Jerry Haynes Law


Months or even years of experimenting and tweaking have turned your idea into a genuine product and now you finally have a patent for your invention.  To really profit from your idea, you must license usage rights or market the product yourself.

Licensing the right to make, use, or sell your product is usually the most profitable route for inventors to take. As patent holder, you retain ownership of the invention and earn royalty payments on future sales of the product. You can grant an exclusive license to one company or license several companies. In addition, the licensee assumes liability for any product problems in the future.

A non-exclusive license of intellectual property rights is no guarantee of profitability. If the product doesn’t catch on in the marketplace, your royalty checks could be meager. Royalty rates run from 1% to 20%, so you’d have to sell a lot of product for your ROI to be significant. Relationships with a licensee can also go sour, and in turn could cost you more legal fees and headaches. Before signing over licensing rights, research the potential licensee to see if the partnership is really a good one.

If you market your invention yourself, be professional with your marketing efforts. It also helps to have a prototype or at least a good drawing of the product.

Here are a few suggestions to effectively promote your invention:

Make Contact: Make a list of manufacturers and potential users of your invention. The Thomas Register, available in libraries and online, has contact information for thousands of companies.

Trade Shows: Attend trade or invention shows where you will encounter companies or individuals interested in your product.

Advertise: Buy paid ads in trade publications and inventors’ magazines to generate potential patent buyers and licensees. The Patent Trade Office publishes a gazette where inventors can advertise their products..

Investors: Finance your invention by securing partners to provide capital required to launch the product.

Patent Website: Several companies have websites where inventors can advertise their patents for sale.

With good research, planning, marketing and a sellable product, your invention can be a great success.