We often receive calls from people who are interested in learning more about our product design capabilities. As you will see, coming up with a new product idea is just the first step of the invention process. Here are five important points to consider before moving forward.

I have a new product idea – now what?

Start with a simple Google search to see if any similar idea already exists – you may be surprised! If you find that indeed you have a unique idea that deserves a closer look, you can meet with Design Interface for a free consultation. Rest assured your idea will remain confidential – we sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before discussing anything and will never share your idea with anyone. Design Interface has over 30 years experience of developing ideas into real consumer products and can advise about your next steps.

I have a drawing of my invention but it’s on a napkin – can you help?

Some great ideas start out on a napkin but you’ll need something more presentable to show others. We can create one or more finished drawings that capture your design intent.

Can you make a prototype of my idea?

Yes, in most cases a working prototype is a good idea to evaluate a design and uncover areas for improvement. Prototypes can be very basic, made from simple materials for instance, to understand whether the idea will work. Alternatively, a more finished prototype can be exhibited at trade shows or demonstrated to investors. The cost can range widely depending on how simple or complex the idea being prototyped.

Do I need a patent?

You should consider talking to a patent lawyer before you get too far into the development process. A good lawyer can perform a patent search to see if similar ideas already exist and to offer legal advice. It may make sense to obtain a design or utility patent to protect your idea before moving forward. Design Interface can create any patent drawings you may need.

How much will this cost to develop a new product?

Most inventors are surprised to learn that bringing a product to market can be rather costly. A small plastic part for example can cost up to tens of thousands of dollars. It must be designed, engineered, and manufactured. Then there are also marketing costs (packaging, branding, advertising, brochures, perhaps an e-commerce website). Additional business fees (legal, fulfillment, sales, etc.) may apply as well. It all depends on the size and complexity of your idea.