When developing a new idea, you could take the short route and create a “paper only” concept. This approach may be sufficient if you only intend to develop a concept for future rights, or to gain an IP foothold in a market or industry, and not an actual product or service. But if you are developing a new product or service idea and your plan is to take it to market in the immediate or near future, creating a working prototype can be a crucial step in enhancing the value of the IP and product you are developing around the concept and growing its potential value in the market.
Protecting Your IP in the Age of Home Manufacturing
Imagine this scenario: You spend the tens of thousands of dollars to bring a product to market, and patent-protect it. Within days of your product's release, the device has been scanned (via a 3D printer add-on that cost only $200), its dimensions transformed into computer code, and that code transmitted across the globe via the internet. Thousands of people with 3D printers can then take this pirated information and create exact copies of your device in their homes.