I have an invention idea, now what should I do?


Do you have a new invention idea? If you are looking for invention idea help, it’s all here in one place. Here we will cover registering or protecting, designing and selling your new invention idea.

At Innovate Design, we have over 15 years experience of helping inventors taking their new ideas to market in the UK and beyond. We live and breathe new inventions, our purpose is to help new inventors like you.

Whether you want to see your new idea on the shelves with your name on or sell your invention, we can help.

Looking to sell your invention idea quickly? Did you know – you can sell an invention idea at any stage. However, over the years we have compiled what we believe are the best steps to increase your chances of success.

If you have a new invention idea and don’t know how to proceed, take a look at our tried and tested steps:

1) Find out if your invention idea is truly novel.

  • Just because you don’t see it on the market does not mean it has not been invented (unfortunately). You can do an initial worldwide patent search on Espacenet to see what you can find
  • Innovate offers an affordable and professional worldwide patent search using databases only available commercially

2) Development and prototyping of your idea

  • There are various routes of design to consider at this stage, but one thing is for sure, you don’t have to invest big sums of money
  • Making a prototype of your new idea may be the way forward to visually and physically develop your idea
  • Another option is to create photorealistic images (CAD drawings), this can explore the functionality required and consider aspects of the idea (and may be a cheaper alternative to prototyping your new invention idea!) This will then provide you with presentation material for showing potential investors or buyers
    Find more information about design development here

3) Start the process of protecting your new invention idea and be “Patent Pending” 

  • Apply for a Patent with the Intellectual Property Office
  • You can file your patent with very little information until your idea is more developed. There are risks* but you have up to 12 months to seek professional help, formalise your application, and pay the official fees
  • The UK IPO they will issue a filing receipt which confirms the filing date and provides a patent application number.  This will take your idea to the stage known as “Patent Pending”

4) Get some commercial feedback!

  • During the “patent pending” period, this is the time to get some commercial feedback from industry or backers or partners
  • Whether you choose to license your idea or self manufacture, this is the most important stage to successfully take your idea to market
  • Research retailers, manufacturers and other professionals within your industry, and present your idea to them.  You are the best person to do this!  This stage will provide you with vital information on how to move forward or change some aspect of the new invention idea

Innovate can help with all of the steps. 

Need an example of these steps in action?
Are you a fan of Dragon’s den? If yes, you are sure to remember our Client Teirnan Mccorkell with his product, pipeEASY.


Case study: pipeEASY

Step 1: Carried out a World Wide Patent Search
Step 2: Had his cutting tool computer visualised by the Design Team
Step 3: Applied for his Patent Pending
Step 4: Used his materials to gain feedback from the industry and manufacturers

Next: With his valuable tools, Teirnan was able to source prototypes quickly and affordably, finalise his patent application (in Europe too!) and decide that self manufacture was a better option for him (as opposed to licensing).

He also managed to win the hearts of the nation by appearing on Dragon’s Den in 2019. His new invention idea was snapped up by Dragon Sara Davies who he has now partnered with.

“Had I have not have contacted Innovate, it would of just of been a pipe line dream (no pun intended)... the process with Innovate has given me the drive to pursue more of my ideas in the very near future and I will use Innovate again most definitely.”


To read more about Teirnan’s Inventor’s story, or look at other examples of new invention success, take a look at our case studies page.

For some advice on your invention idea in particular, submit your invention idea for a free review here.

*seek legal advice at www.cipa.org.uk or www.lawsociety.org.uk

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