How to Get An Idea to Market

First, you need to find out if someone else already has a patent on the product you are thinking of developing. You do not want to infringe on an existing patent. Go to the US Patent and Trademark Office web site Click on the word Patents and conduct a simple patent search. The directions for a search are found on the home page. A more complete and extensive search may be necessary at a later date to make sure that you are not infringing on some other party’s patent if you decide a patent is needed for your product.

If someone already has a patent on your idea, contact him or her. Perhaps you can market the idea in exchange for a royalty or buy the patent outright from them. There are many great ideas that are patented but never brought to market. Sometimes the patent owner becomes ill or they just like the idea of the patent process but don’t like marketing or sales. Or perhaps they tried and gave up on the idea. There are about as many reasons why a patent never becomes a product, as there are patents.

You need to evaluate your product to see if it is commercially viable to bring to the marketplace as discussed at

Draw your idea on paper as best as you can. Talk to your relatives and friends about your idea. Identify the industry(s) or niche that your invention should be marketed to. Start reading publications about that industry.

Go to a local inventor club meeting. Read inventor magazines. The United Inventors Association’s website is a great resource with a link to find local inventor clubs. Inventor clubs are made up of people just like you. They are looking to invent a new product or have already done so. Do not confuse inventor clubs with inventor marketing companies. Inventor marketing or development companies are for profit.

Persistence and commitment are the keys to success. As everyone knows, most small businesses fail. It is my opinion, based on my experience, that most fail due to lack of effort or lack of persistence. There is an awesome article about it at

If you work hard, have an outstanding product, and provide great customer service, your chances of being successful improve substantially. Certainly outside events can adversely influence your start-up business, such as family illnesses, natural disasters, etc. These are things you do not have control over but you can overcome if you follow these simple guidelines. You need to do what you say you are going to do. Later on, if you have employees, you need to make sure they are following your lead, doing what they told the customer they would do. It sounds simple, but you would be surprised how many people will tell you one thing and do another. For example if you say the product is shipping out today, make sure it does.