Just Make It Work: A Guide to Inventing

Just Make It Work: A Guide to Inventing

Wachssiegel rot patent pending

I have a few patents, I think 4 or 5.   I work in technology development R&D and one of the primary functions of a R&D scientist and engineer is to file patents. We invent for our company and receive a salary in return.


A good patent is an idea and a method to bring that idea to market. It’s foolish to patent an idea that cannot be brought to market. If you have ever wanted to invent something here are six tips to inventing.

  1. Have the right attitude, if you see an unmet need think “what can I create to meet this need?”, be optimistic. Don’t think for a minute that you can not invent, everyone has ideas and anyone can have a witty idea or invention, Proverbs 8:12.  We should also get help from others to help with the process.
  2. Always be Learning, we must learn and study if we are going to invent, this is why some of the best inventors are known to be intelligent.  However, intelligence is not a requirement, everyone can be continuously learning.  Learning will help us to explore areas where new gadgets, processes or concepts can solve a problem in a unique way, learning constantly will cause new ideas to emerge.  Always be learning what others have done, we may think we have a great idea but did someone else have the same idea 20 years ago?. We should search our field for existing patents to see if we are the first or 101st person to have this idea.
  3. Have many ideas, all the time, ideas, ideas, ideas, write them down, most will be lousy but some will be great.  Most believe that that Plato first said “necessity is the mother of invention.”  Have you ever struggled with threading a needle, check out this link? why didn’t I think of this? http://www.uspto.gov/inventors/independent/eye/201002/spiraleye.html
  4. Share ideas with others, this may seem counter intuitive but they are likely to make the idea and patent even better, and be generous if they contribute to the idea.  A patent shared is far better than no patent at all.
  5. Develop methods to implement ideas, this is the step where we actually get to make things happen, where we get to create.  This is the time when good inventors wont take “No” for an answer.  There should be a method to manufacture ideas or systems that we want to patent, it is our job to discover and document that method.  Having a ‘I will make this work’ attitude is important. Those of us who are easily discouraged when faced with obstacles will have a tough time inventing.
  6. Get legal help, we eventually need access to patent attorneys to file, there are web-based companies that can help us patent relatively cheaply like http://www.legalzoom.com.


Remember, keeping ideas secret is the best way to kill them.

Have you ever had a great idea that you thought about patenting?