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Starting a Business in Utah: Joining the “Maker Movement” with a Product or Invention

by Norris Law Group on August 26, 2014

Starting a Business in Utah: Joining the “Maker Movement” with a Product or InventionIn May 2014, Time.com published an article about the “maker movement” that has been gaining popularity in recent years. In Time’s article, writer Tim Bajarin offers his opinion that “has the potential to turn more and more people into makers instead of just consumers, and I know from history that when you give makers the right tools and inspiration, they have the potential to change the world.

Innovation and entrepreneurship have always been a part of the American story. Many K-12 schools and colleges are even adding “maker spaces” to new or existing programs. Have you had an idea for a “gadget,” product or service “rattling around in your head” for some time? Many people do, but it can be difficult to determine whether our ideas may actually be useful to others and even make money.

On p. 1-2 of an online guide titled Doing Business in Utah, the Utah State Tax Commission suggests that those with an idea for a new product or service consider the following before deciding if the idea could possibly lead to a viable business:

  • “Is the idea original?” Have you ever seen a product or service, slapped your forehead and thought, “Now, why didn’t I think of that?” Well, someone did, and quite often, a number of people may have basically the same idea. But maybe only one had the “know-how” to bring the idea to market. If you have an idea but you aren’t sure whether anyone else has had it, too, there are lots of ways you can check into it. Professional journals, catalogs, and even the US Patent & Trademark Office can prove to be great resources. Your local library or a business library at a college or university might be a good place to start your search.
  • “How will the invention be produced and distributed?” Do you need a prototype? If so, will you need to make it, or would you need someone to make it for you? If the product is saleable, who will make it? How will you distribute it to stores? Could it be sold to a larger company? These are just some of the questions to consider.
  • “Will your idea make money?” Ah, the ultimate question for any business person. It can be hard to answer, too. Consider market fluctuations, competition, etc. A well-written business plan can help.
  • “Can you protect your idea?” Is your idea eligible for US or international patent protection? Again, the US Patent & Trademark Office website can help you determine this.

A meeting with an experienced Utah business lawyer can help you get your business off “on the right foot.”

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County, UT and throughout Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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