When conceiving of a new product, process, or tool, many may be in a hurry to get their ideas to a patent office to begin manufacturing as soon as possible. The path to producing an invention typically involves creating a prototype, which takes time and resources to create.
Consider the following advantages when weighing the costs of investing in a prototype:
It used to be that to get a patent, the inventor had to provide a prototype with their patent application. While a prototype is no longer required when seeking a patent, it can help others envision what is being conceived, and also differentiates the product from other similar items that might already exist. (source)
When seeking investors for a new invention or conception, a prototype can be a compelling tool to use during demonstrations or meetings. This allows the potential funding source to “see” what they will be investing in, and can eliminate any ambiguity or confusion regarding the product.
Having the tactile invention during the patent application process is helpful, and can make the process far simpler. Be aware that a shoddy or inferior prototype can derail the process before it gets off the ground. If an inventor is going to make the effort and invest the resources needed to obtain a prototype, it makes sense to get the most accurate, highest-quality prototype available. This is where a product design team comes into play; these professionals create prototypes for a variety of inventions, from tangible objects to more conceptual, intangible products. It makes the most sense to work with a reputable design team that can first provide a presentation prototype, before moving into the more detailed work of putting together a design that is ready to be manufactured. (source)
One of the most compelling reasons to invest resources in the production of a prototype is simply to see how effectively and efficiently the invention will be for users. For instance, in the case of developing a website, tool, or command, creating a prototype allows the inventor to test the functionality before it is disseminated to other users, consumers, or markets. This is a great way to “get the bugs out” while it is still early in the process. By skipping the important step of creating a prototype, it could be far more costly to work out kinks later on, during the manufacture or production phase of development. (source)
There are some sound and practical reasons to take the time and effort to create a quality prototype. This gives the inventor an opportunity to see their vision realized, and to address any potential issues that might warrant further work or attention. This also provides a platform to distinguish the nuances between the invention and other products that could interfere with the patent process.