Invention Feasibility Checklist 

        by Harold A. Meyer, III 
Inventing is a risky, expensive and time consuming endeavor. Unfortunately, more and more it is becoming a rich man's game. Therefore, before jumping into a swimming pool headfirst, we suggest inventors check for adequate water by getting answers to these simple questions, which are more effectively answered in conjunction with a professional analysis of the invention. 

Some important considerations include: 

If the device does what is intended, is there a market, ie. will anyone buy it? 

Does it offer real BENEFITS? 

It is really novel and non-obvious? 

Does it solve a real problem? Or does it create attributes which would cause people to buy it? 

Is it a revolutionary improvement (or) a significant enough evolutionary improvement that it will have a market advantage over the existing technology? 

Has a patent and prior art search been conducted and is it patentable? Or do you have the marketing muscle (eg. money and distribution) to sell an unprotected product? 

Are functional alternatives to the device readily available? 

Has it been prototyped and can it be demonstrated? 

Can others make claims against the title (eg. former employers?) 

Will customers pay a premium for the product? 

Is it manufacturable at a reasonable cost? 

Does it need regulatory approval, and how long is this expected to take? 

If you intend to make it yourself, can it be a 'stand alone' product? 

If you want to license it, can it be integrated into an existing product line? 

Is the current overall market category significant in terms of absolute money? 

What market share percentage can it hope to capture, and in what time period? 

Is the market growing? 

Are you willing to stick with it for years? 

Are you willing to invest your own money or is there advance backing? 

 There is no fixed formula for inventing or business development. Instead, a well balanced mixture of careful preparation, competency and determination will triumph. The more positive the answers become, the greater the likelihood of success. 

© 7/ 1997 by the author 

Harold A. Meyer, III, 34, is Chairman of The Hook Appropriate Technology, a performance based company which licenses patented technology. He can be reached at: The Hook Appropriate Technology, 52 Bank Street, Suite A, New Milford, CT, 06776-2706 USA. EMAIL: info@thehooktek.com WEB: www.thehooktek.com 

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