So, you came up with a great idea that no one else has thought of yet. What do you do with it?
1. You either do all of the hard work yourself by getting the design, manufacturing, marketing and sales completed on your own.
2. You can approach some of the larger companies already present in the market selling similar products and try and pitch your ideas to them.
Remember : No matter how great the invention, there are always inventors who fail to successfully get their products to market and, as a result, end up with a dead product. This is essentially a drain on finances and time, not to mention what was once a potentially good invention.
The answer is most likely, “No, they will not steal your idea.”
Large companies have most of their finances already tied up in other projects so anything unplanned like your product would require non-budgeted funding to be released which is not as easy as you think. This means that the company will most likely prefer to work with you as you facilitate the implementation of the idea. The company generally provides some funding, resources and experience but remain cautious and conservative as they do not want to suffer a loss.
The primary risk for the inventor is to visit with these companies to determine if they would be willing to buy your invention. You will most likely find that, in some cases, they have already thought of the idea but are focused on larger projects and simply lack the resources.
Does the company that you wish to approach have a history of collaboration?
Do you think that they will be open to new ideas?
Before sharing the invention, ask the company what the next steps would be if they like the idea in order to provide clarity for the expectations and requirements. The more communication with the company, the better understanding you will have in how you fit into this process. This is crucial to the success of marketing your invention.
There will always be a certain element of trust when dealing with big companies; however, remember to always look at the bigger picture. It is important to never forget that your invention or product may not be as important to them in the grand scheme of things. In addition, they already have marketing plans and other products set in place with a presence in the market.
If you have shown companies your idea and they choose to copy it, remember that you have a patent on the product so legally you are one step ahead of them. But, again, who has the money to fight a big company in court? My suggestion is that if you want to go the route of showing and sharing your invention with companies do it with a finish manufactured product that has some form of protection on it. The reason why I recommend this is because if you enter the market before and your product is seen as the original and authentic product, then you will have an edge on sales and the upper hand in the courts in contrast to the company.
Be certain that your patent covers all the bases and that there is no way around your patent. For instance, if your part is something that attaches to a bicycle, then why not patent it for other modes of transportation?