Category: Business

Inventors, Here Are Reasons Why Your Invention Got Rejected

Many Inventors trying to bring their product ideas to market are totally crushed by rejection. So, I thought I would provide a list of some of the reasons you could have gotten rejected. It does not cover every reason you could get rejected, but hopefully it will give you something to think about.

You need to realize that inventing is fundamentally a numbers game! Yes, you still need to have a good idea but you will find that no matter how good an idea you may think it is you can still get rejected. Many marketable ideas are rejected all the time. Even if it does not make sense to you that they would reject an idea that they agree would be profitable. Here are some common reasons why even marketable ideas are rejected.

1. The company may already have a full line of products and not wanting to add more.

2. The product is outside their target market.

3. You sent your submission to the wrong person in the company – don’t assume they’ll automatically send it to the right one.

4. You sent the idea unsolicited without contacting the company first to find out their submission policy, and they rejected it solely on that basis.

5. You did not have proper contact information on your submission. (That is one of the highest mistakes Inventors make. The company will not bother to track you down.)

6. They have too many similar products and that market is flooded enough.

7. Your idea appeals to a very small niche market and they want mass market items.

8. The cost to manufacture versus the return on investment is too high.

9. Your sales sheet did not WOW them and lacked consumer benefits information or was overloaded with too much information to sort through.

10. Your product has already been patented by someone else and they don’t want to see if they can go around it or risk infringement issues.

11. Your product or idea isn’t better than what is already on the market. This tells them you did not research your idea very well and don’t have a clue who your competition is in the market.

12. You sent a product that is exactly like their current product and that current product is a marginal seller. So yours will not fare any better.

13. Your idea is outdated or is on the downswing compared to what is coming out the following year.

14. They already have a better solution than yours in the works for release that coming year. (This is also where Inventors may scream the company stole their idea even when the company has already invested in molds, engineering, samples, etc prior to the Inventor contacting the company about their idea. This happens a lot. Inventors forget that they are not the only ones inventing.)

15. They have already received a similar idea from another Inventor and are in negotiations with that Inventor.

16. You have posted your idea unprotected online in one of those invention posting sites where others vote on your product to see if there is interest. Your public disclosure makes the company concerned whether any patent protection would be allowed and turns it down based on that issue.

17. You posted your unprotected idea and video of the working prototype on YouTube and have a significant number of hits. This again raises the concern whether any patent would be possible due to your public disclosure.

18. You stated that you have an issued patent, but when they do a quick search on your patent they see that it has lapsed due to non-payment of fees and it has been lapsed significantly past the due date. Making the chances of it being reinstated unlikely.

19. You have a patent, but it was poorly written and does not cover the actual product. (This happens a lot)

20. You have a design patent and designing around your patent is a simple task, which means they can expect very little protection in the marketplace.

21. Sometimes the company you have approached just doesn’t look at outside ideas and does not publicize that fact. So you get a rejection letter, but it doesn’t explain they just don’t look outside the company.

22. You sent them your product but they have already decided on their line for that year or the following year and are not open to taking on anything else at that time.

23. They only consider items with a sales history they can review and your item has never been in production or sold stores or online. So they do not want to take the risk of being the first company to market it.

Corporate Innovation – What Happened?

In the real world outside of academia, we have the same problem where corporate employees are discouraged from thinking, trained to do things exactly as per the employee manual, BMPs (best management practices) of industry, or directions from their bosses, yet their bosses are doing the same thing? Is anyone – even the C-suite or board of directors thinking anymore? Are they busy copying marketing campaigns, business strategies, and processes of their competitors too – apparently so, which is fairly obvious reading trade journals and following industry associations.

In fact, many industry associations (bureaucratic status quo) have training courses for people in the industry – but that just means once everyone is trained – every company is going around the same track at the same speed with the same horsepower, and same rules as everyone else. Welcome to the human rat race – looks more like NASCAR than revolutionary innovation or great leaps of technology. How can you or your company win if you just copy what everyone else is doing, or attempting to do? How can your company come up with a breakthrough or the next new thing?

We Americans complain when China and others rip-off our intellectual property, and yet, what are we doing to ourselves? Doesn’t anyone think anymore? Every time I turn around I see the same thing. What happened to American Innovation, creative problem solving, and that ‘can do attitude’ that when there is a will, we will find a way? We see only a few corporations thinking anymore or pushing the envelope? Why?

Do we have too many confining rules and regulations? Are too many companies worried about lawsuits or pull-backs in shareholder’s equity, stock price and quarterly profits? Are there too many class action lawyers ready to strike – keeping companies from taking risks? Are companies too concerned with boycotts enabled by political correctness in our evolving society – be careful not to offend anyone – be safe, don’t rock the boat?

Is it all of these things mentioned above, plus the slow mind-numbing indoctrination of media, academia and the inherent ever pervasive government indoctrination? Perhaps, but what’s the underlining cause. Humans are not getting less intelligent. IQ scores have been rising for a 100-years. Could social media have a part in this problem I’ve observed? Some say social media has helped innovation – has it really? It seems that faster communication would increase original thought and make everyone a little more innovative – but it hasn’t. It appears it is dummying down our society more than it is helping foster creative minds and turning us all into innovators.