Sunday, November 12, 2006

It Ain't Easy - The Odds Against

How many independently created inventions make it on the market?

Surveyed surveys indicate that only a small minority will ever reach the market, although about half of the independent inventors will attempt commercialization.

In addition, most of the independently-invented products that do reach the market will fail to generate any profits.

Hard numbers? Five to seven percent reach the market. Sixty to seventy-five percent of these fail to generate any profit.

For those at the “having a great idea” point, odds of generating a more-than-trivial profit are under one percent. (The odds of generating large profits are miniscule.)

For those looking at a product-launch investment, odds of losing the investment are higher than the odds of breaking even.

Many independent ideas are of little commercial value, or are not sufficiently protectable. Many independent inventors do not have the time or the required business skills or the required capital.

See patent topics, including topics for independent inventors, at the official website of the United States Patent and Trademark Office at

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Independent's Patent Share Dropping

Independent inventors’ share of patents issued to U.S. inventors has been declining. Starting with a 22.9 percent share in 1998, the percentage dropped to 21.8 percent in 1990, then to 21.0 percent in 2000, 19.2 percent in 2001, 17.1 percent in 2003, and then to 16.1 percent in 2004.

In other words, the drop over a six year period from 1998 to 2004 was 6.8 percentage points, from a 22.9 percent share down to a 16.1 percent share.

Data has not been located regarding the percentage of independent inventor application filings. Whether the decline in share of issued patents tracks the filing rate or the approval rate remains, therefore, indeterminable.

More info on patents as the official website and my website