Inventors need to know more information about their market before filing a patent application.
Far too many patents fail to become commercialized leading to legal roadblocks within innovation. A patent is meant to protect & encourage innovation, not deter it, so it is extremely important for prospective patent owners to conduct thorough market research prior to filing an application.
Inventors need to think like an entrepreneur, and a good entrepreneur knows that it is much more efficient to build a product for a market versus shaping a new ideal customer. Henry Ford once said ‘If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
There is some truth to Ford’s acclaimed quote, however, it certainly needs to be taken with a grain of salt. As an inventor you need to have the foresight to drive innovation down a path unforeseen to the end customer, but that drive for discovery and nascent innovation must be coupled with a strong understanding of your customer’s needs. You must live and breathe your customer’s lifestyle, their habits, likes, dislikes, ambitions all must be understood before introducing a novel concept. Deep market research coupled with the creative ambition to introduce something new will take you further than just blindly predicting what will work and what won’t.
There are pragmatic steps you can take to understand a customer’s needs by asking questions;
- What problem do you face most often while doing task ‘a’?
- When was the last time you faced that problem & what was your solution?
- What is your most optimal goal when facing this task?
- Which companies exist today within the market, and why have they not solved this problem?
The first three questions require a significant amount of discussions with your end customer, but the fourth can now be done relatively easily.
Currently, an inventor’s approach to the patent process first starts with a prior art search. Searching for prior art is essential for recognizing the novelty of your idea, however, it needs to be coupled with a market landscape search.
Inventors don’t only need to know if the idea is patent-able but should know if it’s worth patenting in the first place.
Inventors need to look at active companies within the market, identify what their current solution is & recognize how their concept will be different. They need to study the history of the companies involved & understand what their active interests are & ideally think about how their solution can fit within the market.
The first step is to aggregate the proper data & a tool like Cypris Insights can help you do that. Market landscape reports use data to gather & organize companies that currently have patents within your idea’s industry, they then look at things like publication dates to understand how recently a company has been investing in the field. What’s unique about Cypris’s insights tool is that it also looks at data outside of the patent world so you can get the full picture, it also comes at an affordable rate compared to other software that might be too robust & expensive for early-stage inventors.
Once you’re armed with knowledge, the most powerful commodity an early entrepreneur can have, you can reshape your patent application strategy, find early partners & greatly improve the chances of seeing your innovation brought to life.
Launched in October of 2019, Cypris is an NYC based startup looking to correct the poor patent commercialization statistics. For the 97% of patents that fail to be commercialized, we will provide the tools & resources to see them brought to life.
Cypris’ current offering is ipcypris.com, an innovative platform that combines a specialized assignee and inventor search engine with a patent marketplace. Cypris combines modern techniques in design, data analytics, and machine learning to present patent listings to relevant potential buyers and licensees. Recently launched, Cypris is currently hosting over 650 patent listings for sale or license from seven leading research universities and individual inventors. Over time, Cypris intends to bring additional patent assets from the academic sector to the fore, along with patent listings supplied by leading technology companies and inventors.
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