Startup U. is an ongoing series that asks entrepreneurs and subject matter experts in the community to share their best business tips. The intent is to create a resource for new entrepreneurs, as well as those who might need a refresher. To contribute, email me at email@example.com.
Lydia Chicles, Bold! Technologies CEO, PockitApp developer, recently landed a patent for her product, which converts physical coins into digital currency at a point of sale during a cash transaction. That could be helpful in the coronavirus aftermath. She offered some tips for those seeking a patent.
1. BECOME AN EXPERT TO BECOME AN INVENTOR
The biggest mistake we see most startups make is they rush to try to patent an idea without really understanding what they are getting into, or to solve a problem in an industry they don’t know.
It is important to have passion. However, fully knowing all aspects to a new technology or invention is absolutely necessary.
A successful inventor will learn everything they can about each aspect of the field, from the technology, to the business process, to the competition.
2. A PATENT ISN’T YOUR ONLY GOAL
The goal is not to create technology or an invention that is unique.
The goal is not to simply get a patent.
Your goal should be almost always to monetize the invention.
The invention and patent are a means to an end.
Sometimes startup founders get so stuck on the creation aspect of inventing that they fail to stop and ask whether they should be investing the time, money and energy into the creation.
3. LICENSE INVENTIONS, NOT IDEAS
You need a patent pending so that you may license your technology or invention.
When you seek to license an idea alone, you can easily scare companies.
In some cases, startups try to pitch their invention and listening to an idea without tangible boundaries as defined in at least a provisional patent application can scare companies.
They simply won’t want to do it.
The further you can develop your idea, the better and more valuable it will become.