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  A prototype is a model of your invention that a user can interact with. Depending on the nature of your invention it could be a computer model or an actual physical device. The purpose is to demonstrate some of the functions of your invention to help you find ways to improve it as well as to evaluate market potential. Building a prototype is an essential step in the inventing process and until you have actually built at least a rough prototype that can be tested you will be clueless about the true merits of your invention. A prototype enables you to receive user input, perfect your design and possibly create new patentable features. It is virtually impossible to begin a conversation with a potential licensee unless you have something to show. Generally you`ll build several prototypes.


- Crude prototype is a model that enables you to get a better feel for the basic premise of your invention.

- Working prototype is something that allows users to try out some or all of the features of the invention.

- Final prototype is a model that looks and functions almost like a manufactured product.