Archive for January, 2009

Selling or Licensing a Patent: Information Companies Want to See

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Getting information about your product to companies can be difficult. Here are some suggestions on what information to send, and how to send it.

After doing your market research, you should be aware of some companies that would be a good fit for your product. (They buy patents, they have manufacturing and distributing capabilities, and they are marketing to your product’s target end-user.) A briefing document on your product is a great way to generate interest in your product. It is short, concise, and full of solid, well-written information.

A good briefing document should explain the benefits of your patent, what you are looking to do with your patent, and why you are contacting the company or person. It should be clear and written in plain English. Through sending a briefing document, you are expressing the desire for someone to take over your patent.

When you contact a company for the first time about your product, the information sent should be well thought out. This is especially true if this company has never heard of you, or your product. It is important to provide quality information about your product, in a complete and concise manner. Think of it as a resume for your product. You wouldn’t send the biography of your life to a potential employer, just like you shouldn’t send a copy of your patent to a potential buyer. Very few people have the time or will take the time to read massive amounts of information from a complete stranger.

Here are the sections you should include in your briefing document:

  • Purpose:
    • Explain why you are sending this document out to companies.
DO use phrases like: DO NOT use phrases like:
“to make you aware” “this is a great idea”
“to inform you of” “you will make a lot of money”
“to see if you have any interest in” “it is going to be bought by everyone”
“to contact you regarding” “you will want to buy it”

Many inventors are quick to TELL potential buyers that they SHOULD or will WANT to buy their patent. Honestly, no one wants to be TOLD what they are going to like. Similar to applying for a job: you would not write at the top of your resume “you will want to hire me” or “I am the best”. It could easily lead to your resume going straight into the trash.

Make the introduction to your product a pleasant, and non threatening experience.

Ex: This document is intended to inform you that the patent for PRODUCT X is for sale or license.

  • Background:
    • Explain the basic benefits of the product.

It is important to note that a benefit of the product is something gained by the user. The seller of the product can also be benefitted financially by selling it.

    • What milestones have already been reached by the product?

This section should include the current status of the product. Questions to be answered should include:

  • Is the product patented? For how long?
  • Is there a working prototype? If so, is there more than one available?
  • Is the product currently being sold? If so, what it the sales track record?
  • Are there currently relationships with manufacturers, distributors, retailers, etc.?
    • Include a BRIEF history of the product.

A short explanation of the people or companies that have been involved with the product should suffice.

  • Pertinent Details:
    • Details about the product and its function that have not already been described.
    • Include any market research findings that may have an impact on the level of interest. (More important for persons/ companies not involved with the market.)

Like a resume, this should explain the details about the product that would qualify it for a sale or license.

  • Target Audience:
    • Based on your market research, explain your target end-user.

Do not use the exact target audience that the company may have on their website. Most likely, they will know if you have copied and pasted. Your market research should have given you a conclusion as to who the optimal end user is. A basic two-sentence explanation, will allow the reader to understand whether your product will fit with the products they already work with.

  • Objective Explanation

At the beginning of your briefing document, you explained the purpose of sending the document to the reader. Now is where you explain, in greater detail, your objectives.

Ex: “I am looking to sell the rights to my patent exclusively.”

  • Contact Information

Be certain to make sure that your document includes your contact information.  As said in other articles, be sure that your contact information is appropriate and professional. Email addresses such as,, will not be taken seriously.

After you have completed the written information, you may want to include a logo in the header of the document. Make sure that the document has been edited well, and then it will be ready for printing. A professional print job is always more impressive, and can cost as little as $.08 per page.
A briefing document is an inexpensive way to generate interest about your patent, and allows you to use it as an excuse to make contact via telephone with a company.

For companies interested in more information, send them a Pitchbook with a comprehensive analysis.

It’s time to generate interest in your patent!

If you are interested in having professional materials created for you, please contact

About the author of this article:

Lindsey Yeauger is the Product Marketing Director for Idea Buyer LLC, a new product development company that owns and operates The Online Marketplace for Intellectual Property. The site gives inventors the opportunity to showcase their intellectual property to consumer product companies, entrepreneurs, retailers, and manufacturers. You can email her at

Invention Goals

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Invention GoalsAs you set your invention goals, here are a few tips to help you stack on track and achieve success.

Although there may be several things that you would like to accomplish, focus on the most important. It is easy to lose sight of the finish line if you are taking too many detours. Prioritize the resolutions and choose which one will take precedent over the others. This will keep you from spreading yourself too thin.

Similarly, you do not want your goals to be set too high. Set your resolutions at a level that is reasonable for you to achieve. Becoming discouraged because the goal is unreachable will only create resistance when trying other resolutions.

Now let’s put this into perspective.

Sally has resolved that she is going to sell her patent by the end of 2011. Great! Good for her! Well, kind of. The only problem is that Sally has not started the patent process, she has no contact with companies, and she is on a fixed income. This may not be a reasonable goal for Sally, while the ambition is admired.

For the type of situation that Sally is in, a more conservative goal may be to file for a provisional patent by the end of your time frame. This will allow her to work on saving money for the cost of filing the provisional patent while researching the product’s market.

After the reasonable goal for 2011 is set into place, it is time to set up a schedule for when the process will begin, how much time will be spent on it, and how long it will take. Make sure to start working on your resolution when it is good for you. You will be more likely to work on your resolution if you start it during a time best suited for you and your schedule. If you are NOT a winter person and find it hard to get motivated during the season, start working on your resolution in spring. If you are an accountant, start your resolution on April 16th. The goal you have chosen is intended to better your life, not to make it more stressful.

Choosing a schedule is important to keeping yourself on track! Make sure that it works for you. Back to our example:

Sally has decided that she is going to save $50 a month toward her provisional patent. She is going to spend one hour a week researching her product and the market. Every other Wednesday, Sally has a PTA meeting. Scheduling her one hour a week for research will not work on Wednesdays, so she will choose Thursdays.

By allowing your resolution to become a habit, or part of your routine, you are more likely to achieve it. After two or three months of researching her product every Thursday from 9-10pm, it will be part of Sally’s routine, and she will be one step closer to achieving her resolution.

Before the resolution is a habit and engrained into your schedule, try setting up a reward system for yourself. Once you have completed a step of your process, reward yourself with someone applicable to the resolution. For Sally, maybe she could spend one of her Thursday nights designing a logo or packaging, or try setting up a website for her product.

A friend in a similar situation or a mentor that has been through the process could benefit you greatly in achieving your goal along with providing resources and advice along the way.

Whatever your resolution, do your best to stay on track. Hold yourself accountable, and make sure you are completing steps toward your goal!

Recommended Invention Goals from The IdeaBuyer Team:

  • Make company contacts within your industry.
  • Create a Pitchbook, if you don’t already have one.
  • Limit expenses to items that will give you a return on your investment. (I.E. Prototype, Pitch materials, contacts)
  • Find out if there is a market for your product.

About the author of this article:

Lindsey Yeauger is the Director of Communications for Idea Buyer LLC, a new product development company that owns and operates The Online Marketplace for Intellectual Property. The site gives inventors the opportunity to showcase their intellectual property to consumer product companies, entrepreneurs, retailers, and manufacturers. You can email her at