Starting A Textile Company: Patents

Mar 11, 2014 1 Comment by

As I look for a new stream of income, I have decided to start an online company selling textile products. This was after considering many types of products and deciding to go with a product that requires low seed money.

Patents

One of my product ideas is patented by my competitors. My current challenge is to see if my idea is already covered by other patents. The good news is that I have looked up my competitors patents on Google Patents and have not been able to find a similar product. This means that I’m still green to pursue this idea.

Overwhelming Patents

Looking at patents is a challenge! There are already similar patents for similar products. Many of them are the same in terms of their use but differ slightly in their construction and shape. Right now I am overwhelmed and will have to look at patents methodically after I finalize my design. I might have to alter my design slightly if I find that it infringes on another patent.

I have so many questions when it comes to patents. How do I know if a patent actually protects its design? Can I infringe on a poorly written patent that lacks specification? Can I infringe on a single clause of a patent of does a patent protect ALL of its clauses? How much different does my design need to be from other patents? I will need to consult patent experts and read up on patent literature for this next phase.

User Testing

If my product if going to have a chance at being patent worthy, I need to keep this idea confidential. In order to do user testing on real users, I will need to provide them a Non Disclosure Agreement. User testing is required in order to have a successful product. So many of the patents I have browsed through are simply ridiculous and I bet you that they were never tested on real subjects. Next Step At this point I don’t know if I should pursue

Next Step

My next step should be under the assumption that I do get a patent. The user testing will be made under an NDA and I will continue to look at if my design infringes on existing patents. From a business decision, I will need to decide if I want to spend $5000 for a patent on a product that may or may not be successful. I could go ahead and manufacture it without patent protection. This just means that other manufacturers could rip off my design but not patent my idea since it would be in the public domain.

In the next 3 years, will I be able to get $20 000 in sales or $200 000 in sales? If I could read into my company’s future, I could decide immediately if it was worth the patent cost.

Entrepreneurship, Strategy

About the author

Clara Cannes, the chief author from Goldeneer is a Canadian that works as a full time employee in the engineering field. Her passion is real estate, entrepreneurship and sustainability. Clara has finally reached financial independence in her late 20's and is on the path to a comfortable retirement by 35.

One Response to “Starting A Textile Company: Patents”

  1. The Wallet Doctor says:

    Very interesting! I hadn’t considered how patents may impact this particular industry. Thanks for breaking it down for us!