052: How to patent a medical invention: What to do first may surprise you.

The excitement of first starting out

Maybe you or your family member are facing a medical problem and you think of a solution. Maybe your research is promising and you want to bring it to the world. You imagine that you’ve developed your idea into a product and people all over the world are using it. They’re so thankful that you decided to do something with this idea.

You really can’t believe that the idea you have for a product doesn’t exist. It’s solving a real problem and it’s certainly made a difference in your life so why wouldn’t it make a difference in others lives? You move forward working on your idea and you become addicted to it in a way. All of your free time is spent on tweaking it or changing it so it works.

What not to do…. even though I know you want to

Rushing out to get a patent is not what you should do first, despite what you may think and here’s 2 scenarios that I’ve seen play out that support why you shouldn’t do this.

I’ve talked with countless people that have filed a patent as one of the first things they did. They spent some money, then some more, then more, and before they knew it, they were $20k in the hole on just the patent and they had run out of money. At this point, their idea dies and doesn’t move forward. They can sell the patent or slowly work on it over the next decade with whatever spare cash they get.

Or, you start researching and Bam…. you hit a wall when you find out how much it costs to file a patent because there’s all of the research the lawyer needs to do, the legal fees, and the filing fees. This isn’t even counting all of the waiting, the back and forth between you, the lawyer, the patent office…. ugh. What started out as excitement has quickly diminished and your great idea is now dead in the water.

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What you should do instead

What if there was a way to know if it’s worth it to start to file a patent? What if you could save yourself thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars? There is! Just like building a house where there’s blueprints first then the foundation is poured, the framework is put up along with outside structure, then the flooring, and materials are chosen to design the inside, turning an idea into a medical product has it’s own process.

When people go ahead and file a patent first thing that’s like building the framework when you don’t have a blueprint or solid foundation yet.

So what do you need to do before that?

You can go though the 3 ways to move your medical invention idea forward in 3 days first of all…. from there, you’ll be invited to a live training to go over even more.

It’s a 3 part video series + a guide that goes along with it. You’ll get the first video the day you sign up, followed by the second one the next day, and the third one the day after that.

The 3 topics covered in the trainings are:
1. Different pathways you can take with your invention idea
2. The surprising role sales has and how to stand out amongst your competition
3. Market size – there’s got to be a market other than you

Here’s the details on what we’ll dive in to inside of those trainings:

Different pathways you can take with your invention idea

Did you know that when you have a medical invention there are different things you can do with it? What you decide depends on how much time you have to work on it, if you want it to be your business or not, even how much you like going to raise money to develop your idea into a product and bring it to market. I know you want to make a difference in the world with your idea and you’re really passionate about it. But I want to remind you that no matter how much you want to make a difference and no matter how passionate you are, moving it forward requires calculated movements and business decisions that are unique to your idea yes but everyone must make the same kinds of decisions. The first video and exercise in the training helps to do just that.

The surprising role sales has and how to stand out amongst your competition

Even though you think what you’re doing is developing an idea into a product, you’re actually going to be doing lots of sales. I know that may come as a shock to you but I’ll explain. When you talk with someone about this idea, you’re selling them on it. You’re asking for their validation and you want them to say “well yes that is a good idea, I think you should do it”. What you don’t want to hear is “no, I don’t think you should do that”. If you do hear that you probably think of reasons why you need to convince them that you should pursue your idea. Way before you actually have a product to sell, you’re selling. When you talk with your buddy that’s got a 3D printer to help you build a prototype, you’re selling him on why it’s good for him to let you do that. When you talk with the tech transfer office about how you should spin off your technology and form a company around it you’re selling. When you’re trying to get a patent you’re selling the attorney on your idea of your product. You’re definitely selling when you’re trying to get investment. You sell plenty of things besides your actual product. You sell the idea, yourself, you sell people to help you by the benefits they’ll get if they do. You need to be pretty good at sales. You also need to be good at communicating and explaining why your idea’s going to make it. This feeds into how you’ll stand apart from those who have come before you, why someone should buy your product as opposed to someone else’s, why you should even move forward with this idea, why someone would want the idea, and why someone would invest in the idea.

Market size – there’s got to be a market other than you

This idea of yours probably changes your life or the life of someone you know. Think about all of the others lives it could change if it were out there in the world for others to use. Do you know how many could use it? I’ve got a tidbit of information that might help you out. When any corporation moves into a new area, for instance, a new Home Depot or Starbucks, they’ve done their research. The item on the top of their list is market size. If they have doubts about if the market could handle their expansion, they usually won’t expand. Think of this with your product. Do you know how many people would use it? What about each day, or each month? Where would people use it? In the US or Europe? What about India or South East Asia? The more you know about your market, the better prepared you are to actually build your product. And this is not only for those that will be using the product but for the ones that will be building your product, the ones that will be testing your product in clinical trials, those who will be investing in your product, and so many others.

To recap, we talked about the different pathways you can take with your invention idea, the surprising role sales has and how to stand out amongst your competition, and market size – there’s got to be a market other than you.

These are covered more in depth inside of that free video training series I was talking about, 3 ways to move your medical invention forward in 3 days. Again, you’ll get a video emailed to you the day you sign up plus a guide to go along with it as well as the other 2 videos that will be delivered on day 2 and 3.

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Host: Meghan Alonso
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Host Company: Imua Services
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iTunes: bitly.com/Inspire

Full Transcription:

Recorder: Are you ready to master the waves of medical device product development? Well wax up your surfboard because you are listening to inspired by Imua. Here is your medical device product development expert that Hawaiian hearted hostess who will help you hang ten. Meghan Alonso.

Meghan: E komo mai and aloha! You’re listening to inspired by Imua, where we help you master the waves of medical product development. Each week we interview guest that educate, guide and inspire to give you and your product the skills you need to hang ten. If this is your first time listening, Imua is spelled I-M-U-A and it’s a Hawaiian word. It means to advance forward with passion despite rough waves. There are plenty of those in the medical product development but keep listening because each week we’ve got you covered.

Meghan: So I wanted to cover something today that some people are asking me about last week maybe it was week before I kinda Tuesday that I have this new training coming out and actually it’s not coming out it is out so I have a new 3 part videos series for you that’s free as well as this live training I’m doing that goes a little bit deeper on the topic so those of you who are listening that are in mixed of developing a product or if you’re listening and you have an idea for something that you really wanted to see out of the market someday or maybe you’re listening and you’re a researcher and you are just tired of working with grants and you think wow would it be awesome if I can commercialize a product and get some funding to do that rather than being in the grant train forever. So I just kinda wanted to talk to you guys about that and I’ve really loved your feedback on this too depending on if this is helpful or also what else you’re looking for so I want to dive into a lot of people think that they need a patent for their medical invention so I’m titling this how to patent a medical invention and what to do first may surprise you so I’m gonna walkthrough what you might be experiencing here. I kinda to do this earlier maybe you or your family member you’re facing a medical problem or they are and you think of a solution or you’re a researcher and you see a lot of promise in that research and you want to bring it out to the world. You imagine that you develop this idea already into product and just people all over the world are using it and their so thankful that you decided to do something with your idea and you’re probably thinking I can’t believe this doesn’t exist yet like how is this not out there or how I am the first person that’s spot of this. This is solving a real problem and it’s certainly making a difference in your life so why wouldn’t make it a difference in other lives. So you move forward with working on your idea and you kinda become addicted in a way like all of your free time is consumed with this and you’re tweaking it or changing it or just down in your garage working on it. On a computer just constantly looking at what you can do next so here’s not what not to do you should not rush out and get a patent first despite what you may think and here’s two reasons why so I’ve talked with several people that have filed a patent as one on the first things they did. They spent a lot of money and then spent more money and then even more money or maybe it just starts out just a little bit and it grows and before they knew it they have spent upwards of 20,000 25,000 and they have just a patent. They don’t have anything else so at this point they run out of money and there idea just kinda dies. Doesn’t move forward anymore so at that point they could try to sell the patent or maybe they could still work on the idea but they just gotta do it in little chunks because they don’t have much money anymore set aside or maybe this is you too. You start researching and then you just hit a wall you find out how much it actually cost to get a patent and you realize okay there’s lot of research that the lawyer need to do and there is legal fees and filing fees and this isn’t even counting the time that is spent just going back and forth between you and the lawyer and the patent office and it’s just such a long process and what started out is excitement his diminished and you’re great idea just seems like just dead in the water so what should you do instead? What if there is a better way to know if it’s all worth it before you start the patent process? What if you can save yourself thousands if not ten thousand of dollars and there is just like building a house where we got blueprint and then eventually a solid foundation and then the next step they put the framework up and outside structure you’ve seen this and then the flooring goes in and then you get to sit down and figure out all the and down what goes into and what type of knobs and the same process that you follow when you’re building a house. There’s a process of building a medical product too. A lot of times when people just go ahead and file a patent as the first thing they’re doing that’s kinda the equipment of building a framework and you don’t have a blueprint yet or you don’t have a solid foundation yet so you probably thinking now okay I get your analogy but what is the blueprint? What is the solid foundation that I need to do before I file a patent? And this training I was talking about earlier it does just that so you can go to 3 ways to move your invention idea for 3 days and like I mentioned also there’s a live training after that where you get to sit down with me and it’s about hour it’s pretty cool but back to the 3 part video series like it said it’s in 3 days so you get a video the first day you sign up as well as a guide that goes long with that and then the next day you get the next video and day after you get that you got the last one so the topics that I cover in this 3 part training are to build that solid foundation to give you the blueprints to move forward for turning your idea to product so you got the different pathway you can take with your invention idea and then the second one is the surprising role of that’s sales plays and how to stand out immense competition and the last one I get into is market size and there’s got to be market other than you so I’ve give you a little more details about that. Did you know that after you decide that you do wanna move forward with developing your medical device there is lot of things you can do with it and lots of different path you can take so what you decide depends on well how much time you have to work on it first. Do you want this to be your business? Or do you want to continue doing a job that you have? Or is this a side business? or maybe you don’t want it to be part of your business at all or how comfortable are you talking to people about raising money and are you gonna stick with this all the way from research and development through manufacturing? I know that you really want to make a difference in the world with your idea and you’re passionate about it but I also want to remind you that no matter how much you want to make difference and no matter how passionate you are moving forward requires calculated movements and big business decisions and these are unique to your idea yes but everyone goes to the process of making those decisions so the first video you’re gonna get a lot out of it personally but so as everybody else the process that they go through to develop their process. I didn’t mean it to sound that redundant. That parts the same so for the second video and I know you’re thinking yeah this is what I’m doing I’m developing idea into product and yes you are but did you know that you’re actually gonna do a ton of sales along the way? I know that you may come into shock but I’ll explain so when you talk to someone with your idea you’re selling it when you asked for your validation and you want others to say yeah I do think that’s a good idea I do think you should do it. That’s what you want to hear you don’t want to hear no I don’t think you should do that. No that’s a horrible idea and if you’re hearing that then you start to think why are they saying that? What can I say differently that makes it think it is a good idea okay to be fair I’m saying this there’s a difference in the way you talk about your ideas the way you communicate your idea and that makes them seems good but there’s also ideas that are genuinely not good ideas so I just want you to see the difference there I’m not saying that you’re gonna beat into everybody cause that’s definitely not the case so way before you actually have a product to sell your selling even when you’re talking to your buddy the 3d printer and you want to build a prototype and you’re asking him, Hey can I use your 3d printer to do this you’re selling him on that. When you talk to the tech transfer office in your university and you want to spin of this technology and you’re telling them the cool reasons why that’s sales where you’re trying to get a patent and you’re selling the patent and turning the idea of working with you that’s sales and you’re definitely selling when you’re trying to get investment that’s just nonstop hustling and selling and the reality is you sell plenty before you actually sell your product so you need to be pretty good at sales and what are essentially boils down to is you need to be good at communicating you need to be good at explaining why your ideas gonna make it. Why they should invest in you? Why should they believe in you? Why should they work in you? This feeds into how you’re gonna stand apart from those come before you and why someone should buy your product as suppose someone else why you should move forward with this idea in the first place and the last thing we get into is that this idea of yours can probably change your life or the life of someone you know and then think about all the other lives that can change who is out there in the world for them to use so do you know how many exactly or not exactly an estimation so I’m gonna tell you a story here so when a corporation moves into a new area like if you get a new home depot or new Starbucks in your town I can guarantee you that they have done research in a few different things and the top thing on that list is how big the market is if they have any doubts at all about if the market can actually handle their expansion? They don’t expand so I want you to think about this with your product with your idea with your technology do you know how many people would actually use it? What about each day or each month or where would people use it in the US or Europe or what about India or South East Asia so the more you know about your market the better prepared to actually build your product. The better prepare the ones that are actually using the product or the ones building your product the ones that’ll be testing your product in clinical trials and those will actually be investing in your product. They’ll all be better prepare they’ll know more because you know more so you definitely need to identify a lot of different factors in the market and all these 3 topics that we just covered so the recap here is different pathways you can take with your invention idea. We got this pricing roles sales has and how to stand out amongst your competition and then market size there’s got to be a market other than you because you want people to buy your product so I get in to these a little bit more in depth like I said there’s a guide to walk you through all this. This is all covered in that free training I have for you so it’s three ways to move your medical invention forward in three days so the first day when you sign up with this you get an email with the video in your inbox. You watch the video and guide that goes with it and the guide also carries you through the second video on day 2 and the 3rd video on day 3 and I would love for you to join this training with me so you can get your hands on it by going to my website so IMUA-SERVICES.COM/3ways so again that’s IMUA-SERVICES.COM/3WAYS or this is podcast episode number 52 so you can go into the podcast tab if you’re listening to this on march 21st 2017 or sometime around then it’s probably at the top of that podcast page it might be few down but you can find it there episode 52 so I’d love to have you jump in and do that training and just really accelerate your idea accelerate that technology and even if you’re in the midst of product development right now and you’re just early stage and you’re starting, you’re putting together, you’re planning on how to get funding you are perfect for this training and then there is that live training afterwards so go to this you get another extra special bonus so I will see you guys over there and until the next episode, IMUA!

Mahalo for joining us. If you’re new to riding the waves of medical device product development, or if you’ve been in development for a while already, Inspired by Imua is here to surf with you. Want to be a master of the waves? Text hang ten that’s all one word HANGTEN to 44222. We’ll send you the most common wipe outs companies make in product development so you can avoid them and reach master wave status. Again, that’s HANGTEN to 44222. We publish a new episode every Tuesday, so catch us at Inspiredbyimua.com. Imua!

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