Inventing 101: Deconstructing the Submission Form – What’s Innovative?

Inventing 101: Deconstructing the Submission Form – What’s Innovative?

What is innovative about your invention?

You may be thinking, “I already described my idea clearly and concisely. How is this different?” This section in our submission form is your opportunity to outline what is new – in other words, what is able to be patented about the idea?
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While this field is a requirement for all submissions, it may be more difficult for some versus others. For example, this field may be easy for a patented innovator to complete as you have already defined what is new and unique about the product in your patent. On the other hand, for those ideas that are either patent-pending or have no intellectual property filed, the Review Team requires a clear outline of what you feel makes your idea stand out from the crowd of existing products and patents.

Remember, we may love your product; however, if it is not able to be patented, there is no way our Licensing Team can license it to a potential partner.

To be clear, we are not asking you to write a formal patent description in this field, but, we are asking you to clarify what is different about your idea. What are the features and or unique contribution the invention is making to the industry?

To secure a patent, an invention must fulfill three requirements: it needs to have novelty, utility and be non-obvious.

1) Novelty: The invention must be a new or novel idea. If it has been publicly disclosed, used or sold for more than one year before the date of application, the invention cannot be patented.

2) Utility: To be patented, it must also be useful. The invention must offer a benefit to society and perform the described function.

3) Non-obvious: To be patentable, the invention must not only be novel, but also non-obvious. Changing the size, materials or other obvious alterations on an existing product or patent are normally not patentable.

While novelty and utility are easy to define, obviousness is typically the real hurdle to patentability. Some non-obvious criteria to consider:

  1. If the invention a product of combining prior art elements according to known methods to yield predictable results the invention is obvious.
  2. If the invention is created through a substitution of one known element for another to obtain predictable results the invention is obvious.
  3. If the invention is achieved by using a known technique to improve a similar device in the same way the invention is obvious.

To give your idea the best chance, it is always beneficial to do a preliminary patent search for prior art that may affect the patentability of your idea. Until you have a general understanding of what is already known in the prior art, there is no way of knowing whether a patent is likely to be obtained.

Here are our favorite go-to websites that we use to find existing products and ideas:

A patent search can also help you in completing the “What is innovative?” field as you can identify and discuss the features and variations of your concept versus what exists in the space that will contribute to a patent being issued, or its “uniqueness.”

Unfortunately, “There is nothing like this out there” is not an acceptable answer in this field.

According to IPWatchdog, with close to nine million utility patents having been granted in the U.S., well over one million pending patent applications and millions of other published by abandoned patent applications, there is always something that can be found that at relates.

Once you have results of your patent search, now it is time to be honest. Ask yourself:

  1. Are the differences you cited enough so a suitably broad and meaningful patent could be obtained?

  2. Are the differences you cited enough so consumers would be willing to pay a premium to buy your product concept versus other products on the market?

Remember, the stronger the argument, the better the chance the Edison Nation Review Team will get your idea to the next stage and ultimately license the idea to a manufacturer.

Hope these hints are helpful in completing this field of the submission form and Happy Inventing!


Have you ever thought, “wouldn’t it be cool if…”?

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We exist to get product ideas out of your head and onto retail shelves, all at no risk to you.

2 Comments Inventing 101: Deconstructing the Submission Form – What’s Innovative?

  1. Michelle

    Hi Lee!

    Once you click on “Submit”, your idea immediately becomes visible to the Edison Nation evaluation team. It will also appear on your Edison Nation Dashboard with a progress bar showing the current stage of evaluation.

    If you have additional questions, please feel free to send us an email at questions@edisonnation.com.

    Best of luck!

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