How to come up with ideas for patents
The need for patenting inventions for business is covered in almost every second article on intellectual property. But what to do when you need to protect the product of the company, and when talking to developers, the answers are more meaningful than the other: "I just improved the code," "there's nothing new here," "I just fixed bugs," "it's not interesting to me," and " leave us alone, we have already proposed everything, "etc.? Recipes under the cut. Parallels RAS , another day on the VDI component of the same product, etc.
So people will be more open and discuss any ideas or problems with their colleagues, the main thing is only to talk them. Do not discuss the details of each proposed idea at once with everyone - just lose time, it is better to throw as many ideas as possible and after that separately meet with the author and clarify everything. At such meetings, ideas that do not fit in the way known to one or more participants of a prior art (analog) are immediately reclined as well. And ideas can arise both from what has been done in the product, and from what is planned or can be done. There have been cases when from the Brainstorm for patents new features were born for the company's product, implemented in the future.
At a meeting, one-on-one programmer is more difficult to liberate, so it's better to go through what he has already implemented and see how it would be possible to improve the parts of the product with which he works.
Tip: invite to any brainstorming extra person, who works with the product for a long time, preferably with deep technical knowledge and who somehow interacted with patents (there are already patented ideas).
On brainstorms, it is better to collect all ideas, spherical and narrowly applicable, unprocessed and realized. And only then decide what to do with them.
Analyze the new functionality of
Another option for collecting ideas for patents is to analyze the new functionality in the latest and planned releases with project managers and product managers. Here, too, do not focus on details and details, you can explain everything later with the developer working on a specific feature. The purpose of such an analysis is to identify potential ideas for patents.
So, for example, periodically I organize a meeting with the project manager Parallels Desktop and the manager of the same product, where we go through the list implemented in the finished update. In parallel with the written out potential ideas, I write down the names of the developers who are working on them. Further on, I will clarify all the questions that are of interest to me specifically, that they do not waste management time and give an opportunity to talk in detail about the implementation.
Do not forget that in the first place you should work on the functions that have already been implemented in published updates. Of course, it depends on the legislation of the country, but in most cases, they can be patented only for a certain period of time.
Also, do not discard ideas related to innovations that can be applied in your product. It can be useful to discuss them with management and analyze the possibility of introducing them into the product, and as a consequence, there is a possibility of the invention.
Organize the process of analyzing the idea and working on patent applications
All the collected ideas can be discussed on the patent committee, this will allow a comprehensive look at the proposed inventions and decide what to work on, what needs to be worked out and what is not good for protection. On the Patent Committee, there is also the likelihood of new ideas emerging, since when discussing the proposed members, they can modify, merge, or even come across a completely different idea.
At us in such committee enters 6 persons, and includes the representative of each large project and the head of all development of the company.
In this discussion, ideas are analyzed taking into account not only the three criteria of patentability (novelty, utility and non-obviousness), but also the need for a patent for the company.
Clearly show the process of ideas processing in the company to developers and their management, where ideas are written, what stages of the application development exist and what it would be desirable to see from the authors of inventions.
The result is
Correctly motivated programmers will be able to find inventions in the products of the company, but it is worth helping them in understanding the goals, tasks, processes and organization of events. The correct approach also plays an important role, remember: people are different - different interests, someone listens only to the boss, someone is interested in bonuses, and someone just loves everything new and will happily work together.