070: How NOT to patent an idea (7 costly mistakes you must avoid)

This episode was inspired by a conversation I had recently with someone that I felt sorry for that they had been duped into spending $18,000 right off the bat on a patent for their idea when they weren’t really sure they were going to move forward with it. I see this quite often and felt it warranted another podcast episode on it.

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Here’s the 7 costly mistakes you must avoid when patenting an idea:

Not doing a patent landscape search first

Hiring an attorney is expensive and you don’t want to waste your time or theirs. Do some homework on your own first to see if you can figure out if your idea is patentable.

Not doing market research first

You can spend a bunch of money on a patent but it won’t be much help if people aren’t willing to spend money on your solution to their problem. You want to talk with people and do market research before investing several thousand dollars into your idea.

Not evaluating your next steps

Based on your patent landscape search and your market research, look at your findings. Do you want to move forward? Are you ready for these steps? What strategy will you take and are you willing to give up to grow up? Developing a technology is no easy feat.

Hiring an attorney too early

Just like the guy I met this week (let’s call him John Smith), several people spend money too quickly on an attorney. When your product is in development, the design can change….forcing IP to change and the strategy of your IP to change. If you try to protect your idea right away, you might end up doubling your cost of protection because of these changes.

Publishing your research in a journal too early

Did you know that if you make your technology available to the public you only have a year to protect it? If you plan on doing this, be prepared to protect quickly.

Trying to file for a patent yourself

Some things are better left to professionals. You can help out yourself in the early stages yourself but you don’t want to make a mistake here and put your company at risk. Hire an expert to make sure it’s done right.

Not hiring the right attorney

Just like doctors have specialties, so do attorneys. You wouldn’t see a primary care physician to treat cancer and you shouldn’t ask a general attorney to patent a medical device. In addition to how heavily regulated medical products are, there are several niches within medical products so you want someone who knows your space well that can save you time and money while giving you a high amount of expertise.
Did you know that most successful people such as Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill Gates read or listen to at least 30 books per year? I’ve got a hack with audible.com and your first one is free. Click here to get a trial.

About the Author

Meghan M. Alonso

Meghan M. Alonso, referred to by Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington as a medical device development expert, is known for her award winning medical device podcast, Inspired by Imua, the chapter she wrote in best selling book “Put a Shark in Your Tank, and her valuable connections in the medical industry. According to the Huffington Post, she helps clients navigate the complicated process of bringing their ideas to the marketplace. She’s a patriotic military wife, pet parent, founder and co-founder of 4 successful companies who thrives on guiding medical device and IVD companies through development and manufacturing.

When she isn’t helping others, Meghan is hard at work on her MBA she is pursuing from Auburn University, staying active with her adorable husky Abby, crossfitting, enjoying great restaurants and fine wine with her husband, and soaking up the sun the nearest beach.

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