While the thrill of the invention process draws people to think of new invention ideas each year, the hard work of bringing such ideas to fruition deters many people from getting their inventions created. If you follow the steps below, you will be taking a proactive approach to getting an invention idea looked at.
Prepare an invention checklist. The more thought-out your invention idea is, the more likely you will be able to get it looked at. Therefore, it is helpful to create a checklist of essential questions about your invention. On a sheet of paper write the following in a list: "unique idea?"; "marketable?"; "financially reasonable?". If you feel that your invention idea stands out from many of the other inventions that exist, put a check mark next to "unique idea." If you are not sure, think about the inventions that you use on a daily basis. Is your invention as original as the inventions that you use in your daily life while being different enough from those inventions to be needed in society? Think about the people who will use your invention. Is there a big enough market for your idea? If so, put a check next to marketable. Consider the cost of your invention idea. If you think it is an idea that a company will want to spend its money on, put a check next to "financially reasonable."
Join an inventor's society. Throughout America, there are many branches of the National Society of Inventors. The New York Society of Professional Inventors, for example, aims to help inventors connect with one another to discuss information, advice and problems. While many of the branches do not provide services to those who want to get their invention ideas looked at, they do provide networking opportunities that may lead to getting an invention idea looked at.
Locate a patent attorney. Complete an online search for a patent attorney in your area. This attorney can see if the invention idea has a good chance of becoming patented. A patent attorney can help with a patent search to see if someone else has already actualized the invention idea.
Submit to contests. As you follow the traditional steps to getting your invention ideas looked at, you can also take an alternative approach to getting an invention idea looked at. Periodically, companies create contests that ask for invention ideas. Since the companies themselves are soliciting ideas, it is easy to get the ideas looked at. In 2009 Edison Nation and Bed Bath and Beyond sponsored a contest for inventions made by women. Staples has also created several Invention Quest competitions to design new office supplies. MIT's invention lab or D-Lab fosters a community of student inventors. Students involved in D-Lab are eligible for prizes like the Lemelson-MIT student prize.