Invention Websites - Helpful Websites for Inventors
Have an invention or invention idea?
This is a list of some helpful links for inventors. These websites are not being recommended by us, and are merely provided to serve as a helpful starting point for your own research.
General Advice and Overviews
A good place to start learning about the invention process is our Inventor Information section. We have hundreds of articles on inventions, inventing and the whole invention process so look for what you need on our Inventor Information section or just search our site using the site search box for any specific information you are looking for.
Check out Myra Per-Lee's Invention Blog which covers news and information of interest to inventors. Her blog also includes a Step by Step Inventor Guide written by an inventor for inventors. (To read her invention guide, start with her oldest post on How To Come Up With A Great Product Idea. You'll find general tips and advice on how to get started.)
You can also check out our Inventor Service Providers Directory if you are looking for a particular service provider.
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office - Inventors and Entreprenuers Resources Page - Has links to various guides and resources suggested by the USPTO.
- US Small Business Administration (SBA) - Has many different programs to help fund small businesses
- SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) - a nonprofit organization that is a source of free & confidential small business advice for entrepreneurs.
- Technology Commercialization Learning Center - Comprehensive coverage of the technology commercialization process.
US Government Assistance for Inventors
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office - Inventor's Assistance Center - Offers general patent assistance to the public. Helping an answering questions you may have about patent examining policies and procedures. They can also help you in filling out forms.
- U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Advanced Manufacturing department offers financial and technical support to inventors and businesses for promising energy-saving concepts and technologies.
Defending Against Fraudulent Schemes And Inventor ScamsYou can check our site for more information on Invention Cons, Scams and Other Problems. See also these resources:
Industry and Market AnalysisYou can check out our site for more information on How To Do Industry and Market Analysis. You can also take a look at these great resources:
- Hoover's Online - Online Business and Company Information
Patent Searches and RegistrationTake a look at InventorSpot's information for inventors on Patenting Your Invention Ideas. Additional resources on patenting and patents is available here.
- USPTO - free patent search
- Freepatentsonline.com - free patent search
- Patent Genius - free patent search
- Patent search tutorial
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office - Inventor's Assistance Center - Offers general patent assistance to the public. Helping an answering questions you may have about patent examining policies and procedures and help you in answering questions about forms.
- USPTO Patent Ombudsman Program - Here is a terrific collection of all the telephone numbers and descriptions of various offices of the USPTO so that if you need to contact them, you can figure out where to go and how to reach them.
Finding a LawyerOur tips on finding a good lawyer and commonly needed legal information useful for inventors is here. You can also check these sites:
- Intellectual Property Law Server - has a helpful forum where you can ask legal questions
Financing and Loans
Getting financing for your invention will usually be a challenging process. Here's information on InventorSpot on Financing Your Invention (including information on how to use Crowdfunding). You should also take a look at these resources to help you get started.
- Overview of Process of Financing an Invention or Small Business - How Stuff Works
- US Small Business Administration - Has many different programs to help fund small businesses
- Inventor Networks And Sources For Finding Investment Partners
Crowdfunding - online sources for start up and micro funding for your invention ideas. You just submit your invention idea and you get access to funding from members of their community.
- Kickstarter - one of largest on and most popular online funding platforms
- (See our article on Making The Most of Quirky.com - Inventor Tips, Advice and Info. Although it is written for Quirky, it can also provide some helpful tips for other funding sites.)
- Quirky.com - Anyone can submit an idea, the Quirky community helps develop the idea and winners are chosen every week to get their products developed. (See our article on Making The Most of Quirky.com - Inventor Tips, Advice and Info.)
- InventorSpot.com - post frequently on all the various invention and product competitions and contests looking for new product ideas.
- Prototype Today - Helpful forum of rapid prototyping service providers and community
- Thomas Register of Manufacturers - Database for industrial information, products, services
- Industrial Quick Search - Online U.S. Industrial manufacturers and suppliers directory
- MacRae's Blue Book - Classic industrial directory
- MFGQuote - online quotes for contract manufacturing parts and services
- Product Developer Blog from the Product Developer and Manager's Association
- AIPMM - Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM) is largest professional organization of product, brand managers, and product marketing managers.
- European Intellectual Property Association - The European Intellectual Property Association (EIPAWEB) represents over 100 non-governmental and other not-for-profit organizations interested in protection the intellectual property of all Europeans.
At the point you are actively marketing your product, you probably need to look at information that is focused on marketing and marketers. We have some limited information on this topic and you can find our marketing information for new products here. Additional resources to help you get started are:
- Marketing Profs - helping info and marketing know-how from professionals and professors.
- Cision - Source for media contacts such as newspapers, magazines, television and radio.
- Marketing Sherpa - real life case studies, practical know-ho and benchmark data on what works in marketing today.
Unless you are going to go through the process of taking your invention idea from concept to finished product actively in the market, you will be looking for a potential licensing partner. And even after you have finished products available, finding a great licensing partner to promote and sell your product may be a great idea. So licensing is a critical part of the invention process and not something you want to have someone else handle without your active participation.
Look here for our tips on licensing your product idea and other helpful resources for licensing an invention idea or a finished product.
Other helpful resources on the web are here:
- LES - Licensing Executives Society- extensive resources and training for its members but there is an annual fee and to join, you need to have referrals for existing members.
- Thomas Register of Manufacturers - Database for industrial information, products, services available at most libraries. This is a great list to look for potential licensees.
- Sample License Agreement Form #1 - Simple Version - Very simple license agreement that provides little protection to the Inventor
- Sample License Agreement Form #2 - Simplest Version - Super simple license agreement form that provides little protection to the Inventor
Free Press Release Publication and Distribution
- PressExposure - free basic press release distribution service
- PRWeb - free basic press release distribution service
- PRLeap - free basic press release distribution service
- TSNN - search for a trade show
General Business Advice
- SCORE.org - terrific resource for free small business advice and individual counseling for free.
- StartUpNation.com - great resource on everything you need to start your business.
- Electrical Engineering Community - great resource for anything related to Electrical Engineering. They have news, extensive resources and an active community for anything related to electrical engineering.
Foreign Government Patent Offices
Make sure to check out our Inventor Service Providers Directory.
Also read Myra Per-Lee's Invention Blog - A Step by Step Inventor Guide Resource by an Inventor for Inventors. (Some of the older articles with advice on patents is outdate, so please make sure you are looking at recently updated patent information.)
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