“Pro Tips” for Your Prototype
People always ask, “Well I haven’t built a prototype, can I apply for a patent?” And the truth of the matter is: you don’t need a prototype to apply for a patent.
If you are going to build a prototype, I’d love to share some guidance based on some of the prototypes that I’ve seen.
So, the first thing is if you’re building a prototype, don’t make all the pieces out of the same color. People tend to make their prototypes out of white material, or clear material, or black material, so that when it’s assembled, it may work, it may look great — but the underlying structure is hard to see, and understand. Use different colored materials, even if that means that you have to color the material with crayon, or marker, or something along those lines.
If you are putting together something, and it has junctions, seams, places where they connect: highlight them. You can highlight them with a marker. If it’s a cloth, you can highlight it by using different colored thread, but make sure that when somebody looks at your prototype, they can see how the pieces fit together, and where they fit together. That way, when the patent artist sits down to do your drawings, they can easily see the structure underneath, because sometimes we have to do what’s called an exploded view of the invention. The easiest way to show it without taking it apart, or literally exploding it, is to have different colors to show how they fit together and work.
My advice is when you are building a prototype, build two. Build one to show to venture capitalists, marketing specialists, or other people besides your patent attorney. Make it as slick and cool as you can. Send your patent attorney a different prototype using different colored materials, or use different colors in the construction, so we can easily see what your invention is all about.
Contact me today with questions or comments.
Patricia P. Werschulz
Werschulz Patent Law, LLC
23 North Avenue East
Cranford, NJ 07016