Imitation is not entirely wrong, especially if it is flattering, but if patents are present, you and your business can be in so much trouble. Including imitation as part of your business strategy could help you attract venture capitalists if they could see its use to you and their advantage.
1. Discuss Someone Else’s Idea
Anybody can break down someone else’s idea and innovation and see the features that made it work. Discuss this idea with your team and note down the details that made the product unique, appealing and sellable.
2. Use The Details, Read the Patents
Patents are the enemy in using some ideas that the competition thought of. Sure it would be nice to give it a try or your own spin, but beware that you might be trespassing. Read the patents, and incline it with the details you have discussed earlier.
3. Use Other Materials
If one copies a product directly, this is a complete violation of patents, but if you use the idea behind the development of the product and used other materials, you could ride on the concept behind the successful product. For example, you might want to add a new style on an ergonomic keyboard design. You could follow the idea of QWERTY keyboards and the actual design, but not the material.
4. Why It Would Sell
If you discuss with your venture capitalists that your idea is based on someone’s idea, but you are only imitating the motives and innovation behind the idea, venture capitalists are likely to invest in your company. Patents and legalities aside, venture capitalists only want to know if your product would sell, and if it would continue in the long run.