06 November 2005

Invention and Innovation: The Inventors' Handbook

This excellent website is contributed by two neighbours and acquaintances, Peter Bissell and Graham Barker. I have mentioned them several times before. Peter spoke to the Leeds Inventors Group on 20 Oct 2005. They are co-authors of "A Better Mousetrap" and "The Business of Invention" which you can get from their website for £12.95. This little book is commended by the CIPA (the patent agents' professional body). No inventor or indeed investor or collaborator should be without it.

The Invention and Innovation website, which was commissioned by NESTA, sets out to be "a step-by-step guide to the process of invention and innovation" with guidance on the pitfalls to avoid and sources of advice to pursue, tips on developing an idea into a real product, an overview of protecting intellectual property and advice on ways of getting an idea into the commercial world from licensing to making and selling the product oneself. Like their books the website sets out a number of tips in digestible bites. The first of these is

"If you want to succeed, you must first do everything you can to avoid failure. That means you must always control your costs and always limit your risk."

It continues with some other good advice like making patent and market searches, prototyping, applying for a patent, licensing and the like.

Although much of what is on the site is also in their book (and indeed the "About Invention" page of the Design Council site) this website has one big advantage and that is the extensive though slightly out of date "Inventors' Directory" links page. This covers everything from innovation and enterprise agencies to banks though there are lacunae such as the absence of any serious mentin of enforcement, funding, inventors' clubs and professional help other than patent agents. These minor faults apart, it is a good guide and is strongly recommended.

No comments: