Selling a Patent
So, you have ensured that your intellectual property is securely yours by getting a patent- NOW WHAT?
Often inventors patent their intellectual property and then are stuck on how to go about selling or licensing it. Is this you? Good news, I have some ways to help get you out of the waiting stage and on to the moving along stage.
Here is a quick lesson in sales, marketing, and advertising important for inventors:
Selling a Patent Lesson One: Appearance
By now you should have not only a patent, but also a working prototype or at least a great drawing. Keep in mind, people interested in buying your patent will not only want to read your full patent (pages and pages of legal jargon and small print), they will want to see it packaged in a manner that makes it worth buying.
What I may consider basic, some people may not be aware of how these things can affect their sale or non-sale of their patent. Appearance is crucial in the business world. People say they don’t judge others based on appearance, but let me be the bearer of bad news: THEY DO! You and your patent material need to be dressed as nicely as the amount of money you want to sell it for. If you are looking to sell the patent for a dollar then feel free to dress it like something off of a dollar menu at your local fast food restaurant.
Of course, I do not recommend this. Simply wear a suit, show up with well written and easily readable material packaged in a visually pleasing way.
Okay, now you and your patent are visually appealing to potential buyers. Where do you find them?
Selling a Patent Lesson Two: Research
It’s called good old fashioned research! A library or internet search engine should suffice.
You need to find the potential users of your patent. Who would want to use it and why? What industries would this fall under? Come up with 10-20 potential users. Then based on industries begin your research for companies that would sell to your potential users (the potential user may be the company itself).
Selling a Patent Lesson Three: Contact
Once you know which companies you will be targeting, start contacting them! Start by sending them a professionally written letter making them aware that you are looking to sell your patent and enclose a clear and concise description of your patent.
If you are having trouble getting into contact with companies through direct mail, try attending a trade show! They are a great way to meet people in your target sales group and also to gauge interest in your product. You may also meet other inventors and gain valuable knowledge of the market you are trying to get into.
Selling a Patent Lesson Four: Advertise
How will people know that your patent is for sale if you don’t make them aware? Advertising that your patent is for sale will only help you.
Let’s say “Joe” is interested in buying your patent. Joe looks on IdeaBuyer.com under patents for sale and does not see your patent listing. How will he buy it? He won’t. Joe will end up coming across hundreds of other great patents for sale and invest his money in them. Do you want Joe’s money or do you want to give it to someone else?
A patent buyer interested in buying your patent can’t buy it if he can’t find it for sale.
Recapping today’s lessons in selling a patent:
1: You and your patent material need to look like they are worth what you are selling them for.
2: You must research! You need to be the one able to answer all of the questions about your product, its markets, industries and potential users.
3: Get the word out! Write a professional letter to potential buyers letting them know your patent is for sale.
4: Advertise. No one will know your patent is for sale unless you tell them.
Now get moving! Read more about Selling a Patent
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 IdeaBuyer.com- 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 Lindsey@IdeaBuyer.com.