Creating a new invention can take lots of time and money. So, for most inventors finding away to commercialize their invention is very important. Commercialization will allow you to recoup the money you spent developing the invention and to be rewarded financially for your innovation.
One commercialization option available to inventors is to submit an invention to interested companies for sale or licensing.
Submit An Invention: Commercial Purposes
To commercialize an invention you can either create a business around it or offer it to others for sale or licensing. The latter option appeals to many inventors for the following reasons:
- Selling or licensing an invention is easier and requires less money.
- When you sell or license an invention, you transfers all business risk to someone else.
- After selling or licensing an invention, the inventor becomes free to pursue other ideas, while still profiting from his invention.
Invention submission is a popular way to market your invention to companies and most will accept submissions for inventions that fit within their range of existing products.When you submit an invention to an interested company, you provide them with all the information they need to adequately evaluate your product for purchase or licensing.
Before Your Submit An Invention
Before you submit an invention, here are six things you need to do:
1) Patent your invention – Many large corporations will not accept a submission unless the invention has already been patented. From the company’s perspective, the patent search you performed during the patenting process is the most effective way of discovering reasons why your invention may not be successful on the market.
2) Get prepared – This means doing some market research and preparing the materials needed to market your invention to interested companies. Here are three ways to prepare yourself:
It is always a good idea, before you submit an invention, to prepare a “sell sheet” that shows all the information needed to know what your product is and why a company should be interested in acquiring it. This information should include the name of your product, a tag line, the problem your product addresses, the solution it provides, its benefits, its features and any graphics need to express the above.
Prepare the prototypes, product specifications, drawings, cost estimates, testimonials and any other materials that will demonstrate your invention’s potential in the marketplace.
Acquire an excellent understanding of your product’s industry and identify who the players are in your product’s market.
3) Choose the right companies to approach – Look for companies that carry products in the same category as your invention. The Thomas Register of Manufacturers is an excellent resource for finding U.S. manufacturers and distributors in any industry.
4) Know the company – Do research on each company you plan to approach. Analyze their manufacturing and distribution capabilities and determine the likelihood of them understanding the benefits of acquiring your invention. The latter will aid you in formulating an effective sales pitch.
5) Prepare a Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA) – A NDA is a document stating that the confidential information you disclose while discussing your invention must remain confidential. To pitch your invention effectively, you may need to provide sensitive and confidential business information. An NDA allows you to do this without the risk of having your ideas stolen or leaked to the public. Some companies may refuse to sign a NDA. Others will assist on using their own NDA, which may limit your protection and their own liability. Either way, it is still advantageous to prepare your own NDA, if only as starting point for negotiating this issue.
6) Find an attorney – It is essential that you work with an intellectual property attorney to insure that any information or materials you provide to interested parties are adequately protected by a patent or a confidentiality agreement. Do not submit any information or sign any agreements without first having it reviewed by your attorney.
If you question your ability to do the market research, prepare the necessary materials and negotiate the agreement on your own, there are numerous invention submission companies who will assist you for a percentage of your earnings. But, be sure to avoid invention submission scams and companies that ask you for money up front.
Invention marketing is a tough business. The overall success rate for inventor seeking to license or sell their invention is low. But being properly prepared to submit an invention to interested companies will dramatically increase your chances for success.