A misconception that plagues Inventors is two-fold, one they don’t do the proper research to see if their idea is patented and the other is they don’t do research to see if it is on the market. These two are independent of each other, but they both need to be done before you move forward and start spending money on your idea. You can do a lot of this for free, it just takes your time.
They forget every item patented is not on the market and every product on the market is not patented. So, just doing a patent search is not the answer to every idea you may want to research. I get contacted by Inventors all the time telling me they did a patent search and could not find their idea anywhere and I have had Inventors swear they looked online and in every store for their idea and can’t find it.
In both cases they missed the product in the other field. When checking to see if your idea is out there you need to check both areas not just one. Go into any large chain store and look at how many products you see on the shelf without a patent. I think you will be amazed at what you find.
As I always say “patentable does not equal marketable” In a number of cases branding and getting to market first has proven to be more effective than a patent.