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Common Licensing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

by | Aug 17, 2023 | 0 comments


When I was working on my book, “Become a Professional Inventor,” I interviewed 30 different open innovation companies.

These conversations led me to believe that we inventors, could do a better job submitting our product ideas to companies accepting outside innovations.

But truthfully, it’s not always an easy task.

The biggest and most common licensing complaint I heard, was that these open innovation companies weren’t receiving “new” product submissions. In a simple Google image search, product submissions they were sent, were found in seconds.

There Are Two Ways To Solve This Common Licensing Problem

  1. Thorough Research

As an inventor, it’s crucial for you to conduct thorough research on the internet. Set aside time to familiarize yourself with ALL products that have a similar resemblance to your product idea. By doing so, you can identify your product’s point of difference. Moreover, it helps you avoid the possibility of potential licensees rejecting your idea because they won’t find it with an internet search.

2. Your Product’s Point Of Difference

Now that you have identified your unique selling proposition, it’s time to present your idea in comparison to other ideas. This approach serves as a powerful selling tool. By showing your point of difference, you can effectively capture the attention and interest of your potential licensees. Highlighting your product ideas’ unique features, improved functionality, cost savings, or any other compelling advantages will help create a strong selling proposition.

The second-biggest complaint I heard from open innovation companies was that inventors submit ideas that don’t align with the company’s products. This often leads to swift rejections and results in a waste of time for both the inventor and the company involved.

Here Are Some Solutions

  1. Study The Product Line

Thoroughly examine the product line of the company you intend to submit to with utmost care. Pay close attention to the materials used, the pricing of each product, and the benefits they offer. Additionally, take the time to read reviews on platforms like Amazon. Delve into their mission statement and explore their blog to gain valuable insights into what they are seeking.

It’s important to acknowledge that this process may require reading between the lines, as companies do not explicitly provide this information. However, by conducting these investigations, you can gain a deeper understanding of their preferences and requirements.

2. Building Relationships

Establishing a strong connection with open innovation companies requires time and patience. It is crucial to demonstrate your commitment by investing your time in the relationship. This can be achieved by attending trade shows or persistently submitting ideas, even if they are initially rejected. Avoid arguing or complaining, it’s more effective to show your dedication to the process. By consistently demonstrating your active involvement, the companies will recognize your commitment and reciprocate by investing their time and attention in return.

In Conclusion

Connecting your product with the right company can be a challenging task. However, it becomes easier with time and experience. Once you have a clear understanding of their preferences and target, it becomes more simple to tailor your creativity toward solving the problems they face.

It is crucial to remember that this process is not solely about you, but also about the company and their needs. Therefore, it is essential to show genuine care for the company and align your efforts with their requirements. Additionally, it is important to refrain from complaining or overwhelming them with excessive ideas. Patience is key when navigating the submission process. Strive to understand their business model and aim to become an asset to their organization.


  • Stephen Key

    Stephen Key is an award-winning inventor, renowned intellectual property strategist, lifelong entrepreneur, author, speaker, and columnist.
    Stephen has over 20 patents in his name and the d...