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Progress Checklist

How far have you got with the development of your invention ideas?

The check list is intended to be an aide memoire - a list of things that, depending on your circumstances, should be considered before you start to spend real money on your invention. 

This checklist will indicate to you what you have done and may still need to be done before you commit any real expenditure of YOUR money.

Please note that some questions may not apply to your invention, there is therefore no “pass mark” as such. The answers you give below will help you get a picture of what aspects you have considered and what aspects you may still need to address.

Checklist / Questionnaire

1 Have you checked that you are “not reinventing the wheel”
that your product is not already on the market
or was on the market and taken off for whatever reason (e.g. low demand or prohibitive cost)
If it was on the market now taken off have you found out why it was taken off?
How have you researched this – checked retail outlets
- done an internet search (Googled it?)
- done a patent search
2 Have you identified the main advantages of your product?
Is it an entirely new product?
Or an improvement on a similar device?
Why will your innovation be used - will it improve safety or reduce risk?
Will it improve work efficiency or reduce costs?
Will it improve appearance or lifestyle?
Will it reduce environmental impact?
3 Have you identified the main advantages of competing products?
Do they offer better safety or less risk?
Do they work more efficiently or cost less?
Do they look better?
Or do they have less environmental impact?
4 Have you identified your potential market?
Estimated annual gross sales – number of units (range)
Potential selling price range
Does your product have sustained market potential?
What is your target market (customers, geography, industry structure, barriers to entry?
5 Have you identified the factors that could affect your potential market?
Changes in legislation?
Changes in power or fuel costs?
Changes in production costs?
Changes in fashion?
Changes in weather?
Changes in need?
Novelty factor (i.e. short life)?
Are you aware of any safety or regulatory issues that could adversely affect your product?
6 Have you identified your marketing options?
Have you considered: selling or licensing your invention as a patent or registered design?
Manufacturing and direct marketing of your product?
Internet sales?
Setting up a company to manufacture and/or market your product?
Manufacturer direct sales (wholesale, exclusive or nonexclusive)?
Selling agent (retail, exclusive or nonexclusive)?
7 Have you identified what manufacturing methods that could be used to make your product?
What are the critical factors in your choice of manufacturing method? ... Volume of production?
Quality of product?
Cost of production?
Location with respect to market?
Flexibility in design changes or production runs?
The time required to set up manufacturing and launch your innovation in the market?
8 Do you have production cost estimates ?
Have you done these yourself?
Obtained quotes from manufacturers?
Obtained estimates from professional engineers?
Have you considered annual gross sales – number of units?
9 Do you have potential profit estimates ?
Will your product return an acceptable rate of return on your investment?
Have you calculated this yourself?
or Obtained estimates from marketing professionals?
Have you considered annual gross sales – number of units?
10 What intellectual property protection do you have or need?
Have you assessed your need yourself?
Obtained advice from a patent attorney?
Do you know of any impediment that would adversely affect your patent, design, trade mark or copyright application?
11 Commercialisation - Do you have a business plan?
Will you require funding to manufacture and or market your invention?
Have you considered private or family financing?
Getting a financial partner, or the help of a venture capitalist?
Are you tracking your costs to date?
Now page back to the top and set your priorities for your next steps.  Make your list and get on with it!  

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