Profiting from Patents: Part 2

January 25, 2011 By Aminda

A previous post on selling patents highlighted the importance of creating a strong, sellable patent and of knowing the marketplace and the competition. It warned against both selling too soon and not soon enough. This is all critical research to have done before entering the next step in profiting from a patent which is choosing whether to sell or license the patent. 

Licensing, granting someone the rights to create, market, and/or sell something based on what that patent protects, is typically seen as the way to generate the highest returns, assuming the patent applies to large markets. Licensing also carries the most risk, too often turning into legal battles, according to Inventors Digest. It’s highly recommended to work with a patent lawyer to minimize the risk.

On the other hand, selling a patent is a way to generate cash fairly quickly with less risk and less distraction. However, selling can be a difficult choice for a patent holder, who has invested so much in the development, as it usually yields less of a return.

Once a patent owner makes a decision whether to sell or license, the next step is to find a buyer or licensee. One way to do so, according to Idea Buyer, is to use personal contacts to gain appointments with Sales and Product Managers. Since this can be a time-consuming process, a number of services are available for connecting patent owners with potential buyers. Using an intermediary can speed up the process by putting a seller directly in contact with technology scouts and other potential buyers or licensees.

For market research on patents up for sale, check out the marketplace on IdeaConnection as well as the extensive list of innovation success stories. Creative minds will also want to peruse the “technologies wanted” section to find inspiration and motivation for future projects.

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