Here is a tried-and-true way to increase your chances of success with your patent. First, take something that is working in one field. Next, add a little twist that will make it a success in another market.
Sometimes this is as easy as wrapping cardboard around a coffee cup and coming up with a new insulator (yes, that is patented). Other times the technology is not quite as obvious in its applications, requiring some creative thought to provide the best return on the investment.
Medibotics’ patent for a full body motion control suit is an example of this process in action.
The suit, making use of fluid or air filled tubes, can convert the motion of the body into computer signals, which can be used to control a video game character, or provide telemetry for medical devices. At first glance, the two applications, medical telemetry and video game controller would seem to have little similarity, but in truth they are closely related and can help drive the creation of not just a medical device patent, but several patents.
While the control suit can be used to provide telemetry for those undergoing physical therapy, or to determine how quickly someone is recovering from an operation, this device can also be used quite effectively in the field of video games. Unlike most techniques, which divorce the user from the action in the game, a full body control suit would allow the user to feel like they were fully immersed in the action, a vital part of what makes a commercially successful video game.
Even better, this use is sufficiently unique from that covered by the medical device patent that the company can easily take out another patent. In this way, the expensive research and development that went into the original concept is repaid twice over.
It is even possible to relate the two uses to produce third patent.
With the growth and integration of telepresence technology into the medical field, a full body motion control suit could be used to allow nurses and doctors to remotely manipulate robots to permit them to examine and change patients while they remain in their office. Thus, this single concept now generates yet another medical device patent, this time modified from the video game controller patent.
The possibilities are quite literally limitless.
In today’s financial environment, it is imperative that a company receive the best return on any investment. A concept that can apply to more than one field, especially if it can do so inexpensively, can provide the company with two or more patents, each one of which will generate extra revenue. Since you have already spent the money for the research and development, it makes a great deal of sense to extract all the value you can from your work.
The difference between success and failure often hinges on how effectively an individual or company can make use of all their assets, and that includes finding new ways to use currently existing assets. The creation of a new patent is one of the best ways to insure a long term and dependable revenue stream, whether from your own use of the patent or simply by licensing the patent out to third parties.
So that leaves us with the final question...what else can you move from one industry to another to get a new patent on?