Businesses need to perfect their product screening process in order to avoid making either of the following errors: a 'Drop Error' or a 'Go Error'.

  • A “Drop Error” occurs when a business errs in deciding to abandon a product idea that, in hindsight, may have been successful if developed. Too many drop errors indicate a conservative approach to product screening;
  • A “Go Error” occurs when a business fails to identify a poor product idea that has already moved into the development and commercialisation stages. Too many go errors indicate a young, ambitious yet inexperienced approach to product screening.

Once a business has generated new product ideas, product screening is used as a method of spotting and dropping poor ideas as early as possible. As the costs of developing a product increase during each successive stage of development, the earlier a weak idea is identified, the better.

Businesses will either develop their own screening processes or commission another business to screen their product ideas for them in order to determine which products to develop and to bring to market. The screening process is likely to cover some of the following issues:

  • Is the business able to show evidence that clearly demonstrates it is the inventor of the product?
  • Is the product easy to copy or reproduce?
  • What certifications and qualifications are needed?
  • Are there any environmental issues e.g. carbon footprint?
  • Is there potential to licence the product or to start a joint venture?

Other considerations a business should take into account include whether the product fits into its portfolio and meets its overall business plans and objectives.

Products should be rated against specific criteria such as that above and the business’ competence level in relation to each should be considered.

If you need advice on this or any other Commercial or Intellectual Property matter generally, please contact John Sykes on 0113 280 2113 john.sykes@luptonfawcett.com.

Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.

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