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May 19, 2018 2 min read

After spending months, and thousands of dollars, on working towards getting our new Proprietary Formula patented, I discovered this was a huge waste of time and effort.  

Ok, so in a nut shell here are: 


3 Reasons NOT to Patent Your Natural Product Formula 

Getting a formulation patent sounds really cool, but for a natural cosmetic entrepreneur spending the money on working to push this patent through is probably a huge waste of time and money.  

Here are the THREE reasons you should skip getting a patent on your natural product formulation... 


1) Patents don’t prevent someone from knocking it off or copying it 

One of the main reasons we wanted to get a patent was to prevent our competition from copying our formulas. Apparently, the truth is, in the natural cosmetic industry patents do not have this effect.   

Good to know... It is really a simple matter for a natural cosmetic chemist to start from an existing formula and recreate something that works just as well.  
Apparently if you have a patent, it’s an even easier task for them.  
Substituting out one ingredient for another is not hard and making something that does not violate the patent but works just as well is easy... especially for a chemist.   
This is exactly why no big natural cosmetics companies and product brands have patents on any of their formulas.  
Makes perfect sense. While we might believe our formulation and process is completely unique and new to the world, it most likely isn’t. Or at the very least, it isn’t so different that a consumer could tell much of a difference.  
Consumers are not good at discerning subtle differences between similar formulas, and as long as it works and they are being treated well from the brand, that is all they care about.  


2) Patents do not provide much benefit for natural cosmetic and product formulas 

Patents on natural cosmetic and product formulas do not provide the kinds of benefits that patents in other industries might provide.  
Mostly, the benefit for us is limited to making a patent claim like “patented formula” or “unique formula”. Which is what many of us want, because it feels good to say.  
If any of us need these claims to make it as a brand, then we're probably doomed anyways.   


3) There are way better ways to spend our money and grow 

Patents can cost tens of thousands of dollars and take forever to solidify and it wouldn't offer you much protection from the competition.  

Here are my top 5 suggestions for spending the money... 

  1. Online Marketing Campaigns
  2. Advertising Campaigns & Videos
  3. PR Events & Influencers 
  4. Packaging Upgrades
  5. Other brand building efforts

It's very hard to stand out through formulation alone.  It can be ONE piece, but a company needs to have multiple angles.   
There are plenty of nicely formulated products out there that never get any sales because they fail in their branding and marketing. This is where your effort should be.   
Spend your money on building our brand and sales will follow.  
Author: Joshua Bruce David 

*Marketing Genius, Co-Founder of The Best Deodorant