How much do I need to have developed an idea, invention, or innovation to qualify for a patent?
The Enablement Requirement
Enablement is a means of establishing that you, the applicant, have a clear conception of the innovation or subject matter of the invention. Conception is key. There is no requirement for constructing, programming, or prior use of the invention needed to demonstrate enablement. The only requirement is to establish that you conceived of the invention. There are ways to obtain the rights to the invention from someone who initially invented it like designers, developers, or engineers. To learn more about who is an inventor check out our Inventorship Video.
Enablement of an Invention
Enablement means that you can provide the specification for how to make, develop, and construct the invention to a person having ordinary skill in the art and they would be able to execute the invention without undue experimentation. The patent application must demonstrate the scientific and engineering principles behind the invention. Therefore, the specification must prove the claimed scientific principles and demonstrate the engineering required to harness the scientific principle.
A good way to determine if you qualify for filing a patent on your idea is to talk to a designer, developer, or engineer in the field of your invention. Under a non-disclosure agreement tell them about your idea and see if they would know how to make it. That is a good indication that one of the ordinary skills in that field would be able to develop the idea from your specification without undue experimentation. Ultimately, did you specify your idea thoroughly enough for a person of ordinary skill in the art to build and use your invention?