Important Things to Remember When Selling Your Patent

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Important Things to Remember When Selling Your Patent

Everywhere you look you are bombarded with news and stories of people who got rich “overnight.” They had an amazing idea which they sold to a company, or they started a company and sold it after a while because it was doing so well. The good news is – you can do it too, but you still have to work hard to make it happen. Selling your patent seems like a simple and easy idea in theory, whereas in reality, it’s not exactly so. If you’re hoping to sell your patent and get filthy rich (or at least make good money), here’s what you should keep in mind.

The definition of a patent

When you have an idea for a new and innovative invention, you can legally have it protected. This is what a patent is: an intellectual property right that can be granted for processes and products (any kind of invention) that are, in some way, novel on the market. This goes to say that, if you want to have the rights granted, your idea has to be new and innovative, provide a different way of doing something, and provide benefit to the future users. Once you own the right to a patent, for as long as it lasts, you can commercially exploit the invention. In order to profit from your good idea, you have to go through the patenting process which is often overwhelming and exhausting. This is the reason why people rely on experienced professionals to guide them through the bureaucratic labyrinth.

Do your research

First things first – you have to do a lot of work to determine how valuable your patent actually is. You should do it so you can avoid selling your patent for a few hundred dollars just so that the company that buys it can profit millions off of it. On the other hand, you can’t exactly expect a company or a corporation interested in your patent to just take your word that it’s a good idea. They are also looking for patents that are worth their time and money, and the more proof you have that it’s the case, the better for you. Back up your idea by gathering data, as much as you can, because when you add scientific data and research, it gives solid proof that what you are proposing will give good results.

Protect yourself

Sometimes people don’t feel like they have enough time for boring tasks such as market research; other times, they are simply trying to save some money. However, in reality, thorough research will only help your cause. The patent process grows more expensive with each new step, and it’s better for you if you know in advance whether or not your invention is going to be patentable. If you’re living in Australia, you can have an experienced patent attorney from Sydney do the novelty search for you. You will most likely be advised to keep quiet about your idea until the process is complete. This way, you will not only protect your patent but your money too.

Look for buyers

When people come up with a good idea, they can often have a pretty good guess about who would be interested in buying it from them. Most commonly, your potential buyers are people and companies working in the same industry as you (perhaps even your competitors). However, finding that “golden buyer” is often the most important yet at the same time the most difficult step. Just because you have good connections in the industry, it doesn’t mean they would be interested in your patent. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to try and broaden your scope when looking for potential buyers by doing cross-reference research and comparing your patent with similar ones.

Advertise your patent

Let’s face it – no matter what you’re trying to sell, you have to get the word out in order to get people interested. Advertizing your patent will ensure that you will get the best possible offer because a lot of potential buyers will learn about it. How can you advertise? You can start small: listing your patent on different websites and placing an ad or an article about it in inventors’ magazines. Trade publications are also a good idea, as these are fairly popular in different industries. You could be thorough and create a brochure that clearly outlines the best aspects of your patent and what it can be used for. If you’re patenting a product, trade shows can be a great way to draw attention too.

Determine how much you can earn

The sad truth is that the price of different patents varies significantly, and if you want to determine exactly how much you can earn from your own, you’re looking at a difficult task. The most important thing is to have a product that’s of the highest quality, but unless it’s truly unique, it will not bring you a lot of money. Another important aspect is whether your patent is able to solve a current problem your potential buyers have, and if it can make people’s lives easier, its price will exponentially grow. The chances of you figuring all this out on your own while simultaneously doing research and paperwork and preparing ads are very slim. This is yet another reason why you should definitely consider teaming up with experts and talking to lawyers before you embark on this tricky journey.

Having big dreams is nice, but unless you’re working hard to make the said dreams a reality, you’re going to become one of those people with grand stories and not much else to show for them. People are coming up with million-dollar ideas all the time, but the difference is that some work hard to patent, protect, and sell these ideas to the right investor. Selling your patent might not be the simplest thing you’ve ever done, but if you play your move wisely, you will be fairly compensated for your work.


Mike is an Australian business consulting specialist. He often writes about technology, business and marketing and is a regular contributor on several sites.

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