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How do I turn my idea into an invention?

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Anyone can have an idea; the key to converting an idea to an invention is to clearly define the idea such that the idea can be evaluated, enhanced, potentially marketed and used. Here are some suggested steps to help you convert your idea into an invention.

Idea development

The most useful ideas recognize a need in a market and seek to address that need.  Consequently, thorough research into a potential market and a careful review of what is already available is crucial in idea development. Understanding your target market and competitors ensures you the best chance of realizing a completed invention that serves a useful purpose. Failure to perform a comprehensive analysis early on in your idea development process could result in wasted time, effort and money.

Get a different perspective

Many excellent books have been written by inventors and entrepreneurs. “Invention by Design: How engineers get from thought to thing” by Henry Petroski is a useful introduction to the design process used by engineers to develop an invention to solve a specific problem. Reading about how other inventors have worked may provide useful insight on developing your idea.

Protect your idea

It is essential to take steps to protect your idea, particularly after you have put considerable time, effort and money into developing the idea. Aim to get a good grounding in the core principles of patent law, copyright law, trademark law, licensing and prototyping.

The Medtronic EUreka website is committed to providing information on these subjects and will be providing content on a regular basis. This content may also help you decide at what point in your idea’s life cycle is the best time to engage professional help.

Please note that publicly disclosing specific attributes of your idea may affect the patentability of your invention. Please contact your attorney for more information on what constitutes a public disclosure and on obtaining protection for your invention. Generally it is good practice to have a signed a non-disclosure agreement in place before sharing your idea with others.

Think invention, think prototype

After you have conceived of your idea, completed a thorough research into a potential market and what is already available in that market, and refined your idea further, you should aim to develop a prototype of your idea. The purpose of a prototype is to show that the principles of your idea are sound, and that a viable product can do what you claim. However, not all inventors will have the means to develop a prototype. If it is not possible for you to build a prototype, you should aim to describe your idea and the potential invention in as much detail as possible by using words, diagrams or animated computer simulations. This process may reveal drawbacks or issues that you may not have considered.

16/08/2011 | Posted by Medtronic
Tags: inventor; invention; idea; innovation; prototypes; innovation partner; innovation journey; protect your idea; medical innovation; medical devices innovation; health innovation