three-options-for-commercializing-your-idea_selling-a-patent-licensing-a-patent-and-transferring-technologyInventors with a patented idea have options when it comes to taking important next steps toward commercialization. There are major differences between selling a patent, licensing a patent, and transferring technology. If you have questions about shopping your idea or working with another party to capture profits from your invention, it can help to rely on our expertise. The last thing you want to do is end up like the inventors of the Post-It Note or the AK-47, inventors who received little to nothing for their life-changing inventions and technologies.

We strongly feel that patenting intellectual property is important. It’s a vital legal tradition that helps new inventions emerge and improve our world. But not everyone is cut out for the marketing and retail side of things. Perhaps you prefer to focus on creation and leave the rest to others. By law, you have the right to make decisions about how your property is used in the market. So how should you proceed? Let’s tackle the direct route first.

Three Options to Commercialize Your Idea

1. Sell a Patent

If you are passionate about your idea but merely want to sell it for a one-time profit, you should consider selling your invention outright. This way, you don’t have to worry about the packaging, distribution, or other logistical concerns that go along with pushing a product.

It’s important, however, to consider the consequences of a move like this. On one hand, only a small number of inventions generate the kind of substantial profit that can make all your financial dreams come true. By selling, you lock in the potential to gain some kind of profit, even a modest one. On the other hand, selling your invention may come back to haunt you if your idea really takes off; you could lose any future profits your product might earn.

If you’re not sure whether selling your idea is right for you, consider the viability of your product. Is it truly revolutionary, or do other products like yours already exist?

2. License a Patent

If you think your invention could earn money well beyond its inception, then licensing your idea may be the way to go. Our firm can help you finalize a licensing agreement that will provide a partnership between you, the owner, and a licensee. Going this route can prove more profitable than selling your idea because, as the patent holder, you will be entitled to royalty payments on any future sales. In addition, you may license your invention to one company or several. Perhaps best of all, you would not be liable for product mishaps; that would fall under the responsibility of the licensee.

As advantageous as licensing your patent may sound, there are drawbacks. For instance, if your product doesn’t do as well as anticipated, your royalty checks could dry up. Careful negotiations are also necessary with this route. It’s important to ensure that your relationship with a licensee does not sour over time.

Contact us if you’d like to troubleshoot the licensing option. Because these agreements can be quite complex, your lawyer will be your best safeguard as you manage your invention.   

3. Transfer Technology

This final method is primarily designed for specialized technology developed by a group unable to commercialize it. There are various reasons for this: for instance, the organization that develops the technology may be a research laboratory or university. In any case, the inventors would rely on a technical transfer to continue the process of incorporating new technology into the marketplace. This option is important so that new technology can become a shared resource. Think of all the step-by-step developments that have revolutionized our online lives. Many would not have been implemented without this process of invention and commercialization.

When to Contact a Lawyer

If you are not sure whether it would be more appropriate to sell, license, or transfer your invention, you can always consult a lawyer experienced in patents. If not handled correctly, your gold nugget of an idea could turn out be an unprofitable lump of stone. Luckily, you have the advantage of relying on our years of experience to position your idea in the way that’s easiest and most profitable for you.

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