Protecting, developing, marketing, manufacturing and commercializing new inventions is risky, costly and time consuming. Therefore, taking time to
critically and objectively evaluate the commercial attractiveness of a new invention or technology before starting down a long commercialization road may
help to mitigate risk and avoid common pitfalls.
A few of the early questions considered by OTC when conducting a commercial feasibility analysis for a new invention include the following:
- Is there a well-defined product or commercial application associated with the invention?
- Is this an incremental improvement on existing technology or a compelling ("disruptive") new technology?
- Is the science at the foundation of the technology based on sound, supporting data?
Stage of development and Cost
- Is there proof of principle or prototype that demonstrates validity of the concept or idea?
- Are the timeframe and overall cost to productize and commercialize the invention reasonable?
- Would the cost to manufacture the product be reasonable?
Utility (Unique Value Proposition)
- Is the market problem or unmet need clearly defined and significant? (e.g, is need or problem recognized?)
- Is this a grand solution to big problem, a big solution to a small problem or a solution similar to other product offerings?
- Are competitive advantages of product significantly superior to other products or incrementally better?
- Would the advantages be sustainable for a long period or short-lived?
Novelty, Obviousness, Breadth
- Does the IP appear to be truly novel or differentiated? (Is it patentable?)
- Is IP "non-obvious" (or is it a natural extension of other technologies or IP)?
- Would patent claims be broad or narrow?
- Who are the customers? (Who cares, how many care and how much do they care?)
- Are the customers' unmet needs well defined and recognized in the market?
- Does the product address a large and growing market?
- Is Industry structure favorable or highly competitive?
- Is the "window of opportunity" for the product opening, closing or waiting to happen…someday?
- Is there one product or multiple future products associated with the technology? (If one product, how broad is its application?)
- Are there prospective licensees or development partners? (or has interest in the technology been expressed by industry partners or
- Is the technology a foundation for sponsored research in your laboratory?
- Is this technology broad and strong enough to support the launch of a new start-up enterprise?