I’ve had a good idea, but how do I get it to market?

Before you talk to anyone about your idea, or if you are thinking of building a prototype, you must protect yourself against imitation by defining what makes your property unique, and considering some form of legal protection, via Intellectual Property Rights. Don’t enter into any discussions about your idea until an interested party has signed a confidentiality agreement.

If you lack the finance or resources to manufacture, market and distribute your invention there are still alternatives. In order to decide the best route for you and your business, it’s highly advisable that you speak to a qualified adviser. The choices are:


This is an agreement allowing another company to produce your product. They pay you for this right. If you are asking someone to manufacture and distribute your product they are likely to want an exclusive deal because of the risks they are taking.

Joint venture

A joint venture is when two companies pool their resources for a project but still remain as separate firms. This often works well when you have complementary resources and skills (e.g. you bring the idea, the market and the marketing knowledge – and your partner the manufacturing resources).

You can use design to improve your business through the products and services you offer, and you can double its effectiveness by planning for and using design strategically. By thinking the big design picture, rather than focussing on one single product, you can link all of the parts of your company that benefit from design and create a powerful business response that is irresistible to your customers.

You should also get advice on protecting your product and service from the Patent Office web site.

This article based on Copyright © 2002

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