a patent, why would an inventor want to go through the trouble of producing one.


In most cases, you shouldn't. There's only two limited situations where a prototype may be desirable. The first one is if you want to make sure your idea works. So if your concept is something that you're you're questioning whether it will be whether it will even perform, that may be one reason to have a prototype made. The other is if you're if a prototype is required for someone to understand your invention. But those are the only two situations where you should even consider producing a prototype.


Considering the two scenarios above where you think a prototype might be desirable, when should the prototype be made?


Well, this depends on whether or not you can make the prototype yourself. If you have the ability to make the prototype yourself without relying on others, then it's fine to go ahead and then try and make make the prototype. If on the other hand, is I've seen a lot of inventors relying on outside experts to produce their prototype, then that's one more person that needs to know about your idea. And there's an extreme risk in following that route. If you have not yet filed a patent, how so the person that's helping you with your prototype, what's to stop him from or her from filing for the patent themselves. And in order for them to help you you typically will end up explaining your concept to them. If they see the value in your idea, they may just go forward and file and the first person to file a patent is presumed to be the rightful inventor. And anyone that wants to challenge that presumption, it becomes they have the burden of proof and it's an extremely expensive and time consuming process.


Can't this risk be minimized by having other sign that confidentiality non disclosure agreement,


a confidentiality and it's sometimes also called a nondisclosure agreement. And its most basic form is a contract and a contract only bind the parties signing. What typically happens in a infringement situation is you have a competitor. If they sign a confidentiality agreement, they will rarely steal the idea themselves. What usually happens is they'll leak the idea to a third party, somebody who hasn't signed the agreement. And again to him you have no recourse. But one thing I want to point out Jason is if you have viewers that are considering an idea, and they have been hesitating. Sometimes inventors feel that before you see a patent attorney, you need to have a cup, invent a time machine, or a fountain of youth or you've got to develop a car that runs on water. And inventors are embarrassed to see your patent attorney for something as simple as a you know, a silly band or you know a sleeve that goes over a cup or the club that goes in a car steering wheel or some of the simpler ideas. But I certainly encourage your viewers if they have a concept that that they feel there's a need for they may not be alone there Maybe other others out there who are also facing the same problem. And most patents are not for complicated, high tech gadgets. Most patents actually cover very simple improvements over existing products. But an improvement that provides a if you believe it provides a real advantage that is not covered by existing products in the marketplace. Be absolutely urge your viewers to see a patent attorney. You'll feel much better about seeing an attorney and finding out if it's patentable than waiting and who knows you may see a product on store shelves a couple years down the road.


Thank you, John. This concludes our segment. If you have any further questions, contact John via email. Take care and keep inventing

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