Completely document your idea with sketches, illustrations, narratives, explanations, and any analysis that precisely and accurately describes your idea, and how it is structured and works.
Assess the potential interest of Medtronic in your idea by answering the following questions.
We receive many ideas that are just a concept for a new product feature, with no suggestion of how to provide that feature. Patents usually can only be obtained for methods, process and/or structure which define the feature, not for the concept of the feature itself. While bare ideas can be useful to us, they usually are just a starting point for future work to develop commercial products and may not be a basis on which Medtronic will pay compensation. One way to test this is to ask yourself whether the idea can be converted into a working prototype. If not, is the idea sufficiently well-defined that a knowledgeable person can understand and describe what would be needed to make a prototype (often the case with software or simple mechanical ideas)? Or would substantial additional development or experimentation be needed?
For example, a search of published patents, products, and literature (“prior art”) has not uncovered a similar idea, or a knowledgeable person believes your idea is new.
If the answer to those two questions is yes, then the idea may be of interest to Medtronic.
Because the ability to obtain a patent may depend on prompt filing of a patent application, do not wait for Medtronic to make a decision on your submission. We strongly suggest that you file a patent application prior to submitting your invention disclosure to Medtronic. Because our assessment and review cycle could take time, Medtronic will not be liable or responsible for any loss of rights you may suffer due to delays in the evaluation process. We highly recommend that you consult a patent attorney before submitting your invention to Medtronic.