At this time in the invention process you will need to speak to others regarding the product you anticipate to produce. You will not need to understand howw you are going to make that happen or disclose formulations to build the product. What is needed is a short one to 3 minute planned out speach that describes what your product is intended to perform and what the features are over the prior art.
Here is an example speach on the Man Motor. I have a product idea and the product resulting will allow homeless people with no income and wanting to work for food and money in large cities the opportunity to perform work that could substantially help that person as well as provide fuel for cooking and electricity for others to use making a product of value. My newly designed product will generate electricity and hydrogen gas powered by a human being. When my product performs as I have disclosed what value in cash would make you feel like you wanted one and would pay for it today.
This speach can be told to friends, relatives, business owners, and a CEO of a manufacturing facility that makes products in the same field as your invention product. If someone is willing to pay cash out of pocket today if the product existed you need to inquire how much and ask as many people as you can to get a good idea if your product will be accepted by others.
Write down in your project notebook the results and the names of the people you had asked regarding the product value. You need to understand at this point in the project that money dictates design parameters and that your product needs to fall into a noramlity of pricing to become worth manufacturing. Once you get an idea of what the product is worth and the amount of people that may want to purchase one then you can get on to the design of it.
Research companies selling devices that fall into the field of your invention and contact each one and try to get an interview with the CEO. Ask only for a specific block in time to speak with the CEO and most of the time I try to keep it under 10 minutes for the initial meeting on the product viability to manufacture and or sales of the new product. Write down all information available to digest in the inventors project notebook. If your product is worth manufacturing and selling after the infomation is evaluated then the overal general design needs to be sketched out by you. Important point is in product development you need to really understand the need of your invention and how it will justify manufacturing expences. The design encompassing subject matter of the invention will take form after the specific workings of the subject matter are deduced and listed in the inventors project notebook.
Keep in mind that this type of getting information about your anticipated product is critical and could possibly get you an agreement before the product is actually designed and for example; a CEO or buisness person was interested enough to give you some type of verbal agreement that if your product actually performed as you described with the general product features and you could manufacture it for a reasonable amount so others could profit and be put to work or kept busy manufacturing your product then an agreement could be generated regarding a royalty or reward per unit sold of the manufactured product. For a professional inventor seeks products needing re design and that are needed now. Manufacturers and other business people are key to promote a product so now we need to get on to evaluating subject matter required to make our invention from the project Man Motor perform as described in the feature claims.
Now we need some specific terms used in the patent industry clearly defined from the legal aspect, the following glossary terms and definitions were copied by permission of author John R. Flanagan and from his book How To Prepare Patent Applications. Special thanks to John and his work from this inventor (Basgall).
INVENTION - that thing which a person or persons invents, originates or discovers. The invention may be made by accidental discovery or be the result of directed research. It does not matter how it was made. It generally is composed of a conception of a concrete embodiment of an idea and a reduction of the embodiment to practice.
PATENTABLE INVENTION - an invention which meets the standards of (1) novelty, (2) utility or usefulness, and (3) nonobviousness, falls within at least one of four catergories of invention, and is not covered by any one of the statutory bars.
One fact to interject here now at this point is that a product is worthless without a patent on it. No legitimate company CEO or business person would take a risk of manufacturing a product without a U.S. patent applied for and most will not look at your invention unless a patent already exists and issued to you the inventor with no strings or assignments attached. There is however another option for creativity and inventing by the independent inventor. Design and make a product that people in your local town or State can use in their every day lives. Package them and have local vendors sell and distribute them with no more than a Provisional Patent filed and the product marked patent pending. This is to safegard the inventor in case the product goes wild and many people want to purchase one as well safegards the inventor in the event someone sais you infringing on their patent for a device that performs the same task as yours.
CATEGORIES OF INVENTION - there are four categories of patentable inventions: (1) process, also called method, (2) machine, (3) article of manufacture, or (4) composition of matter ( or any improvement thereof).
MACHINE - also called an apparatus, generally relating to a device which is somewhat complicated in that it has a mode of opeation and/or several relatively moveable parts; and is not mere principle or idea, but is a concrete thing consisting of parts.
ARTICLE OF MANUFACTURE - also called a product; similar to a machine, but generally considered to relate to simple devices having no movable parts and no mode of operation.
COMPOSITION OF MATTER - usually is a mixture or compound of materials in gaseous, liquid or solid form.
At this point in the invention process we are now going to draw a rough sketch in the inventors project notebook and identify the elements that the invention has to have in order to achieve the feature claims of the product we are anticipating to design.
ELEMENTS - a distinct unitary part of a claimed combination which is separable from the combination; it may be a principal or essential component, or a minor component, of the claimed combination. Also refers to important parts, structures or steps of the subject matter in the invention.
Note that a sketch of our product now will allow us to understand the subject matter in our inventon and is the next step to perform and write down in the inventors project notebook.