A successful idea can be born in a second – or it may need billions of seconds.
In my work as a patent attorney who protects inventions, my desk is filled with blueprints of small little technical details that have been drafted for years, and are finally able to knock down barriers that are hindering the progress in a certain field. I also meet breathtaking new ideas that can develop into new technologies or even into a pioneering invention of an entirely new field. In between these two, there are hundreds of great ideas from which some start to blossom, and others do not.
An idea is tested in practice
What are the steps needed to make an idea blossom? More often than not, you need to have experience and passion for solving a problem. When crafting an idea, you engage yourself in a dialogue with a group that knows the problem, and you get them involved. You compare your idea to other ideas, and think how to better solve the problem. And then you need to get your timing right for publishing.
These are all the steps for your ideas to jump out of your head and meet the real world. This is also the final point in time when you have to think of the intellectual propety rights: protecting your idea before publishing it, so that you can reap the benefits of it.
A story of a health technology invention
The success story of my health-tech sector client Evondos Oy had all the ingredients. Evondos developed an automated medicine dispenser helping the homecare of elderly people. Originally only one device was developed into a new service platform and concept. The company is growing and the markets are vast.
One of the founders of the company, Mika Apell, tells that the invention was born out of the experiences of the people around him. The goal was clear: to solve one of the most critical parts of medicine use in the care of the elderly. Only half of the medicines are taken according to prescription. In 2007 electronics designer Apell went to study productization. During the next year his company was already in operation. Soon the first prototype of the device that Apell had built with the help of his friends, was plugged in. The simple, yet efficient, prototype evoked great interest in the field, and pushed the product development forward. During the whole process, Evondos Oy has gained experience, toured the field and gathered feedback.
“I’m in love with my automated medicine dispenser. I talk to it.”
And then the right timing comes into the picture. ”We thought carefully about the Intellectual Property Rights: We shouldn’t leave the patent too late, but on the other hand, not too early either. We needed to grow our know-how”, explains Apell. The careful timing of Evondos Oy made the idea more credible, and helped it to get a better funding.
As the patent attorney of this interesting company I have had the opportunity to help protect the whole business model surrounding the invention. This is what IPR in the end is all about
Thanks to Evondos Oy, in the future markets, we are likely to meet more intelligent platforms helping the homecare of the elderly.
“I’m in love with my automated medicine dispenser. I talk to it”, one senior citizen told Mika Apell. Including this feedback has helped Evondos in their product developments that are also patent pending.
European patent attorney
The author works at Turun Patenttitoimisto Oy, part of the Berggren Group, the European Full-service IP house.