Licensing your “patent rights” to a manufacturer will allow you to collect royalty fees as an inventor. Many people struggle with when they should patent their ideas and license their inventions simply because they don't fully understand how it works.
Below are 10 tips for inventors on how to get started licensing your patent rights:
- If you have a patent or have applied for a patent (patent pending) you can attempt to license your invention.
- Create a list of potential manufacturers who may be interested in your product.
- Find manufacturers by looking in stores and magazines for similar products. Visit product related tradeshows. Your local library should have great reference material on manufacturers.
- Use “Online Manufacturer Databases” such as the Thomas Register to search for companies that make a product like yours.
- Send a brief individually tailored and professional looking marketing letter to each company on your list.
- With your marketing letter, it is superior to include a professional looking brochure and a website address connected to your product.
- Wait one month, if a company has not replied you can then telephone them to see if they are interested in your product.
- Before discussing your invention in greater detail with a company, sign a non-disclosure agreement.
- If you have the opportunity to negotiate for a licensing agreement, use an experienced lawyer.
- The license agreement will include provisions for upfront payments, royalty percentages and infringement issues.
There are several ways to expand on the tips above to make them even more effective for your manufacturing pitch. One of these ways would be to include a copies of your patent drawing along with your color brochure in your marketing letter.
What is the number one rule you like to follow when working towards licensing and marketing your patent rights?