Farmers have always been known for innovation on the farm. I can remember as a kid watching the Prairie Farm Report on Sundays with my parents. There has always been a proud heritage of trying to make sure that all machinery on the farm is somewhat “customized” to ensure the ultimate in usability. From turning pick up trucks into high clearance sprayers or the combine that also bales and cultivates, farmers have a great history of inventing and innovating.
Many farmers work on these projects all winter for the sole purpose of trying to make life on the farm easier. The intent is usually not to try a make some money off of the great idea. I’m sure that there are some very simple inventions that have ended up becoming significant income sources because the farmer had the foresight to pursue a patent.
Intellectual property is incredibly important or else your idea will be stolen and someone else will be rewarded from the fruits of your labours.
At the Farm Progress Show in Regina, I talked to Ryan Dupuis from ADE & Company (patent agents) about how a farmer can get a patent and why it could be fruitful to diversify farm income if the product has success in the commercial marketplace.
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If you have an invention or a great innovative idea, I would encourage you to talk to a patent agent and try to see if you have the opportunity to protect your intellectual property. Just think you may have an intellectual asset that could be worth something to not only your farm but thousands or others. even better is a situation where a machinery manufacturer is interested in buying that property from you. Or you can just sit in Phoenix and collect your royalty check for years. Life is good to be an inventor.