Published 04/25/2017 by Marin Cionca
People and clients often ask me how can they make money with an invention or with a patent if they were to pursue one. Or, they ask, I now have the patent, what can I do next to make money with it? Here are some answers:
Start a business.If you have entrepreneurial experience and/or inclinations as I do, and the necessary time and funds, I recommend starting a business. Nobody believes more in the product you have invented than you do. Especially if the cost of making it is accessible, make it, put up a website, use other online platforms such as Amazon, and start selling. Even if you will not afford to enforce the patent through litigation, the patent you have can give you other important market advantages. For example, it can be used to deter the competition to copy your product and at least force them to spend the time and money to design around if they want to compete. As another example, a patented product often sells better than a non-patented product. Consumers often perceive a patented product to be a superior product. One benefit of making and selling the patented product is that you’ll get feedback from consumers that may inspire you to improve your product even more and come up with further and better version, some of which may be patentable on their own. If not the original patented version, the further iterations may be a market winner.
Grow an existing business.For similar reasons as above, a patent product can be a great addition to your line of existing goods or services. Having patented products in your product line may show the consumers and the market that you are a serious business. That market image may be very valuable to your business success. Further, being a valuable business asset, a patent can be used in many business dealings such as merger and acquisitions, sale of the business, strategic alliances, investor or loan agreements for access to cash, etc.
License or Assign your Patent.If you do not have an existing business and you are not in the mood to start one, licensing may be an option. This is not easy, but I saw it happening. Finding an interested party (e.g., a manufacturer) takes a lot of time and effort. Manufacturers or seller of similar products as your patented product are likely the best targets of licensing efforts. I typically recommend that you reach out to potentially interested patent licensees yourself. In any case, be very skeptical and do your own due diligence when approached by invention promotion companies or individuals that promise to market your invention or patent, while you just sit back and relax! Ask about their success rate, examples of success, milestones, etc. I had clients coming to me very disappointed with this type of entities. Basically, they were asked to continue to pay according to contractual obligations without seeing any results. Again, I recommend making these efforts yourself. Patent attorneys like myself can’t typically assist finding interested parties, but what once such party is identified, we can assist with negotiations and licensing or patent assignment agreements.
Sell your Patent.There are apparently patent brokers and online platforms that purportedly offer to sell your patent for a fee. I am not very familiar with them, but they and their services may be worth exploring.
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Marin Cionca, Esq.
Registered Patent Attorney
USPTO Reg. No. 63899
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