I think crowdsourcing is a great way to fund an invention. Not only does it help raise the funds you need to bring your invention to market, but it gets people personally involved in your success. Plus with a really great crowd source campaign, the exposure possibilities are endless. Hundreds of millions of people could see my invention. However, with this exposure it made me wonder, should I get a patent before I crowdsource?
Crowdsourcing The Cost Of A Patent
First, I thought maybe I should include the costs of my patent into the crowdsourcing program.
Patent applications can cost thousands of dollars, especially since I’d want to hire a professional to help me. So I thought about crowdsourcing the cost of a patent, but then I realized two important things: An existing patent gives my crowdsource campaign credibility and the exposure from the campaign could lead to risk.
A Patent Gives More Credibility
When looking at comparable crowdsource campaigns, I realized that the most profitable ones already had a patent or at least “patent pending” status. Probably because crowdsource investors realize that with a patent, the invention is much more likely to be taken to market and more likely to be sold to them quickly.
Exposure Leads To Risk
Also, considering how many people will see my invention, if I don’t have a patent I could be exposing myself to risk of infringement. I realized that if someone from a larger venture saw my invention, especially someone who had manufacturing capabilities, they could steal my idea and beat me to market. I also thought about how someone could simply take my idea and file a patent, then sell it based on my success. In either of these scenarios, there would be little I could do to stop them.
So after thinking about it, I decided to file my patent first before my crowdsourcing campaign. The cost of a patent can be pretty high, but I realized I could also put the money up now and factor the costs into the crowdsource campaign later. That way, my crowdsource campaign will have more credibility, so I’ll be able to raise more money, and no one can steal my idea.