If your product idea has been rolling around in your brain for awhile, you probably know it well enough that it has become real to you. At some point, however, you will need to be able to share your vision with others, and that’s where a prototype comes in.
Here are some reasons why creating a prototype is an important step in your business’ evolution:
Others will take your idea more seriously
As you begin to build your team and start to think about looking for lenders and investors, a prototype can help others get excited about your idea. When people can see a tangible representation of the product you hope to sell, they can better understand both its form and function. It also shows that you have done your homework in terms of the product’s design and practical application, and that can help your case as you try to secure business funding.
It will help you identify any design flaws
As a prototype takes shape, its potential flaws will become more apparent. During this phase, you can take the time you need to work out the kinks and perfect your product design before moving into production.
To help you secure intellectual property protection
In the United States, a prototype is not required to apply for a patent, but it won’t hurt. As Gene Quinn wrote for IP Watchdog:
“Copyrights protect expression and patents protects inventions, and neither protect ideas. In both cases the idea is the first critical step, but without some identifiable embodiment of the idea there can be no intellectual property protection obtained and no exclusive rights will flow unto you.”
So, a prototype is one way to establish that “identifiable embodiment of the idea.”
Taking your concept from vague idea to prototype is a crucial step in an inventor’s business journey. For more guidance on how to develop a prototype, take a look at these articles from Entrepreneur and About.com.
For help with intellectual property protection and legal documents for your business, contact EmergeCounsel today.