I'll do it myself

How hard can it be?

How to take your idea to market

Mycleveridea encourages the submission of ideas that would otherwise be lost. The reward – if any – for an idea processed through the website, is designed to be in full recognition of that idea. It is not therefore the first instalment or otherwise of a licensing or other income stream – it is a one-off.

However you might feel your idea is better than that, and that even if not quite the greatest thing since sliced bread, it is a better mousetrap and you would like to earn significantly from your inspiration and effort.

For these ideas we would encourage you NOT to submit them to mycleveridea.com but to take them to somebody who can help you achieve your goal.

But before you do, allow us to offer a little guidance and access to a few resources.

Before you do anything else, you should probably document your idea; place a copy of it in an envelope and post it to yourself. Retained, sealed you will have a third-party date-stamped record of your idea which might help you in future in the event of a dispute over who had the idea first.

Patents and NDA's

Non disclosure agreement

One way to show people your idea but who you think need to know is to first make them sign a non-disclosure agreement

But be careful. Even signed, there are rogues out there who will take improper advantage of your idea based on an assessment that you will not, nor perhaps cannot afford to, take legal action against a breach of the confidentiality.

If it is patentable, you might want to approach a patent agent. Most members of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys ( cipa ) will maintain your confidence whilst offering you a no-obligation initial consultation. As part of that, they will outline the steps necessary to gain a patent and how they help the process, as patenting is not something normally for the DIY enthusiast!

Please understand that many great ideas fail at this point – the patent agent is likely to discover early on that an existing patent exists for what you think is a novel idea, but that if patent protection is possible and affordable, it is probably the best protection out there.

You can trust us with your idea


.Outside of patents you will need to consider to what extent you have copyright protection, having perhaps first done considerable checking via Google and relevant sites that you haven’t in fact accidentally copied an idea someone else has already had.Your idea might also fall under design rights, again, assuming you are not accidentally copying an existing design.

Then it terms of names, branding or whatever, you might check to see if the .com is available, as that is a big clue as to the uniqueness, even if you only want to trade in the UK with a .co.uk domain. Simply type the domain with .com extension into any browser and see what comes back. You might prefer to do it through a domain name broker (eg www.godaddy.com), because if your name/brand etc is available, it is a good decision to acquire it there and then rather than potentially lose it to someone else while you continue to procrastinate.

When you are sure that you have a unique idea and you have started on the road to protect it, then you need to work out whether you want to make it yourself (assuming the idea is something manufactured) or whether you want to find someone to make it for you (leaving you to market and sell it), or whether you want to simply licence someone else who will pay you a modest royalty on every unit sold.

Ready to go?

Cost effective?

Making it yourself is likely to pay you most per unit, but comes with all the hassle of everything from buying supplies to having a location to work to employing people to finding customers and finally getting paid.

Having someone else make it is generally easier, but are you good enough at marketing and selling, and do you understand the types of deals you will have to do, if, for instance, you are selling via retailers?

Licensing is a good option; a small royalty payment for each unit sold, but no other activity on your part.

That's a basic checklist of things you need to consider if you want to take your idea forward yourself, and we wish you the best of luck. If things don't go to plan, perhaps we could be your Plan B?

Your idea, your money

Take the easy way?

Submit your idea now, before it slips your mind