It is well known that less than 10% of patented products or services are commerically successful. At larger IP law firms, inventors often spend $20K to $25K seeking patent protection on a product and service that at the end, has little or no commerical value. Often consumers (individuals or business) did not need or want the product or service disclosed in the patent or the claims in the patent did not adequately protect the inventive concept thereby enabling others to avoid the patent altogether. We believe there is a better way, called ‘Consumer Approach Patenting’ which combines the principles of IP law with the Science of Consumer Behavior to determine whether a product or service would be desireble to consumers and whether the marketplace value points can be protected by IP law. The Science of
Consumer Behavior, which is will known in the advertising and marketing industries, focuses on the consumer’s ‘needs,’ ‘wants’ and ‘motivations’. The successful products and services must include value points that address the ‘needs’ of the consumer. The advertising and marketing industries are then used provide the ‘motivation’ to convert these ‘needs’ into ‘wants’ that eventually leads to sales. Products or services that address these ‘needs’ must fall within an ‘inventive concept’ protected by a patent. Unfortunately, the products or services that enter the marketplace do not address the ‘needs’ of the consumer or the patent does not adequately protect the ‘inventive concept’.
Bringing a product or service to the market is an iterative process. As a product or service is being developed, the ‘needs’ of consumer may need to be re-evaluated. Often, the product or service will change to address the re-evaluated ‘need’. The re-evaluated ‘need’ may require the re-evalution of the ‘inventive concept’ covered by the claims recited in the patent application. It is important that the inventor and Patent attorney communicate and closely work together during the entire patent process.