Things to think about

There's a lot to think about when you're an inventor so we've made a list to help you prepare for a patent.

Questions to ask yourself


What is your business purpose and strategy?

What is your invention?

  1. Broadly define your product and application. e.g. tumbler lock for residential buildings.

  2. Identify the problem that your invention solves? e.g. enables customers to open locks remotely.

  3. Are there any other applications for your invention apart from your primary market? e.g. Remote control of motorbike locks.

  4. Can you use existing products from other industries/applications to solve the problem identified?

  5. What advantages does your product/system have over what already exists? e.g. Thinner, lighter, faster.

  6. For each problem solved or advantage identified, assess and write down its commercial importance and why you think it's commercially. better than existing products. e.g. Lighter so saves customer freight costs.


How does your invention work?

  1. For each problem solved or advantage identified write down what feature enables that advantage, e.g. Advantage = lighter, Why = because we use carbon fibre compared with stainless steel. Be detailed and think critically about what feature(s) enable the advantage.

  2. Why haven't previous products used that feature? e.g. Carbon fibre was too expensive in the past.

  3. How does your invention work and how is it made? Be detailed. Explain as if you're explaining to a manufacturer who needs to make it but knows nothing about your industry.


  1. Who are your competitors or other innovators in the market?

  2. Who are your customers? E.g. residential customers (25+ yrs) buying from department stores.


  1. Where do you see your most lucrative markets for the invention? Think geographically as well as specific market segments e.g. Lock manufacturing, distribution and sales in USA, Europe and China.

  2. How will you reach customers? E.g. direct sales, distributors, license to other manufacturers to make and sell.


  1. Why did you develop this invention?

  2. Why do you seek a patent?

  3. Check out our page on Patents for reasons why you might want a patent. Be clear to yourself about exactly why you want a patent as its purpose will define the best strategy for obtaining the patent.​

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