I wish it weren't true, but you must accept there are going to be many obstacles in your way when trying to bring your product to market through licensing.
It’s going take longer than you think, working with freelancers might be frustrating, writing and filing your PPA might be outside of your skill set, making sure your sell sheet looks perfect takes time, building a prototype that works might be tricky, you might find it difficult to find inventor-friendly companies, people will not get back to you, you’re going to receive rejections, and if you do get a licensing contract it might be hard to understand and skewed in favor of the company.
Truthfully, I probably missed a few things in this list!
It’s hard not to get frustrated when a lot of these obstacles are out of your control.
You will need to be creative not only in developing product ideas, but working with other people, solving problems, and trying to keep everything moving forward!
Here’s the good news: Once you’ve done this once or twice it gets much, much easier, I promise. And after you do this more than once, you start to build a network of people that you trust and whom you can count on.
So you need to have the right mindset. Relax, take a deep breath, and realize this is going to take a little work.
Obstacles are just part of the process. Turn these obstacles into opportunities - and find the right people to work with.
I highly recommend that if you can, find someone else that’s already licensed products, or at least submitted ideas to companies - the information they can provide you will save you time, energy, and money. Recommendations and referrals are the quickest way to build your network to avoid some of the frustration.
Once you find people that you can work with - treat them well! Get back to them quickly. Be professional, and they will treat you the same way.
Set a standard of being reasonable when working with others. Don’t be a pest. Realize that people are very busy and doing lots of things. You are one item on their list of things to do.
At inventRight we’ve seen all of these frustrations before and not only know them well, but also know the best ways to turn obstacles into opportunities. Our Boot Camp licensing program is designed to remove these frustrations and some of the obstacles from your path.
Our coaches, all of who have created products and submitted them to companies, know the process intimately and can guide you along the way. They have been through inventRight’s ten steps many times, not only with their own projects, but also with inventors and product developers such as you.
We've designed our Boot Camp to include everything you need:
1) Creating great marketing materials. We will help you work with our team of graphic artists to make sure that you get a realistic Virtual Prototype that represents the features and functions of your product. You will also get a sell sheet tailored to your product and industry that clearly demonstrates with words, pictures and/or drawings the benefits of your Virtual Prototype. These materials will make up the foundation of your winning pitch and you will have our experienced coaches advising you along the way. Check out Design Studio to order a Virtual Prototype.
2) Writing and filing a Provisional Patent Application (PPA). We provide to you SmartIP - a program co-developed by law professor and patent attorney Gene Quinn alongside inventRight. SmartIP makes the process of filing a PPA easy, so you have the confidence that your invention is protected, another relief!
3) Finding inventor friendly companies. For many inventors, this is the biggest obstacle in the process. How do you identify potential companies, who do you contact, and what do you say? Our coaches have the experience necessary to guide you through the process. We have included a directory of companies that are inventor friendly, and our database has thousands of companies that you can reach out to. This database is called inventRight Connect, and is designed to make Open Innovation accessible to anyone.
4) Negotiating a fair contract. When you do receive a licensing agreement, how do you know the right things to say and questions to ask during negotiations to make sure the agreement is ultimately fair and balanced for both parties? Interest is only the first step in the negotiations process, and the truth is that signing a licensing agreement can take months. The fact that there are going to be many obstacles, problems, and disagreements while negotiating the contract is unavoidable. Not only must you stay calm and reasonable, but also have knowledge and experience on your side to get this done correctly. Our chief negotiator will help you along the way - you will always know what to say and when to say it and have someone to advise you about any uncertainties. With over 16 years of experience in licensing negotiations at inventRight, we see a signed licensing agreement for one of our students just about every week!
We know about the obstacles to license a product because we see them and experience them every day. We have put together a program that addresses all the obstacles, and opportunities, and which gives you a clear guide on how to move forward with one project while continuing to create others. Our Boot Camp includes all of the programs listed above, but if you only need help in one area, we have specialized programs available as well.